By Kanlaya Chularattakorn
This is my third and last article to be posted in the Mansfield Center’s blog. During the past four weeks, I have learned a lot from the program. And I have many issues and topics that I could write about and would like to write about as my last article to the blog of the Mansfield center, but after some hours of thinking, I have decided to devote this article/note to my dear host family Ms. Suzy and Mr. Duane Hampton as my appreciation for their kindness, being so cultural sensitivity and the support given to me during my stay with them for two weeks.
I was very anxious when I learned that, during my five week long fellowship program, I would be hosted for two weeks by an old couple, Mr. and Ms. Hampton. I was worried that they would be a kind of strict and a non-cultural sensitive type of couple. But when I got to spend my time with them, I started to love and respect them. This is because my hosts are nice and with kind hearts. They are a very supportive couple who always think and are concerned about the feelings of others especially the feeling of people surrounding them.
My host adopted 2 children and raised them as their own children, and they also have a biological child. My hosts are former professors at the University of Montana. They have taught and helped many students, especially students that belong to the ethnic minority groups in Montana. They have also hosted a Chinese Ph.D. student for four years in their house. In addition, they have been supporting social and community works and have also volunteered themselves for many social and community organizations in Montana in particular. I have no surprise seeing my hosts at the different charity luncheons. Some people may say that my hosts are an arrogant and direct/outspoken couple. But to me, they are just perfect!
My host is a retired couple with much knowledge and experience about life and the world. I felt sad that they will soon be gone with their knowledge and experience accumulated for more than 70 years. But I am also glad that with their more than 20 years of volunteer and charity works, their volunteer spirit will be learned and absorbed by the younger generations and because of this, their volunteer spirit will continue to grow. With the kind heart, cultural sensitivity and volunteer spirit, I am sure our world will continue to grow with peace and hope.
I wanted to express my thankful to them for their kindness, supportive, cultural sensitivity and warm hospitality. Thank you for always keeping me busy and for always offering me good programs. I felt very warm staying with you, my dear host. Especially you Suzy, I want to thank you for your kindness and patience in explaining things that I don’t know. I really learned a lot from you and really like to way you teach me and your students. I really wish that I could spend more time to learn more from you, but it is not possible because my time in Montana is ending soon.
I wanted to say that the more I stay with you, the more I learn from you and the more I love and respect you!
I will be leaving Montana in one week, so I would like to wish both of you Mr. and Ms. Hampton good health and happy life forever.
Until we meet again, I love you and feel so thankful that I was once very fortunate to meet and get to know you through the Economic Empowerment Program run by the Mansfield center of the University of Montana. You are different and very special persons to this world and to me especially.
Thank you and please stay in touch!