Home stay with American family is one of the most important activities that all follows could learn the culture and the way of living of American family. In return, it is a way that American families learn from the ASEAN countries as well. The program is taking two weeks long. I have been hosted by American family in Missula city closed to the Big Sky High School where it is my professional follow being a school principal here. There are three people in this family, Mr. Pete Kesel, his wife, Daisy Kesel and their daughter, Miss Hattie.
Staying with them I feel so warm and I have learned a lot of American culture. First thing that is so impressed to me is they all are schedule based, everything have to be scheduled in advance, both my schedule and theirs. Ms. Daisy and Pete always asked me about my program at school and also the Big Sky HS after dinner and they also tell me about their schedules, either. It really gets me to reflect to what I have learned from Dr. Udo Fluck, Director of Global Gateway Global Competence Research Office of International Programs, University of Montana, before I moved to my host family. It is one of the small thing but I have to learn while it is not happening very often in Cambodian society for scheduling during dinner time or before everyone go to sleep. It teaches me how to plan in specific time what I am going to do the day after.
They are very curious on what I have learned from each day thus they always asked me what I have learned in the day very often. Mr. Pete always shares me about American education system both success stories and challenges. What I have learned from is how the role of educator in engaging children to get quality of education. For example, most of teachers ignore students who are difficult to get the contents them but they like to take care those who are already smart. Well, students come from difference social economic background where it really impact directly to their cognitive process and learning. He compared those teachers to a fish-man who take care only the big fish that he/she wants to get but ignoring other fishes. To be a good teacher is to engage all students involved in learning. It is very good reflection to me when I compare the teachers here and Cambodia. I have been seeing all teachers at Big Sky are very busy. Sometimes, I felt that they are working hard like people in stock markets. It is the same that school principal goes around to visit classroom and also solve problems when occurring. He is not so strange because he graduated his master of education otherwise, he has more knowledge in this field and I am so lucky to be hosted by his family. We have spent a lot of time to discuss about the American education and Cambodian education and it is so good for me to combine all of these practices for adjusting in my country. Not only sharing and learning from each culture, we also have some fun as I spent my time to cook Khmer food and tell them about the basic of Khmer culture as well. My host family are very friendly and helpful. They always bring me to try what I have never done like sports, restaurants and places. Example, flying fishing, playing golf, and visit other places like Bison Range, and old prison of Montana…etc. Ms. Daisy always cooked breakfast and lunch for me every day. Food always ready in the table when I came downstate before leaving for my programs. They are treating me as their son and as a part of a family. What I can’t forget is they really caring of my health.
Surprisingly, my host family also introduced me to their parents, too, Mr. Kesel and his wife, Luara Kesel. They both are very nice and kind. They really take care me about staying in U.S. I also have a chance to cook for them, too and vice-versa. We have learned a lot in sharing our cultures. There are many good thing that I will bring back and to make change for my society and it is a part of peace building for both our countries.