Why you should definitely say yes to hosting an exchange student [at least once in your life.]

Our family family has gained an new member this semester. Meet Walton, a seventeen year-old junior who’s come to study abroad in the tropical DR at Doulos for six months. He comes from the oh-so-exotic location of…

Atlanta, GA! 😉

It’s an incredible opportunity for him, and maybe even more so for the two Domincan students that Doulos sent to study in the states for a semester. But I think it’s a great experience for our family, too. Here’s why.

We are more intentional in our community. Because we want to share as much Dominican culture with him as possible, we asked our neighbors to come cook Dominican cuisine and dine with us once a week. And Adolfina’s a really good cook. Need I say more?


We are more intentional in our sense of adventure. One of the things that helped our family adjust when we first moved here was the never-ending opportunity for adventure and exploration of the natural beauty and native people. It somehow made up for that which was lacking. After a while, the busyness of our lives kicked in and we [unintentionally] stopped being so adventuresome. But in effort to give that same experience to Walton, we revisited some of our favorite places and even checked out some new-to-us places like a ride on the only cable car in the Caribbean to the top of a mountain overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.



We are more intentional how we eat. Let’s face it, there are times when I am just not in the mood to do the “going-to-vegetable-market-washing-and-soaking-produce-rinsing-bugs-out-of-pasta-rice-oatmeal-you-name-it-cooking-everything-from-scratch-washing-dishes-by-hand” kind of things a developing country demands of the nightly dinner routine. But because I would feel bad serving Walton pancakes for dinner as often as I maybe (or maybe not- I’m not telling for sure) once did, I have gotten in a much better routine with going to the vegetable market and cooking legit. And we even learned how to make tostones (fried plantains) together!


We are more intentional about how we treat each other. It’s crazy how keenly self-aware you become of how you sound when you know someone else is listening. If none other, I pray this change is one that sticks long after Walton goes back to the land of peaches.

And not just all that. We are just blessed to have him. He is so sweet and we are having a blast getting to know him. Keep him and us in your prayers as he faces the joys and challenges of living abroad.

And so the adventure continues!