We received an email update from our local coordinator about arrival day. This is the latest:
Probably the most important question we can answer on Aug. 1 is 'when will the students arrive?’ It is changing almost daily but we hope to have a specific answer by then. The rough description of the process is:
Students come in to New York ( as well as California, Miami, Chicago and other spots) on charter flights , Most Virginia. students come in to NY. Depending on the time of arrival they may spend a night on a college campus . They are then sent by charter bus to a central spot for their local orientation. There will be several busses during the period from Aug11-14, bringing students to PA, MD, and DC as well as VA. These buses can arrive any time of the day or night depending on the flights , the weather,the amount of time spent in customs, the number of students involved. During that 4 day period literally hundreds of AFS students will arrive, be met by staff and volunteers and sent on their way . Once at the destination they receive a required Arrival Orientation . On the day it is finished they will be available for pick-up by their host families.
Hopefully we will get an official word on August 1 when we have our orientation.
Meanwhile, I have been enjoying the hosting community on Facebook. I have become “friends” (as sanctioned by Facebook) with a couple of other host moms (including one, Kati, who (is this cool or what?!) is hosting a girl from Thailand and who adopted an AA baby just like us!), and have been reading up on the Virginia section of the community for kids coming to the US this year. We have one other girl coming to Fredericksburg, which is pretty cool. I have sent an email to Penny and encouraged her to sign up for a Facebook account. I think it’ll help her with networking with friends once she gets here as well as connecting with AFS and other students experiencing similar issues.
AFS still needs a few host families in Virginia. It’s not too late to sign up! :-)