It amazes me how close I have become to girls I have only known for a week, it’s absolutely crazy! As all of the host students were waiting at the airport with our signs that we made for our Brentwood arrivals, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown…...I was freaking out!!!! I was so nervous about having two random girls that I had never met in person, although I had been texting them for three months prior, stay at my house for a whole week!!! I literally thought I was going to cry I was so nervous, and I was terrified for the moment when I would first see them, should I hug them, shake hands? To be completely honest, I was a nervous wreck. Now, when I think back to that very first day, I was absolutely nuts, because when it was time for them to leave I was crying because I wanted them to stay, sad that they could not have stayed for two weeks, and I felt like I had known them my whole life. This might sound crazy, but it is the absolute truth, the global education program at Ursuline Academy in St. Louis has changed my life.
Me and my sister, Katrina, who is a senior, became friends with our England girls, Mikki and Molly, right away. They both came running up to hug us when they first saw us holding their signs at the airport. I will never forget that moment, especially because it made all my nerves fly away. We did many things during that week that bonded us together as true sisters, including getting our nails done for homecoming together, bringing them to a movie theater, going to an American football game, and eating dinner at ballpark village. However, the most fun part of having them stay with us was the little things, like the late night chatting and laughing until our stomachs hurt, our intense ping pong tournaments, our daily selfies in the car on the way to school, figuring out the different words that they use, hearing their American accents, and our laughter at the most random of things. I always tell myself to cherish the moment, because soon it will be a memory and you will wish that you had it back, and no matter how “cringy” it might sound, that is my motto that I will always follow. I always told Mikki and Molly to cherish the moment, and by the end of the trip, they were saying it to me. There were two moments in particular that I will remember for ever. Mikki and Molly gave us gifts on the night before they were going back home, which were I love London sweatshirts, necklaces, and the most meaningful part….little notes written from the heart. In her note, Mikki said: I really have had such a wonderful experience and it is all down to you and your family who I can honestly say I love so much! This made me burst into tears, because I honestly love her so much, and to here Mikki say that made my heart so happy. That night, the night before they left, we stayed at home, watching movies, chilling, playing ping pong, jamming to our favorite tunes, eating, laughing, and my favorite part….stargazing. Mikki, Molly, Katrina (my sister), and I took pillows and blankets outside and laid down on the concrete pad for almost an hour just watching the stars from my house which sits in the middle of the woods. Even though we were not even talking to each other, it was by far the best moment of the trip, and I was silently crying as we looked up at the sky, because I did not want my sisters to leave. I was so thankful to be able to meet these two girls, and I am truly blessed that Mikki and Molly are now a part of my life. I know for sure that I cherished every moment of their visit to St. Louis, and I am sure that they did too. They may live on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, but Mikki and Molly, Katrina and I are friends forever, never apart… maybe in distance, but never at heart. Until I see you again Mikki and Molly! I love you so much.
-Erica Rebholz, '17