Being an only child I decided that as I had toys, clothes and space in my room I could be confident in having someone to stay for a month and when my Mum asked me, it sounded like a good idea. But
I didn't understand how hard it can be having someone to come and live with you who doesn't speak English. I had just started secondary school, so I was occupied with my own new adventure, but
surprisingly, I always had time to go to the park or play football, or even just sit and watch Tom & Jerry with him.
The boy who came over to stay was called Matvei. 7 years old and he was very hyper. Obviously he was a calm, quite shy boy to begin with, he'd never been out of his country before in his life! Let alone come and stay with strangers for a month! We collected him from Pyrford Church, which would be their pick up/drop off place for the next 4 weeks. It was exciting yet nerve racking waiting to be introduced to my new "room mate."
On the way home I realised how little he had; the only bag he brought with him was the spider man bag we sent over a few months before, but their was a huge pile of donated clothes at the Church so he did have enough for the month. The first meal with him was quite quiet since he couldn't speak any English or I Russian, but my mum and I did have a translate app on all the household devices so we did make progress that evening.
Of course we didn't have to keep him during weekdays, they went off doing the fun stuff, well, when I say fun I mean things we take for granted like buying new shoes, only 1 of the 12 who came to stay had bought brand new shoes before. But at the weekends, it was our turn. Only 3 out of the 12 who came over were boys, so we decided one weekend to do a group trip to Woking football club, and there, we realised we had the most hyper of the lot! He probably took after me!
Over the next couple of weeks they went everywhere, making pizzas at pizza express to going to the beach and a chocolate factory! Wisley, farms, fire stations and many more exciting trips. On the last Friday they even went to Legoland!!Unfortunately one week I was on a Scout camp so my Mum took him down to the beach, before they went down as a group and he was ecstatic!
On the last weekend we decided to go down to Portsmouth with him. We took him on a speedboat to the Isle of Wight, even I found it amazing! Next to top it we went up the Spinnaker Tower. He was slightly nervous but after he got over his fright he was overwhelmed.
The next morning he left, it was all simply done and we said our goodbyes. I felt rather sad to see him go, it all went really fast but I also felt really really tired after one of the most special, different and challenging months of my life. But after he went, it was all back to normal, I went to play my football match and all was so much easier and simpler, but I definitely agreed, I definitely wanted him to return next year. And looking back half a year later, I am now looking forward to his return.