Not too long ago I posted about staying in churches. As much as I do enjoy the laid back atmosphere in a church with my team, we haven’t had host homes in over a week. Tonight, we had our first host home experience in a while. It was glorious. So here are my top five favorite things about staying in host homes!
05. Talking to people other than your teammates. Sure, in host homes we sometimes get to answer the same questions over and over and explain what Youth Encounter is and how team works, but it’s always fun to be exposed to different personalities and their experiences. The stories different people have are amazing to hear and, after hearing your teammate talk about that time they went to that one concert with their best friend for the third or fourth time, stories about people you’ve only known for a few hours are super exciting! (Just kidding — I love my teammate’s stories!)
04. Getting to do laundry is a blessing many people take for granted. Almost every Monday we have East Lakes Laundry Day during our day off, when host family washers and dryers are put to the ultimate test by washing teamer clothes. However, when we spend our day off in a church, laundry often has to wait. On team, we only bring enough clothing for about 10 or 12 days. While I can stretch my apparel to two weeks, I find myself uttering the deepest of thanks when my host family offers up their washer and dryer on a non-day off. Clean clothing is a definite perk in life!
03. Trying new foods and beverages is not uncommon in host homes. Most host families offer copious amounts of snack. Tonight, for example, Aarika and I had delicious popcorn…with real butter on it. Sometimes we get to try fun flavors of truffles or a homemade snack of Spicy Roasted Almonds. And often, those snacks and meals are served while enjoying great conversation with our host families.
02. Beds. Sleeping in different homes often means not knowing what kind of bed you’ll be sleeping in. But after spending a few nights on couches and then church floor, a warm bed of any kind feels like the fluffiest cloud you can possibly imagine. It’s nice to not have to haul our own sleeping bags, mats, blankets, and pillows inside!
01. Host dogs are one of my favorite parts of team. It’s been several years since I’ve had a pet dog, but this year I’ve gotten to play with puppies of all breeds and sizes. Each host pet has its own personality and style. Some like to play rough — I got knocked over by a German Shepherd the other day who then laid down over my body. I think she was as big as me! (Besides, her name was Katy, so it was only fitting that we became fast friends!) Tonight I hung out with a little Yorkie named Callie. It’s too much fun to find that spot on their belly that makes their hind leg jerk uncontrollably. I love spending time with host dogs…it’s a nice break from the human world and a little touch of unconditional love that makes the road even more special.
Staying in host homes is such a blessing. I have met amazing people and continue to love spending time in ministry by sharing a piece of my life with new friends. If you’ll excuse me now, I’m going to go curl up in my host bed, under my host covers, and enjoy a night of comfort and peace.