Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Polish exchange student gains firsthand experience of Christian Love

Here is one of the most alarming little tales you're likely to read today. It's short but not so sweet. 19-year-old Michael Gromek came to America on an exchange program, and what were the first words out of his host family's mouths?

'Child, our Lord sent you half-way around the world to bring you to us.' At that moment I just wanted to turn round and run back to the plane.

Dude! I bet! It got worse. Much worse.

For example, every Monday my host family would gather around the kitchen table to talk about sex. My host parents hadn't had sex for the last 17 years because — so they told me — they were devoting their lives to God. They also wanted to know whether I drank alcohol. I admitted that I liked beer and wine. They told me I had the devil in my heart.

My host parents treated me like a five-year-old. They gave me lollipops. They woke me every Sunday morning at 6:15 a.m., saying 'Michael, it's time to go to church.' I hated that sentence. When I didn't want to go to church one morning, because I had hardly slept, they didn't allow me to have any coffee.



  1. I have known some people who years ago were part of student exchange programs. At that time, about 30 years ago (yes, I am ancient), they did their best to provide host parents who were, as much as possible compatible with the sort of lifestyle the student came from.

    So, a friend of mine who came from a small, country town in australia, was hosted with a family from a small, country town in the US etc.

    This hosting situation mentioned in the blog seems like a really bad match. What were the people who organized it thinking?

  2. I've seen other stories like this one, though. Hopefully it _is_ rare. But I hate that it happens at all. What a horror for a student in a situation where he/she is totally isolated and dependent on the host family. This is supposed to be a positive, fun experience--not a situation where a child is handed over to control-freak power-abusers. Too bad.


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