I mentioned earlier that I’d tell you about our third boarder. Well, the time is now.
We’ve taken in few boarders over the last few months to help pay the bills around here. I’ve been off work due to illness for over 9 months now and I have NO income coming in. So we had to come up with a plan to bring some money in or else we’d be in a lot of trouble with bills or rather with not being able to pay the bills.
Since I keep hoping that I’ll get better soon and get back to work, we didn’t want any long term boarders. That’s probably a good thing since the first two, particularly the second, didn’t turn out to be very good boarders. We are “home stay” parents. What does that mean? Well people from other Countries come to Toronto to learn English in a private school. While they are in Canada they stay in English speaking homes so that they are truly immersed in the language that they are here to learn. The students that we “host” could be anything from teenagers to adults of any age. The average stay seems to be two or three months.
Our first two boarders were from South Korea. The first was a male and he was 19, and the second was female and she was 21. The first boarder didn’t talk much – he slept a lot though! – and we couldn’t get a good read on his personality. This made things a little awkward and uncomfortable. The second talked too much and ended up being extremely demanding and lied to us about just about everything. She even told our neighbors that she had three body guards back home. I’m certain that was a lie too.
For our third boarder we decided to switch agencies (Various agencies put students in touch with families willing to house them and teach them English). So now we have a Brazilian man staying in our home.
I was really hoping that our Brazilian guy would be great eye candy. Hey I deserve that after the brutal experience that I went through with the last boarder don’t I? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with his looks, but sigh, he’s not the gorgeous hunk I was hoping for.
Our Boarder is a really nice guy. Very polite and helpful. He arrived last Thursday. I wasn’t feeling very well when he arrived so Chris took him out and showed him a little bit of Toronto. They came back with a case of beer! I didn’t think this was the best start … but it’s worked out ok. The boarder had paid for half the case – something the other two would never have thought of doing.
Chris was off work on Friday and Saturday and I was feeling a little bit better, so we took our boarder out around Toronto again on Friday. Mostly it was just to a few shopping malls because he wanted to pick up a few things. Saturday I had kind of been hoping that we’d go to the Zoo. I haven’t been to the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo for a few years and I really enjoy it. However it was a rainy day, well at least the morning was anyway, and I wasn’t feeling quite as well as I was on Friday. We did end up going to the Toronto beach area and we walked around for a couple of hours on the Beach and in the touristy area nearby.
On Sunday the boarder did his own thing, and then he started his classes on Monday. We’ve fallen into a nice pattern. He must be touring the town on his own because he usually doesn’t come home until about 7 pm. We have dinner shortly after he arrives home, and then he sits with us for a while. He’s usually up in his room studying or preparing for bed by 9 pm or so.
So far so good … but then I thought the other two were doing well in their first week too, so I’ll reserve final judgment for a while. He’s 31, so he’s more mature than our other two boarders were, and he seems to be a generally nice guy. He even tries to do the dishes each night after dinner … at least his own, and he’s been washing his breakfast dishes in the morning too. So no fuss, no mess, and he’s not in our face all the time like our last boarder was.
It is a bit taxing having someone around who’s first language is not your own. It seems that our male boarders haven’t been quite as good at English as our female boarder was. The latest one understands most of what we are saying, but there’s times when we say something and have to try to explain it several different ways before he begins to understand. For the most part this is fine, but when I’m not feeling all that well it can be a bit draining.
At least I’m not ranting this time round!