FLEX student from Kazakhstan has her first experience in the ocean with host brother during a family trip in New Jersey
Host brother Riley welcomes Asya as she enters the ocean for the first time in her life

From Turf to Surf

Coming from Kazakhstan, the world's largest landlocked country, Anastassiya, or Asya as she likes to be called, had never been to the ocean before. She loves the beach at lakes and rivers she has visited at home, but being in New Jersey, we couldn't let her miss out on some of the nicest beaches in the world!

The Altobelli family decided to take this this opportunity to spend two days in Ocean City, NJ, on the beach and boardwalk, and in the ocean. Asya was very excited to learn that when we told her we were going to the beach, we meant the ocean! While eating dinner the first night, Asya asked what time she had to be ready in the morning to head home, and I wish I had a picture of her face lighting up when I told her that we would be spending the whole next day on the beach again. On the drive home, I asked her if she had a good time. She stared at me like I had two heads and simply said, “Of course!”

—Phillip Altobelli (NJ), host dad of Asya (FLEX, Kazakhstan)