Abaarso School of Science and Technology student rides a horse for the first time
Against an idyllic New England autumn backdrop, Yahye is all smiles during his first horseback ride.

Exchange from Two Perspectives

Hosting an exchange student from such a different culture and country for a whole year is a big undertaking, both for the family and for the student. For Yahye, everything is completely new, so we are frequently in awe of his courage and his openness to new experiences. In just a few short months, he has sampled many new foods, listened to new music, ridden a horse for the first time, figured out the dishwasher and washing machine, and experienced falling snow. Each day brings the joy of seeing our lives through fresh eyes and seeing his light up as he jumps into all that the PAX opportunity provides him.

—Melany Kahn (NH), host mom of Yahye (PAX Means Peace Scholar, Somaliland)


From my first days in New Hampshire and Vermont, I experienced a lot of new things. For example, I met the family dog, Buddy, who is big and black, and he barked at me. In my country dogs like that usually bite and they are not pets; they roam. So, I got scared. That was three months ago, and now I have learned Buddy is a family member, like all of us. As for the food, in my country we eat a lot of rice and meat, and we do not use utensils. So at my first meal I had to try to use a knife and fork, and honestly I am still not used to that. Here, I eat a variety of new foods every day like ice cream, pot roast, quesadillas, and even cereal—there are so many varieties here! Although life here is different and not what I am used to, every day I learn about this new culture and that increases my understanding and appreciation of the differences.

—Yahye (PAX Means Peace Scholar), hosted by the Kahn family (NH)