/mō-zā'ĭk/ artwork made by placing together small pieces of glass, stone, etc. of different colors
My heart danced in anticipation as I grabbed hold of the front door to the Student Center lobby. Inside stood the seven smiling faces of international students. I remember the excited and positively overwhelmed facial expressions as they exchanged bountiful smiles with me. It was the beginning of International New Student Orientation (iNSO) on August 14, 2013, and I knew right then that they were a blessing to me and to the Hope community.
Lo and behold, these seven students (whom I call “sweethearts”) immediately became one of my new joys of being here at Hope. For those who know me well, I could not keep myself from smiling! After helping Hae-In (Ellie), Injun (Jun), Yejin (Kaya), Jiwon (Suzi), Han Ha (Hannah), Byungkwan (Andrew), and Songhyun (April) move in to their dorm rooms, Judy Kim (Director of ISP) invited us for dinner at “What’s Up Men.” There, our taste buds went on an interesting trip as we savored our Japanese meal.
Embracing the moments with my fellow international friends was made easy with their jokes, laughs, and openness. They are sincere and carry themselves as unique individuals that simply want to love on others. They might not know this but I view them as my family . . . Well, I am pretty sure Jun sees it because he calls me “mom” every so often (even though I am much younger than him!). I absolutely enjoy being around all of them.
With these good friends comes adventure and by “adventure” I literally mean memorable experiences. On the last day of iNSO, I presented to the international students how to use the public transportation system. After iNSO was done, Kaya and the gang invited me to the Brea Mall via bus. Take note that I have never actually ridden the bus here in California, so it would be a first for all of us. As our time to leave approached, we walked to the “correct” bus stop. We were wrong. The bus we were waiting for (bus # 57) zipped right past us to the bus stop across the street. We simply stared at it dumbfounded. For the next several minutes all you saw was a group of college kids running and screaming behind the bus trying to catch it. Yeah, that plan really didn’t work! But I know these experiences are what make life and friendships memorable; who would have known we were going to have this much fun?
With the international students having been in California for more than a week, I know that they have already made lifetime friends and amazing memories. I personally believe each one of them is a blessing to this campus; they are gentle, patient, and loving sons and daughters of God. Each one has a story to tell, and I look forward to listening to what they are. It brings me great joy to see them getting involved on campus and making new American friends. They are adding more light to what already exists here at Hope.
by Cecilia Nava, iNSO Student Leader and ISP Student Worker