Dhoha Bediwi, a 16-year old junior from Saudi Arabia, was an exchange student this year at Mt. Blue High School. Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo



Today is the day I leave Maine, my second home. It is the 11th of June and I’m on an airplane right now heading to Washington DC for an end of the year program conference/orientation. 

Words cannot even describe how I’m feeling right now. A whole year has gone by and now it’s time to leave. I can feel a huge weight on my heart that keeps it aching just because of the thought of leaving everything and everyone I love here.

Then I remember that I’m on my way to a place where I will see 600 other exchange students from 40 different countries who I’m probably friends with a lot of!

Then I also remember that I’m finally going back home and seeing everyone I love, grew up with and lived with for my whole life. I have never felt this way before and to me it’s just perfection that I can feel like this. 

Believe me when I say this, I had the most wonderful year of my life with daily mental breakdowns. I am not going to lie, the past few days have been some of the hardest of my life, full of worry and doubt. These days have left me fearless but fearful at the same time.

I wanted to write this since I haven’t written something for the wonderful people of my town Farmington in a while, a few months actually!

I got so caught up with life and just ended up writing a few words in my diary that I will hopefully publish very soon. I don’t really know what made me pause on publishing the articles for a while but I’m assuming it’s the excitement of wanting to keep trying things and having new adventures throughout the last few months without having to share it right away.

I must say I enjoy writing to make people feel things, or open their minds to some ideas. Which could explain my lack of publishing some articles. That lack could have come from doubting myself or feeling really insecure about writing without any value, but I learned to just throw my whole heart into these papers and the notes app on my phone and just roll with it as long as I am being honest and writing from my heart, to the hearts of my readers.

Moving on, I want to address an important part of my exchange, the awesome people I’ve lived with for 10 months, the family who were strangers to me back in September but who soon became my second family.

To the Beanes, 

Amanda, Gantley and James

If you’re reading this, I hope you realize how much of an impact you guys had on me this year and probably in my future life. I think of how much I’ve learned from you and I cannot express that enough. Considering they are young parents who are raising their 3 year old child, they did amazing at hosting a teenager!

Amanda, we have done a lot together throughout the year and I cannot express how thankful I am that I got to know someone like you. Thank you for helping me understand a lot of American culture, thank you for all the eye opening and enlightening discussions we always had, thank you for listening to me talk about the world, peace and tolerance, thank you for all the times we had a girls day. I will never forget the day during April break where you took me to Hallowell and a few other towns to look at beautiful art and shop at some wonderful antique stores!

James, thanks for teaching me how to stay positive and see the good in things, thank you for reminding me to say what I want at times that I am shy or afraid. Thank you for introducing me to new (to me – old to the world) American shows like Seinfield and Cheers! Thank you for letting me try some of the tastiest foods but also some of the most disgusting foods. HaHa!

And finally, Gantley! You won’t be able to read this, but I’m hoping that you will someday. I think this kid might be the one who affected me the most. He helped me become more patient, he made me realize how simple things were and he always reminded me of how beautiful life is no matter what age you are. Thank you Gantley for making me memorize all the lyrics to “We Will Rock You” by Queen because that’s always a hard one! Thank you for teaching me about all the puppies in Paw Patrol, all the transformers and all of your wonderful shows. 

There is more coming from me. Farmington stay tuned. I may have left physically but I will always be there spiritually. 

Love and peace. 

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