Come on. Let’s go. Now’s the time.
Senior Marta Canzobre repeats the phrases of encouragement inside her head as she gets off the airplane at KCI. Five flights ago she was at home in Galacia, Spain, and now she’s in a different continent with a very minimal English vocabulary and no clue what her host family looks like.
“I was very afraid,” Canzobre said. “I didn’t know how to recognize who was picking me up.”
Her host family, the Gasaways, found her by yelling her name at the gate.
“She was very confused,” senior Grant Gasaway said. “At first we didn’t know where she was.”
Canzobre isn’t the only foreign exchange student staying with the Gasaways this year. Senior Peter Kuschar, from Kosice, Slovokia, is also staying with them. So far, having another foreign exchange student has been helpful for both Canzobre and Kosice.
“We can help each other so we are not just alone somewhere,” Kosice said.
Going to school at East is extremely different than going to school in Galacia, where Canzobre’s school consisted of all grade levels and students from the age of three to 18.
“I like East, I like it,” Canzobre said. “It’s different because everybody has school spirit. It’s very energetic. In Spain, there’s no school spirit and not much going on. Everything here is very different.”
Canzobre has transitioned into life at East since she arrived in early August. Everyday after school, Canzobre dresses out with the rest of the cross country team and runs the routes. She was there when the fans flooded the field after they beat Olathe Northwest.
When Canzobre is at the Gasaways, she hangs out with Kosice and Grant, and all three go to games together. They’ve been to a Royal’s game, a Chief’s game and a Kansas State football game.
“My older sisters just left my house to go to college, and now it’s like I have two new siblings for a whole year,” Gasaway said.