Sunday, August 3, 2014

HOST PROFILE: Fifty Years of Welcoming International Visitors has “Great Impact” on Longtime GlobalPittsburgh Host Family

Rosalyn Kummer and her husband, Lee, have been hosting international visitors since they signed up to volunteer with the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (now known as GlobalPittsburgh) in 1966. Over the nearly 50 years that followed, they have had a multitude of international visitors, students and leaders walk through their door and into their lives.

The Kummers (center) and
some of their international visitors,
along with their son, Scott (left).
“We have had visitors from around the world, and all of our guests were truly unique and amazing,” Mrs. Kummer said in an interview. “It was really exciting to see how we could relate to all of these people from such different cultures and backgrounds.”

The Kummers found themselves volunteering to host international guests when they were convinced by a next door neighbor that it would be a worthwhile experience. With 300 acres of land and a herd of dairy cows, the Kummers spent most of their time taking visitors on hay rides around their land, exploring the large barn on their property, and explaining the finer points of dairy farming to their international guests.

All of the visitors who came to stay with the Kummers left a lasting impression on their hosts.  Mrs. Kummer laughingly recounted a memory from when she and her husband hosted a Japanese woman who was very “nimble and talented in the kitchen,” and loved preparing meals for them to try.

The Kummers' dairy farm.
When asked what she thought were essential qualities when hosting international visitors, Mrs. Kummer quickly responded, “You need to keep an open mind and be flexible. I remember [another] time we were hosting a boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo for a few weeks before he went to college. [He] didn’t speak English very well and he was very homesick so we had to offer him support and comfort while he stayed with us. This experience really impressed upon us the importance of being patient and understanding while we were working with our international guests.”

When asked if she had a favorite memory from hosting, Mrs. Kummer explained that it would be very difficult to choose just one from the varied and marvelous cultural exchanges that she and her husband had as hosts. They have entertained visitors from all around the world and their lives and experiences have been positively impacted because of it.

After years of participating as a host, Mrs. Kummer urged everyone to consider hosting for GlobalPittsburgh.

“Overall I would say that hosting is an amazing experience and if you are considering becoming a host just do it!  It will have a great impact on your life.”


(More information about hosting international visitors is available by going to the GlobalPittsburgh wesbite at www.globalpittsburgh.org/node/1120 or contacting Nadya Kessler at 412-392-4513 or nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.)

By Colette Tano, GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Intern

 

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