A short while back my wife and I hosted four exchange students from China.  The purpose of the hosting program is to allow foreign students to become acquainted with American customs and American way of life.  Our purpose in participating in the program was to enrich the experiences of the students while in the United States rather than having them spend most of their time on campus entirely among themselves.  Most of those in academia will tell you that China always sends its best students to participate in exchange programs.  Our four students were not an exception to this practice, however, what we didn't expect was that our four students would be among the nicest persons we have ever met.  All four students were delightful in every way - friendly to a fault, helpful in every way possible, and bubbling over with enthusiasm for every event that we proposed as a joint venture 

 While the students we hosted were very happy with the program and the experiences we provided, my wife and I feel that we were the ones that gained the most from our interaction with these four wonderful young people.  We would be very happy to call any one of them or all four of them our own.  They are terrific good-will ambassadors for their country as well as bringing honor to their families back home.  If a university near you has such a program we strongly suggest that you volunteer to become a host family.

Below and on the other two pages are a few samples of the many hundreds of photos from the various events we participated in with our four exchange students.


Yu is currently completing a Ph.D. in engineering.  He has a great sense of humor and always had our group in stitches with laughter.   He was not only very helpful  to us in carrying out the various activities we had planned, he also assisted the other students in any way he could.  His parents are very fortunate to have such a son.  Despite his infectious humor, Yu is a serious, mature person that other students look up to and we consider to be fully adult in every way.

UPDATE:  Yu is continuing his Ph.D. program but now has a full load of teaching also.  Because he is occupied almost all the time his new nickname is "Mr. Busy."

UPDATE II:  We can't call him "Mr. Busy" anymore, we must call him Dr. Yu!  He has finished his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and is now employed by a company in California.


JIALE LYU. Jiale is about to complete an undergraduate degree in computer science.  Our nickname for Jiale is 'Braveheart'.  It is a nickname well suited for her for because she is absolutely without fear.  She was always willing to try anything among our activities, even those that the rest of us approached with trepidation.  Jiale has no brothers or sisters and her grandparents and mother are no longer with us, leaving only her father as her family.  She is very quiet when you first meet her, but when you get to know her well you are envious of her father for having such a fine daughter.

UPDATE:  Jiale has competed her degree in computer science and beat out others for a position with a company in China due to her excellent English skills.


SIYI ZHANG.  Siyi is just now completing an undergraduate degree in biology.  Like Yu, she has a great sense of humor with laughter ready to come forth from that beautiful smile at any moment.  Because of that, she quickly earned the nickname Good-humor girl.  Her English proficiency is top-notch, which was a good thing for us because she is a super conversationalist.  My wife and I talked with her for hours about a wide variety of subjects and always came away impressed by this very remarkable young lady.  Since returning home, her emails have been just as entertaining and delightful as her in-person conversations.

UPDATE:  Siyi has completed her degree in biology and is now pursuing a master's degree in Epidemiology and Biostatics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio.  As Yu says, "She has a powerful brain." 

UPDATE II:  Siyi has completed her master's degree and has applied for positions in her career field at a number of institutions.  She has already been accepted by the FDA and is awaiting results from other organizations before  making an employment choice.

UPDATE III:  Siyi has accepted a position at John Hopkins, the number one rated employer in her career field.  The best will be working for the best!

UPDATE IV:  Siyi's career continues to skyrocket upward.  Due to her outstanding work record and very impressive resume, she has now been employed by a very prestigious pharmaceutical research and development company.  You've not heard the last of this amazing young lady!  

MENGQIAO YE.  Mengqiao is a music major.  Mengqiao  was very shy when we first met her, but when we got to know her better we found that she has a very sweet personality and is a very enjoyable young lady to have as a friend.  She also has a good sense of humor, is very smart, kind, and has a pleasing personality.  She always has a smile on her face and is friendly with everyone she meets.  After she became better acquainted with us her shyness disappeared and she participated fully in all our activities including ziplining, golf, bullet-making, etc. 

UPDATE: Mengqiao is continuing her English studies at Wright State University


SU and RODGER CARTER.   Also known as Granny and Gpa.

Pirate Party

In October of 2016 we had our first dinner with our students.  It included a tour of our tree house pirate ship.  To see photos of the pirate ship under construction go to our front page and click on the Jolly Roger photo.


Captain's Quarters and Remains of Black Bart the Pirate (His ghost still haunts the ship)

Siyi, Jiale, Mengqiao and Yu ascend the ship's ladder to the upper deck

They made it back to shore safely

EnterTRAINment Junction

The EnterTRAINment Junction is located in west Chester Ohio north of Cincinnati.   Billed as the the world's only railroad-themed family entertainment center, EnterTRAINment Junction offers an indoor train display of 25,000 square feet with more than two miles of track and 90 operating model trains depicting every era of American railroading.  

Granny, Siyi, an unidentified clown, and Jiale

Towns and cities are constructed in extraordinary detail

Each era throughout our country's history is depicted


Golfing in China is very expensive and few young people ever get to do it, at least on a regular basis.  My wife and I do golf regularly and we have a friend who is a golf instructor.  As with all our proposed activities, our four exchange students did not hesitate to say yes when asked.  We were able to schedule golfing three different occasions along with many other events during the times the students were available on weekends.

Yu, Siyi and Jiale with professional golfing instructor Ron Hardwick of the Miami Valley Golf Academy




Air Force Museum Day

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located a few miles east of Dayton, Ohio on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  It contains many hundreds of aircraft from the early days of flying up through the current era as well as space exhibitions and many items related to flying and space technology.  Admission is free.



Fighter Simulator.  It rolls and turns upside down while you try to shoot down enemy planes.  Jiale was the only one of us with the courage
to try it.  According to the operator, the average score of enemy planes shot down is three.  Jiale scored ten enemy planes shot down!



Located in Columbus, Ohio, COSI (the Center of Science and Industry) is a science center serving more than 30 million visitors since 1964. Parents Magazine recently named COSI the #1 Science Center for Families in the country.  COSI brings science to life with more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout discovery-based and themed exhibition areas, which include: Ocean, Space, Gadgets, Life, little kidspace, WOSU@COSI, Progress, and Big Science Park. The exhibition areas provide experiences for all age levels to creatively combine science facts and learning through play.








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