Giving Back

01-Dec-2014

By: Melissa Adams

Our story began with a pamphlet from the Catholic exchange that my daughter brought home from school. The headline read, “Host an exchange student for 8 weeks.” My first reaction was, wow that would be weird. However, my daughter was so very excited about it and said, “Mom please can we do it?” I thought more about it and considered what a great experience this could be for me, my family, and especially my daughter. Having traveled extensively and lived abroad, I know the experiences you have from experiencing another culture are priceless. This was not only something I could show her, but she could get to know and love another child from another country. I considered what a gift that would be. To be able to give for gift of time, love, and friendship during the Christmas season.

So, about 5 weeks ago, we began our journey when we picked up our new friend from Guatemala, Andrea Llamas, after her long bus ride from Houston. We were so excited, and she was very nervous. We quickly all became such good friends and are so very sad that she will be leaving in three weeks. We hosted many celebrations to help welcome Andrea: Halloween, a family birthday party, an LSU football game (the first football game she had ever experienced – she saw some funny characters for sure!), my daughter’s birthday party and sleepover, and finally, this last weekend, we showed her the best of New Orleans. She has quickly become such a part of our life that we are so saddened to see her leave. She is sweet and so very well behaved. We practice English with her and she teaches us Spanish. She shares her culture with us and we share the best that Louisiana has to offer. When we mess up Spanish she laughs in her sweet little laugh that I have grown to love.

I would love to say that I have given her something to take back with her. But honestly, she will take something back with her - a little piece of our hearts. We will always cherish the time she spent with us and I know we will all be friends for life.

Submitted by Controller Melissa Adams

Melissa Adams

Melissa began her career with Danos in 2007 in the Accounting department.  She worked on special projects, as billing manager, international controller and in her current position as corporate controller.  She was selected as Danos Staff Employee of the Year for 2013.  She holds a MBA in finance and a undergraduate degree in business.  She holds a current certification as Certified Management Accountant.


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