Jason continued to feel his way around the University of Evansville, and he went to a church activity. There he was asked if he would like to be paired with a host family. Although not totally clear what this was he, of course, agreed.
"That was a very, very important part of my life."
Jason's host parents had just adopted a Chinese girl. With Jason they hoped to set up an exchange of information: they would help Jason adapt to America, and Jason would help their daughter understand Chinese culture and speak Mandarin.
“That surprised me. China is historically very different: tribes, small kingdoms. So families have a different attitude. If you go out to this family, you are part of them. So, if you adopt a kid, the family tries to prevent you from knowing where your origin is. They will tell you that, ‘You were born to this family. You belong to this family.’
"So, I felt really touched by what my host family was trying to do. They would bring me to their house every weekend to play with the kid, and I call her my sister, actually.”
|Jason and Host Family Decked Out in Olympic Garb|
Despite Jason's hero status, this new family, and the welcoming community of Evansville, he decided he couldn't stay.
(To be continued. Next: Jason Seeks a Bigger Pond.)