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Finding Joy

Updated: Jul 27

Doris has been an Amigo Volunteer and has opened her home for Thanksgiving and Christmas International House for almost 20 years. I spoke with her earlier this summer about her experiences. This story is about her first Amigo.


Roman was my first Amigo from Siberia. He was a student form GSU working on a Master’s degree. He was in night school and had very few friends. I met him, and we got along wonderfully well. I had a lot of lunches with him. Once, I took him downtown to get tickets for his graduation. Afterward, Ramon wanted an “American experience” so we got ice cream cones, which he had never had. Well, I went the wrong way on a one-way street, then I parked in front of a parking garage to get the tickets, which is not legal. Then I needed to go straight but was in the turn lane. I went straight anyway. He looked at me and said, “What do you have to do to get a ticket in America??”

For his graduation in May, I gave him a small gift. On the card, I wrote, “You brought joy in my life in a time that I needed joy.” My husband had only died 6 months earlier, just before Roman had become my Amigo.

If we hadn’t been close, I might have stopped there, but I have had 30 Amigos and 19 students through Christmas International House!


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