Mutty was due to fly into Manchester airport on Friday 2nd September, stay overnight somewhere arranged by AFS and then catch a bus to our vicinity the following day.
Whilst we appreciate that AFS do not want to put more of a burden on us than they have to, we would not expect any daughter of ours to have to stay over another night and then catch a bus to us. We decided to pick her up from Manchester airport.
For most of this year, Host Father has been working out of the country during most weeks. Although he normally flys into Birmingham airport, Manchester is equally viable and only a little further away (about one hour’s drive when the roads are not too busy). We therefore arranged for host father to fly into Manchester airport on the Friday night. Unfortunately, the only available flight was to land after 9pm which would have meant that Mutty would have to hang around for a bit too long.
Just to complicate matters, his car was in need of an MOT (an annual test to prove it is road worthy) and it was impractical for Host Father to use it to go to the airport. Host Mother is not keen on driving any car other than the car she is very used to. She has a relatively small sports car (4 seater though) and he has a hugh old Mercedes! As Host Mother does need to think about getting a larger car for herself, she took the brave step of agreeing to drive his car to the airport to drop him off, then getting it to the test centre, and finally returning to the airport on the Friday evening to meet Mutty at a sensible time and then for them to all wait around for Host Father to fly in and drive them all home.
It all worked out fine. AFS “handed” Mutty over in the evening and Host Mother and Younger Host Sister took Mutty away for refreshments and to start to get to know her. It is hard to know who was the more nervous. Whilst Mutty is certainly more brave to travel to the other side of the world into a completely different culture, Host Mother was also taking on a lot. Would they like each other was the big question.
Of course, Mutty was very nice although very tired. AFS had picked her well and no doubt she was on very best behavour.
When Host Father appeared later that evening, all seemed well. Host daughter did not seem to shocked by him. (He is very large, loud and often silly.)
Mutty slept for most of the journey to home.