My Home away from Home


“You have to taste a culture to understand it.”

– Deborah Cater

I would definitely agree with Deborah on that point. Food is an integral part to a culture, as well as sharing time around a table and being with family. In Christchurch I have enjoyed a homestay with a Kiwi family. Renee, my “Mom” has been an absolutely amazing chef and has made sure that I was definitely able to taste New Zealand through her Kiwi inspired meals.

Before I left the states, I spent several weeks joining forums, poking around online, and contacting various people to find out about homestay possibilities. While still Western in nature, Kiwi culture is different from that of the U.S. and I wanted to experience it at a deeper level. Through the website I finally got in contact with my host family, the Richmonds.


An average dinner around the table at home. Abdullah, another student from Pakistan who was staying with us is excited to have a carrot cake for desert 🙂

Our family consists of Lee and Renee, and their two children Julia (4) and Lucas (2). It has been great being able to stay with them. From hearing about Julia’s day at pre-school to having a beer and watching a rugby game with Lee, I feel blessed to be able to participate in the lives of this family and see what is the same and different from my family life back home.

Published by Jonathan Alvaro

My name is Jonathan Alvaro and I will be beginning my Junior year in Christchurch New Zealand! I am from Lansing, Michigan and am studying pre-health sciences with a major in Biology and Psychology. My interests include being outdoors, outdoor activities, outside, and adventures. This experience is going to be rocking awesome. Adventure is out there, you just have to know where to look.

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