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Lights left on. Rooms a mess. Soft drink cans lying around. Shoes in the middle of the floor. Boys will be boys, no matter where they come from.
While this may sound like evidence of a rude house guest, Scott and Lisa Nab see it as exchange student Andres Camara Esquivel fitting right in with the family.
“It’s been kind of like having the neighborhood-kid come stay with you,” Scott said. “It’s been bumpless.”
Esquivel has easily bonded with the Nab’s sons, Carroll County High School junior Kaleb and Kameron, 9, and has picked up friends easily. “He’s just happy-go-lucky, easy going,” Scott said, noting that there are six or seven teenage boys at the Nab house on a regular basis hanging out.
“I have to applaud his parents for raising such a good kid,” Lisa said. “He has honestly fit right in.”
Esquivel and Kaleb played soccer together on the high school team in the fall and are playing indoor soccer in the off-season. They also typically head to the county park to play soccer on Sundays and like to play cards, board games, video games and basketball. The Nabs also introduced Esquivel to Nerf guns, which he enjoys.
During his first week in Carrollton, the Nabs took Esquivel to Holiday World, and later in the year, they traveled to Niagra Falls in their camper.
While he is Catholic, Esquivel attends church every Sunday with the Nabs at First Baptist Church and also participates in St. John’s youth group, including attending a youth conference in Indianapolis. He also plays guitar and drum by ear in the First Baptist youth group band. Scott said they bought him an acoustic guitar, and Esquivel will download music to his iPod Touch and watch how they play the instruments. “He’s a sharp kid,” he said.
Scott said Esquivel has also been fascinated by snow, and he prays for it all the time. He saw snow as a child when his two older brothers were exchange students in Michigan, but this winter was his first time experiencing it.
“I wanted to go snowboarding and I did like four times, so I really liked it,” Esquivel said.
Esquivel has also been excelling in the classroom. Scott said he is one of the top students in his English class. As a result, it has not really been necessary for the Nabs to learn any Spanish, although they have picked up some here or there.
Esquivel also has not missed any of the traditional Mexican food he is used to eating. Lisa said he loves pasta, pizza and steak, but will not eat any vegetables. “Nothing green, ever.”
Lisa said Esquivel has never been remotely homesick, something they were afraid might happen. He talks to his parents and grandparents every Sunday and occasionally on Facebook to keep in touch.
Lisa said they have discussed hosting another foreign exchange student when Kameron is older.
Scott said it has been a good experience and a lot of fun. “I think it’s good for our boys to see how someone from a different culture lives.”