Susana Orrego recently moved to the U.S. from Colombia and instantly noticed some differences.
“The first month was hard for me, because in Colombia we say hello to all the people in the streets. And sometimes, the people don’t reply back. So I told my mom, probably the people are not so friendly,” she told CBS Boston station WBZ.
Another new aspect to American life: Thanksgiving. Orrego, who moved to Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband as she studies at Harvard Medical School, said she wants to try and embrace the new country that opened doors for her.
So, she decided to. Orrego posted on the Nextdoor app, which connects neighbors in their communities. “Hey, we are a couple that is not from America. We want to know about Thanksgiving, we want to share the experience,” she said.
Orrego said she and her husband wanted to spend the holiday with an American family. More than 200 people answered.
Complete strangers responded to Orrego’s post with invitations to their Thanksgiving dinners. Carol Lesser of Brookline, stood out. “She mentioned that she had a multi-generational family. So for me, it was amazing,” Orrego said.
Lesser is just as excited to be picked for the Orrego’s first Thanksgiving. “I said to her, I felt like I won the lottery because she chose us and we get a chance to meet them,” Lesser told WBZ. “She seemed so genuine in her reaching out, and I felt like we could reciprocate and show her a good side of America.”
Now, Orrego is more comfortable in her new environment. “After my post for Thanksgiving, it completely changed,” she said. “People are kindness, people are love. So it’s like changed my mind completely.”