Thursday, February 28, 2008

What's With This?

Did anyone see this story? It's about a student from Maine who went to Egypt under an American Field Service (AFS) exchange program. It turns out that the family he was staying with was fasting for (Christian Coptic) religious purposes, and he lost about 50 pounds over four months, and finally gave up and came home.

Too bad that this happened. Some had suggested that he was under some kind of "Stockholm Syndrome," not wanting to offend his hosts. It's also too bad in that this story gives the appearance that an otherwise generally beneficial exchange student program is somehow at fault.

American Field Service was begun originally as an organization for volunteer ambulance drivers. (This is how Ernest Hemingway and others served in World War I.) Their web site is .
(Will somebody please make this guy a milkshake? Original story seen on Yahoo News, search for "starving student.") And now they say he wants to visit Zimbabwe this summer. Hmm, that might not be such a great idea....this time bring some grocery money, at least!