An immigrant couple received hundreds of invitations from strangers after posting about their desire to learn how Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.
Susana Orrego and her husband Edward recently moved to the United States from Colombia. The couple arrived in Brookline, Massachusetts, last August and plan to live in the Boston metropolitan area for two years while Susana studies at Harvard Medical School.
In an interview with WBZ-TV, Susana said her first impressions of Bostonians were poor.
“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, like, probably the people are not so friendly,” Susana explained.
She said she and her husband wanted to learn more about the American way of life to better adapt and get to know their neighbors while they are staying here.
“So it’s like, try to know the culture, try to embrace a new country that opened the doors to me and my husband,” she said.
And with the holiday season fast approaching, that meant learning about how Americans celebrate our unique Thanksgiving Day.
Susana posted about the couple’s desire to celebrate Thanksgiving with an American family on the social media app “Nextdoor,” unsure how her request would be received.
“Hey, we are a couple that is not from America. We want to know about Thanksgiving, We want to share the experience,” she said.
The result blew her and Edward away. The couple received more than 200 responses from total strangers, inviting them to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. One invitation came from Carol Lesser of Brookline, which was the offer Susana and Edward decided to accept.
“She mentioned that she had a multi-generational family. So for me, it was amazing,” Susana said.
Lesser told WBZ-TV that she’s excited the Orregos chose her family to spend the holiday with.
“I said to her, I felt like I won the lottery because she chose us and we get a chance to meet them,” Lesser said. “She seemed so genuine in her reaching out, and I felt like we could reciprocate and show her a good side of America.”
Susana expressed thankfulness for the overwhelming, welcoming response she and her husband received.
“After my post for Thanksgiving, it completely changed,” said Susana. “People are kindness, people are love. So it’s like changed my mind completely.”