BROOKLINE (CBS) — Susana Orrego and her husband Edward are new to the United States, and they are learning as they go.
“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,” said Orrego.
The couple left Colombia in August to move to Brookline, where they plan on living for two years while Susana studies at Harvard Medical School.
“So it’s like, try to know the culture, try to embrace a new country that opened the doors to me and my husband,” said Susana.
That included learning more about this new holiday they kept hearing about: Thanksgiving.
Susana posted on the app, “Nextdoor,” explaining they wanted to spend the holiday with an American family, not knowing 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,” said Susana.
The result was over 200 invitations and responses from complete strangers. One of those came from Carol Lesser of Brookline, which was ultimately the offer that Susana and Edward chose to accept.
“She mentioned that she had a multi-generational family. So for me, it was amazing,” said Susana.
Lesser shares the same excitement about being picked as the family they are spending 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,” said Lesser, “She seemed so genuine in her reaching out, and I felt like we could reciprocate and show her a good side of America.”
Susana’s uneasiness about her new environment changed after this experience.
“After my post for Thanksgiving, it completely changed,” said Susana. “People are kindness, people are love. So it’s like changed my mind completely.”