Jairah Sampang
Jairah Sampang

    International exchange student Jairah Sampang has settled into both Lamesa and Lamesa High School during her time living with Steve and Joy Payson, her host parents.
    Sampang is from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. She compared living in Manila to living in a big city in New York or California.
    Sampang pointed out how living in the small town of Lamesa contrasts with her experience in Manila. For example, she did not see the crops growing throughout the season during everyday life in her home country.
    “I’ve never had good air to breathe. In the city, there’s always pollution and stuff like that, but when I came here, I was very pleased to be here because I love the scenery. I love the sunsets. I haven’t seen sunsets like that for all my life,” Sampang said.
    The Philippines is a tropical country, she said, so the only seasons she experienced there were summer and a wet spring.
    “I’ve never had bigger portions of food than in the Philippines. I was so pleased to know that, in America, you have very big portions and I love that,” Sampang said, laughing.
    Sampang said she experienced culture shock her first week of school.
    “It was strange because you greet people with a hug and stuff like that and we’re very conservative and I was so shocked to see things like that. I came from an Asian country, so we’re very conservative. ... I do handshakes, but whenever people hug me, it’s like oh, they’re this close,” Sampang said.
    Sampang said hugs made her feel like she was being accepted into another culture, however, so they were also very comforting.


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