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 January 22, 2012


In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty

Let us keep some and change some

Hello every one. I am Abdul Wahid Khan from Yarkhoon, Meragram No 2.

I was a student of 9th class in Aga Khan Higher Secondary School when met two people who had spent two years in USA as exchange students. After talking to them, put my self in their place and found myself in a totally different place but as usual neglected it soon saying “I have too many day dreams” . Who knows about life, I was one of the selected YES (Youth Exchange and Study) participant for the year 2011-2012. In the last week of August I said good bye to my family, heart touching breeze of Yarkhoon, love of Chitrali people and sweet Urdu and Khowar etc. it was a long flight from Islamabad airport to Washington DC and it seemed super long because it was my first time to go to any foreign country.

As soon as landed on the land of USA, every thing was different except the piece of English which I had. Then I came to the state of Wisconsin, where I saw my host family with a beautiful chart “Salam Wahid”. As soon as they saw me, my host brother called my name in English accent. After a good concentration I understand that it is how I would be called here. There started my exchange year.

I live in a small house in a tiny village. When I look out and don’t see mountains anywhere then I miss Chitral but then the cold weather and snow gives the same scene.

Time table is quite different. Breakfast very early in the morning, then lunch in school at 11 30, which we would call “Chastakal” in Khowar but here it is lunch time. School goes till three and again dinner time around six. Life is so much busy. I just hear the early bell of my alarm and the 6 o’clock church bell at night and don’t know where the rest of the day goes. The day is very tiring specially hearing to all English and curving your mouth to pronounce things correctly and almost repeating everything twice or thrice because of our strange accent. Therefore I hit the sack early in night.

School system is very different here. There is a variety of classes you can take according to your interests. There is no difference between boys and girls. If we are saying that girls should cover their face so that boys cannot see them then here girls can easily say that boys should cover their eyes so that they cannot see girls’ faces. Teachers are very much friendly and every thing is discussed freely in class. Students move around classes and teachers stay in their classes. Music is one of the important and encouraged parts of school. Everyone knows about music. There are sports after school and kids participate very keenly in the sports and I got a chance to play soccer here. American football is very famous sport and I miss cricket when football doesn’t make sense to me. We get a lot of homework every day and kids here do work after school too and I am still confused how they do all these things in same day.

The society here is very well built and it seems to me that it will take centuries for us to be like this society. Honesty and trust is on its peak and sometimes I think that these people have stolen most of the things Muslims are supposed to do and here we are just watching them but there is a hope that we will wake up soon before it gets too dark. Education up to high school is free in public schools and there is not a lot of private school. Kids of rich and poor people learn from the same white board that is why there education system is good. People not only care about themselves but also about their society. Even small villages have most of the basic necessities of life and most of the things in the society are done by civilians. Caring for environment is one of the things which are different. Every kind of job is respected and social inequality is not as high as we do.

I had great time talking to the people about Pakistan and life in Chitral. They are totally surprised to see all those differences. They ask a lot of questions and are interested to learn about culture. It is amazing that how my host family welcomes me and shares their life with me which anyone of us will hardly do.

I am missing my parents, friends and school but representing my country as a young ambassador is worth it. I will be here till June and I hope to experience some more things which are different and I hope that we will copy some of the good things these people have rather than just criticizing some of the things which are against our religion.

Abdul Wahid Khan


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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