The International Faces in our Hallways

Francisco Rojas arrived at the Kansas City airport at the age of 15 eager and excited to begin a new adventure of attending school and hopefully getting to play soccer in America.  He was excited to start this journey and get out of his comfort zone. He was greeted by Coach Cooper with, “How are you Fransisco?”

This was in a way awkward from him because the only word he knew, in English, was hello, so it was very difficult at first for him to converse with others. The very first meal he ate in America was a double quarter pounder from McDonald’s.

His new host family took Francisco out to eat at Colton’s as a welcoming gift when he arrived in Sedalia. The first thing that came to Francisco’s head was how extremely weird it was that these people were throwing peanut shells on the floor, and he couldn’t believe what was going on in front of him.

His first night in a new bed was uncomfortable at first because it was so cold. The only thing running through his mind was the fact that he had his first soccer practice in about 12 hours, and he did not get an ounce of sleep because of the energy snowballing and swirling in his head.

When arriving at practice, it was hard for Fransisco; everyone wanted to talk and joke with him, but because of his lack of knowledge of English, Francisco was quiet and just nodded his head even though he had no idea what was going on. “Franny” had spent several nights calling and talking to his mom and dad, telling them how much fun he was having and how much he was learning.

He was unable to go back for the first Christmas, but the summer before his sophomore year, he was able to go back home and see his friends and family. He has been sad because of the amount of time he had been gone, but his family was very supportive and proud of him for what he’s been doing that it made it so much easier for him to be home. It was only a five-month notice before Franny had found out that he was going to be leaving his homeschool to come to a new country.

At the beginning of sophomore year, Francisco moved to the Stratton’s house where he would stay until the middle of his junior year. Fran would go on to attend the state playoffs his first three years in a row but came up short this year.  Along with the awards of all-conference/all-district/all-conference, all four years of high school. Francisco moved in with the Webb’s towards the end of his Junior year, where he still lives currently. Francisco loves the place he can call home and the people he calls family. “Everyone knows each other, and it’s a family away from home. You can never be alone,” commented Senior, Francisco Rojas.

Yuki Miura, Caten Lucchesi, Kaytlin Kempf, John Ulbrich

Koyuki “Yuki” Miura arrived at Sacred Heart on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She is a foreign exchange student from Japan. Driving home from the airport, her first meal was a hamburger.

Her very first impression of Sacred Heart was how nice everyone was to one another. Kelsey Hudson was the first person to speak with her, and she was extremely nervous and quite hesitant about attending a new school. 

Due to the holiday festivals, she explained that in her home country, that Christmas is a time to spend with your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is more of a romantic holiday than the typical Christmas we celebrate in America. Yuki’s two older brothers and parents were extremely excited for her to travel to America for a new adventure.

Yuki has questioned why it is that people here bite their nails because to her it’s really gross.

Yuki can speak three languages including Dutch which is even better than her English.

Yuki is thrilled to continue her journey as a Gremlin and is excited most for homecoming and can’t wait to go explore the different places and things to do in America. She really thinks that Americans are “kinda cool” and feels very welcomed by to our Gremlin family.

“I like it here, and it’s really different from Japan, but in a good way,” commented Yuki.

Of all the places, Yuki has visited Belgium, Europe; and San Francisco. This little school in Sedalia is by far her favorite, and she cannot wait to continue her schooling here with us at Sacred Heart.

Our third international friend is Ian Viscarra he received news in mid-August that he was going to head to America to attend school at Sacred Heart. He dreaded the 10-hour plane ride, his very first meal was El Espolon. Ian is the oldest of two siblings, one brother, and one sister. He had a slight understanding of basic English and it was easy for him to understand what people were saying to him, the only hard part was how he would respond to anything said to him. Ian claims that he is better than Lucas Martin, his host brother, at FIFA. Dylan, the younger brother of Lucas is packed with joy and fun and Ian loves him, as we all do.

Ian received 1st team All-District this year. Ian plans on playing college soccer after high school. He will be leaving in June to go back to Bolivia and visit his family and will be gone for only a month. When he returns, he will go back to work on accomplishing his goals for the next season in the fall. Ian admires Coach Sam Jones and he knows that he is a great coach and that there are times to be funny with him, and times to be serious as well.

Francisco has been very helpful in teaching him the English language and how to act appropriately here at Sacred Heart. In Bolivia, Ian explains that kids back home do not take school as seriously as we do. The new environment has helped Ian focus and better understand that school is everything if you want to play soccer. Ian loves it here at Sacred Heart, and our students love having him around, we are all excited to see what he can accomplish in the next 3 years!