The surprise of a lifetime!

This is a story about the surprise of a life time. It really begins at the end of August 2019, when Emanuela Tondo came from Italy to study at North Grenville District High School, to stay with our hosts Willy and Sue Heidebrecht.

They enjoyed a trip to Niagara Falls in September with fellow homestay student Ciara, including a wet visit behind the falls at Table Rock.

October was busy, with an apple picking activity in preparation for the annual Thanksgiving Borscht.   This was followed by a weekend at Camp IAWAH with family & church friends, on the way to Westport.

With Hallowe’en in the offing and Christmas around the corner, the hosts received some BIG news.  Emanuela’s family sent the Heidebrecht’s a proposal – that the family would like to visit Emanuela in the new year with only one condition.   Emanuela was not to know.  It would be a surprise.  Her agent is sworn to secrecy, anyone who knows her is oblivious of the plan, friends and family members will not know either.  Meanwhile, Emanuela is under the impression that she will see her family during Easter break, still months away.  By December 20th the tickets are bought and paid for and planning begins. Arrival  is scheduled for January 1, 2020.   Willy and Sue begin menu planning for meals when the family Emanuela’s Mom, Dad and little sister) arrive – these meals include Emanuela’s favourites.   Everyone is having a blast, and are excited but, as with all people away from home during the holidays, it takes a heavy toll on Emanuela.

Finally, it was discussed and decided to include the most important person in the equation, Emauela, into the surprise.   So, her parents decided to make the tickets part of another Christmas gift for Emanuela!  After dinner on Christmas Eve, when the Heidebrecht’s traditionally open gifts with their own children and grandchildren after dinner,  the families had arranged to have a video call while Ema unwrapped her gifts as her natural mom, dad and sister watch in anticipation.  Needless to say, the surprise, confusion and final exhilaration on her face is indescribable as she realizes the truth about her parent’s visit!  They enjoyed a special visit with Emanuela’s family when they finally arrived.