AFS Returnee Nanci Leitch (USA to ESP, 1976-1977), is escorted to the chapel by her host father Vicente Saitua (left) and her natural father Kenneth Leitch (right.) Excerpt from “Air Mail” section of the Feburary 1993 issue of AFS World: The Magazine for AFS Members (Vol. 3, No.1.) The photograph and magazine issue below cannot be reproduced outside the guidelines of United States Fair Use (17 U.S.C., Section 107) without advance permission from the AFS Archives.
AFS Participants spend a significant amount of time with the host family who has accepted the exciting challenge of hosting a foreign student. The host family serves as an important conduit to the new culture encountered by the AFS Participant. It is not rare for this kind of relationship to eventually become a life-long bond.
An example of a life-long AFS bond was featured in a story in the February 1993 issue of AFS-USA’s AFS World: The Magazine for AFS Members (Vol. 3, No.1.) Nanci Leitch, a year program participant who traveled to Spain from the United States in 1976-1977, kept in touch with her host family long after her return to the United States. Her host father, Vicente Saitua, always promised to visit her when she got married. Her Basque host family flew to the United States to attend Leitch‘s wedding, and the bride was escorted to the altar by both her host and natural fathers, as shown in the picture above.
Click here to download the full February 1993 issue of AFS World: The Magazine for AFS Members, which also contains a story written by then-98-year-old AFS World War I Driver Enos Curtin, and other articles about AFS Participants and Returnees.