Growing up in such a small town, you don't realize the kinds of things in the big beautiful world you're so unaware of. I had no idea how important the Greek system is to some American's. Like, I mean, it's a really big deal and living with Alli might give me a slightly biased idea of it (she breathes, sleeps, and eats her Sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma) but in general, people understand the sentiment of being in a Sorority or Fraternity, even if they aren't in one themselves. By the second or third day at Sandy Hill, 2007, all the staff members were well aware that Alli is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and even I was so skeptical of the entire thing. I'm not really a fan of house rivalries at St.FX - it just doesn't make sense to me why you could want to have enemies on campus just to have a "bond" with the people in your house. But as the summer went on, I realized why Kappa is so important to Alli and that sorority membership is more than fancy titles and prestige. Alli holds Kappa really close to her heart. Coming here, however, I realized it even more. Stepping into the beautiful house Alli lives in, I couldn't help but think "Wow, these girls have it so easy here..." but as I spent my night there, I could see how deserving they were of that. Every girl I met was so nice and kindly went out of their way to introduce themselves, say hello, and ask me how my day was going. Considering I'm not a fan of superficial small talk, I was really impressed with how genuine they are and they all really left me with a feeling that Alli has a really special family outside of the Suvanto's.
The Suvanto's are a whole other story. Alli's family lives in an especially quiet and beautiful area of the Clovis Bubble and the first members of her family I met were her dad Allan and her brother Danny. I felt imediately close to them as if they were my own family and they treated me just that way. The first night I was here, I later met the other sibling, Spencer, and Alli's beautiful mom, Marci. I think it's a really beautiful thing when someone's parents open up their home to a 21- and 22-year-old and I think it says a lot about Allan and Marci's trust and love for Alli that they are letting Claire and I live here for the time being, eat anything we want in the house, and make ourselves at home. I know that's something my family would not be able to do, and Claire and I consider it such a blessing that all they ask in return is a respect for their home. Last night Marci barbequed and we had an amazing dinner on the patio - all 7 of us - and the conversation just made me smile a lot. I love living it up with my friends, but I'm so happy that I have a home-base while I'm here for the summer, and a mom and a dad to come to if I need anything.
Alli's two families showed me why she loves her life here in Fresno so much, and I really thought I should at least put it out there just how wonderful they really are!!