It was a cold winter night several days before Christmas when the doorbell rang at the Newport International Hostel. In walked Csaba, a charming young lawyer from Hungary. This was to be his last night in America.
He had been attending a two-week course through the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DILLS) at the Naval War College in Newport. I gave him his luggage that he had left with the guest coordinator for DILLS students. She had dropped if off for him a couple of days earlier.
I showed him his room for the night directing him to the bed farthest from a window because he wanted “the warmest bed.” I asked, “Are you hungry?” He nodded enthusiastically as he unbundled himself. He prepared some food from the hostel “free food shelf” and then he, myself, and another guest from Belgium spoke into the night of his experience in America and his life in general.
After his interesting and challenging law class at the War College he had a couple of days left to see the “real America” so had decided to go to New York City. The next day he walked the City streets for hours in the biting cold just to get a flavor of New York City and America. Several bus rides and hours later he found our door in Newport, Rhode Island.
Early the next morning I gave him a ride to the Newport Marriott Hotel in order to catch the airport shuttle that would start him on his journey back home to Hungary. He told me the night with us was the best night’s sleep he had in America. He smiled gratefully.
I saw hope in his eyes that morning…the belief that the world and America are good. If the hostel contributed in some small way to a more positive vision of his world, then it has fulfilled its mission.
He is gone, but will not be forgotten.
--Written by Merrilee Zellner, Manager
This is the story of the visit of one of the many international guests who pass through the doors of the Newport International Hostel. Come be our guest sometime and share in the joy!