Ever had people crushing over at your place for a few days,weeks,a month or two,years?
I have been hosted before by friends and I have learnt a couple of things about hosting people. There are hosting dynamics and today Rachel Atieno and I share tips on how to be a good host.These tips are in no particular order.
Always know your people.What do they like to eat,what are they allergic to.This helps to plan better for their stay.
Plan!plan ahead for their coming.Stock whatever you need to stock for their stay.
Don’t change your menu for your guests.Make adjustments depending on who likes what but don’t do a 360 on your menu.This might be costly and draining as well on your pocket,house help if you have one or yourself too.
Take/accept the help.The more people in the house, there is multiplication of house chores. Incase a guest asks to help out ,let them help.
Ask for help.Remember some of these guests,like to work and if African ,they have been trained to work and might be uncomfortable sitting all day.Ask them for help.This helps you bond and you could learn something new about each other.
Different cultures.You are bound to meet people of various cultures.don’t be alarmed.
Longer stay for guests.Purposefully involve them in the house chores and activities.If you go by a rota include them that way they appreciate and are part of the family and it also lifts the burden off of you to do everything. Everyone has to have some form of responsibility.
Know how long guests will stay.It is important to know how long a guest is staying, especially if you are in a family setting, that way there is no uncertainty and family members are well prepared. Guests who stay for unspecified days can easily feel like a burden and there could be the anxiety of how long is the person staying.To avoid such discomfort and uncertainty,it is good to know the length of the stay.
Be ready to be vulnerable.This comes with letting someone in your space.Be yourself and don’t adjust your lives completely. Let the guest adjust to your system (this can be added to the menu as well)
It is great to learn from your guests as well, as much as it is your house, your rules, try to involve some of their ways especially if they are from a different culture. You could ask them to cook a common dish of theirs or show you how they do their things. This way the guest feels appreciated and is able to involve a part of them in the family
When a guest does something wrong or off, it is OK and right to tell them directly and in a kind and polite way. It is so easy to find yourselves discussing the guest behind their back with other family members yet the issue would have easily been resolved by speaking to them. This can also breed contempt and ruin the whole experience.
Always consult with your family members before agreeing to host someone, that way they are prepared cause even if you are the one taking care of most of the things, they have a right to know and agree as their space will be invaded/interrupted
Considering all the above, it is actually OK to say no to hosting someone. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it does take grace and quite some work, so be willing to give 100% rather than say yes and your heart is not in it. Whatsoever you do,do it with all diligence as unto the Lord and not man.
This post was co-authored by Racheal Atieno-my Kenyan sister,who has hosted me and so many other people at her home in Nairobi over the years. It is right to say her home is international ??.
Kindly leave your views in the comment section.
Photo credit: Gakosun Photography (Kenya)
©Racheal Kizza 2018