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  1. #1
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    U.S Exchange Student Starved By Egyptian Host Family Loses 50 LBS!

    I didn't put this under crimes, because the starving wasn't done intenionally.


    HALLOWELL, Maine Jonathan McCullum was in perfect health at 155 pounds when he left last summer to spend the school year as an exchange student in Egypt.
    But when he returned home to Maine just four months later, the 5-foot-9 teenager weighed a mere 97 pounds and was so weak that he struggled to carry his baggage or climb a flight of stairs. Doctors said he was at risk for a heart attack.
    McCullum says he was denied sufficient food while staying with a family of Coptic Christians, who fast for more than 200 days a year, a regimen unmatched by other Christians.
    But he does not view the experience as a culture clash. Rather, he said, it reflected mean and stingy treatment by his host family, whose broken English made it difficult to communicate.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,333173,00.html

  2. #2
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    I'm sorry something sounds fishy to me.
    Did this young man, his family and his school do the proper research for this Egyptian visit/exchange?
    Was he ever allowed to talk to his parents, school teachers, etc during the 9 months?

  3. #3
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    I didn't read all the way down at first...now it DOES sound like it was done intenionally.



    "McCullum said his host family gave him only meager amounts of food, and his condition worsened during the last seven weeks, when the family observed a fast limiting the amount of animal protein he was given.
    The host family was a couple with two younger boys and a daughter who was in the U.S. on an AFS exchange. McCullum said the parents gave him the smallest food portions, hid treats in their bedroom and complained that the cost of his upkeep was more than they spent for their daughter when she was home."

  4. #4
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    I don't think I would send my child to a country like Egypt...this is just awful.

  5. #5
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    I think the the agency is at fault for not discussing dietary restrictions this family has,( I would think that would be a critical fact when matching someone up)but I also think these parents are negligent. My son is living with a family in Canada and the 1st thing I ask him pretty much is "Are you eating enough". If I saw a picture of my kid looking like he was losing weight and I couldn't get answers,I'd have my butt over there so fast your head would spin!!!
    I don't think these parents are unique. My experience in the hockey world would astound you. People send their kids to play on these teams,and allow them to live in deplorable conditions. I don't understand ,but i guess they are just desperate to get them on what they percieve as a good team,so they put up with anything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by philamena View Post
    I'm sorry something sounds fishy to me.
    Did this young man, his family and his school do the proper research for this Egyptian visit/exchange?
    Was he ever allowed to talk to his parents, school teachers, etc during the 9 months?
    I am not sure what to think about this one .... People not caged up would rarely allow themselves to be starved .. I am almost wondering if he has an eating disorder?
    I mean I have 3 sons and I cannot imagine any of them going without food if they were not locked up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am not sure what to think about this one .... People not caged up would rarely allow themselves to be starved .. I am almost wondering if he has an eating disorder?
    I mean I have 3 sons and I cannot imagine any of them going without food if they were not locked up.
    In a way, he was caged. Please remember Egypt is a very dangerous country and he was told the other "host" families lived in worse (unsafe) neighborhoods.

    His host family fasted 200 days per year and ate very little when not fasting. The portions they ate would be very small compared to what this boy would be use to. They also hid all the "good stuff" ie. treats in their bedroom.

    I believe the host family took the money the agency/parents gave to them and spent as little as possible on this kid who obviously is a very good guy. He will be going to Zimbabwe to build homes.

  8. #8
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    The kid could also have caught some kind of parasite over there to have caused some of the weight loss. Maybe his parents are so caught up in thinking that they are really doing something special and bragging about their son being in another country that they didn't even notice his weight loss in pics, or he was afraid to complain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am not sure what to think about this one .... People not caged up would rarely allow themselves to be starved .. I am almost wondering if he has an eating disorder?
    I mean I have 3 sons and I cannot imagine any of them going without food if they were not locked up.

    Amraann,
    Me too. We don't hear about males with eating disorders that often but nit happens.
    If the Egyptian family did starve him, why didn't he tell someone?

  10. #10
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    I suspect that he just didn't like the food that he was offered. The fasting only takes place during daylight. Coptics do eat at night during fasts, but they don't eat alot of animal protein or dairy during fasts. So if he wasn't into rice and beans and lentils, he probably didn't eat a whole lot.

    Also a possibility that he was homesick and just wasn't eating but now doesn't want to admit it.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by englishleigh View Post
    I don't think I would send my child to a country like Egypt...this is just awful.
    My daughter spent 7 weeks in India two years ago, 2 weeks in Honduras last year, and then another 6 months in India. She loved it and is very grateful that she had the opportunity. She had considered going to Egypt, but had enjoyed India the first time so she decided to go back there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthersmama View Post
    I suspect that he just didn't like the food that he was offered. The fasting only takes place during daylight. Coptics do eat at night during fasts, but they don't eat alot of animal protein or dairy during fasts. So if he wasn't into rice and beans and lentils, he probably didn't eat a whole lot.

    Also a possibility that he was homesick and just wasn't eating but now doesn't want to admit it.
    I was thinking that may be another reason too. I mean he really lost a lot of weight.
    Maybe a combo of all said above? Although the host father saying how he ate and cost more then his daughter does give me some pause.



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