Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: Lady Jane's Salon!

Have any plans for the long weekend? (That don't involve visits to the East Coast beaches??) We're spending 3 days in Washington D.C. with our exchange student - got a good deal on hotel rooms and figured it was one of those must-do trips for someone visiting from another country. Any suggestions for best things to see and do? We've been once before, but it's been a while...


And in totally unrelated news, here's a plug for my fellow writing friend Cat Johnson, who'll be appearing at Lady Jane's Salon in NYC on Monday, September 6th. She'll be reading from her latest release as well as signing and selling books. If you're anywhere nearby, stop by and support her!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Writers' Wednesday: Ruminations on Hosting an Exchange Student

Continued from Monday...reflections on the first week of hosting an exchange student.

First, it's fun. Experiencing a new person from another culture gives you a lot to talk about.

It's also interesting in ways you don't expect. Language barriers (even when your student speaks pretty fluent English) can lead to trouble communicating. Best to speak slowly and using common terms if possible.

It's exhausting. I'm sure this is partly the adrenaline of the whole change/experience of meeting someone new, but for us it's an added exhaustion because we don't have other kids. I'll be honest: having to consider someone else in your house (besides hubby, who can pretty much fend for himself by now) isn't something I'm used to. It's OK, and I'm getting used to it, but it's definitely a psychological change.

It makes you think about things you hadn't thought about before. Your own politics. Your own country and quirks about the culture. How big everything is here. Which qualities and thoughts and values you want to communicate to your student (and which are better left unspoken).

And this is only the beginning. I'm sure there's much more in store (and hey, maybe a story idea or two as well). To sign off, some pictures:

Outside her adopted American high school

Opening a Chinese fortune cookie for the first time!

At a wedding over the weekend

Volunteering at a local pet shelter (each student actually needs 10 hours of community service for the year)

Husking corn for the first time!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Mentionables: Welcoming our Foreign Exchange Student

“To cement a new friendship, especially between foreigners or persons of a different social world, a spark with which both were secretly charged must fly from person to person, and cut across the accidents of place and time.” ~Cornelia Otis Skinner

Just 1 brief thing to mention today, because it's crazy back-to-school day for me today!!:

We welcomed our exchange daughter Hanna from Norway last Friday, and she's settled into our house wonderfully :) I'll have time Wednesday for a full report, so please come on back; until then, a picture from our first day together, at the local exchange program orientation: