Saturday, August 21, 2010

International Airport

I'm housing a couple of international students for a few days before they move into their campus digs. One of the students I picked up around midday on Friday. The other flew into our local small airport at midnight last night, so we both went to pick her up, along with our handmade sign saying "Welcome [Name]!"

We weren't the only ones there with signs. Nope. Apparently, a fair number of international students were flying in from Asia, so the local airport looked, for a short time, remarkably international and sophisticated.

After our "All American" lunch of pb&j, we went to Goodwill today, to pick up some dorm supplies, and then out to a friend's house in the country, where we picked some raspberries. I picked maybe a pint in the time it took them to pick ten. I think they were really uncertain about picking fruit off bushes and taking it home. And for some reason the local mosquitoes went after them way more than me.

And then we went up to a local park and tiny zoo that includes a petting part and some big cats and bears (not in the same enclosure). So we fed and petted some barnyard type animals, saw some bears and pumas, and then some bison. All the animals were pretty sleepy today because of the warmth; I should have taken that as a hint and brought us all home sooner, because they're resting right now before dinner.

Yesterday I took the one who was already here to an Asian market in town, and she was really happy to see that she'd be able to get some familiar foods (even familiar brands) here.

It's always cool to think about seeing something through different eyes. For example, Goodwill has great used stuff. But it also has stuff that makes me deeply wonder who would have ever bought this tchotcke (sp?) in the first place. You KNOW someone thought that little decorative knick-knack was perfect at one time, but you have no idea why. That's how I feel about a lot of the little decorative stuff at thrift type shops or sales. I guess folks will buy just about anything?

Later, we're going to get some vanilla ice cream and I'll introduce them to just why I was so enthusiastic about picking all those raspberries!


  1. it sounds like you did some great "host family" things! helping them settle and transition a bit; seeing animals is usually fun and comforting; doing some shopping; trying ordinary local food.

    one of my daughter's cultural classes in japan took students to various sites and performances, but they also learned to plant rice! so, i don't think the berry picking was over the top.

    it's great there is a local asian market! my daughter and her fellow americans abroad kept begging for things like peanut butter and mac & cheese in their care packages. also, certain brands of chocolate. comfort food.

  2. agreed on goodwill having some great stuff -- and also just the weirdest! [if your students are japanese, used good stores are not very common; so, also a good cultural exposure.]

    i have some weird knick-nacks myself, but most have stories.