Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Long Winter Weekend

Last weekend was our break in the long stretch of winter here in Greenfield. Most girls went home, a group of 30 or so went with Miriam Przybyla-Baum and fellow chaperones to Montreal, and several girls from far away stayed with relatively local family or friends. Two of those girls, Jet and Lisa, stayed with me. Because I worked on Friday and Monday, we really only had the "real" weekend to play; the girls had history term papers to work on so they operated on my schedule as well.

When I took them home on Thursday night, I told them the plan for the weekend -- we'd leave Saturday morning and head to New Haven to spend the weekend with my husband, Hank. I wanted to show them another part of New England and experience a few college campuses. We tend to make assumptions about what other people understand about our country; Jet and Lisa were anxious to learn even the smallest things. For instance, why can't you pass another car when there's a double line on the road? This is part of the education they won't receive in school!

As we headed down Route 91, we visited first at Quinnipiac University, stopping in the Admissions Office and walking around campus for awhile. Two people at school are graduates of QU and so it was interesting for the girls to see it. Five minutes away is our house; we unpacked and headed to New Haven to see Yale and grab a hamburger at Louis Lunch, home of the first hamburger in the U.S.
Lisa photographed everything, including the "toaster" where the burgers are cooked and our 3 hamburgers lined up on the table! We had a blast visiting Yale buildings, especially the Beineke Library and The Museum of British Art.
Then, of course, we had to do some shopping on Chapel Street and Broadway! Yale t-shirts and Chinese noodles were the popular items...

We did a few more fun things on Sunday -
walking on the beach and visiting a mall and, later, Ikea for errands - but my point in writing about all this is how much I got out of having Jet and Lisa with me. First of all, they were model house guests. Not only were they on time for everything and cleaned up after themselves and said thank you at every turn, but they also insisted on making me a Chinese lunch when we were still in Greenfield. Lisa was on the phone with her mother in Taiwan, getting instruction along the way (sorry, Mom!). It was delicious, and I learned a lot about how to cook some of their national dishes. We had such a good time sharing cultures -- I taught them some history of the New Haven area and new vocabulary; they gave me a lesson in Chinese so I now have some words and expressions saved on my iphone so I can practice. It's hard! And we all laughed uproariously. Though I have always been impressed by the girls who come half way across the world to learn and study here, my appreciation for their experience has been deepened by this weekend.

Thanks, Jet and Lisa; I had a wonderful time with you both!

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