Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The First 24 Hours

Our exchange students arrived at 11:19pm Monday night.  It was so late that they stayed in a hotel and slept in before touring Olympia with their group.  Some of the kids missed parts of the tour because they were sleeping on the bus.  While they were finishing up their tour, the host families gathered at the church with welcome signs and potluck dinner.  Then they arrived, and we finally got to meet them.

Those first couple of hours were a bit awkward.  Understanding each other was difficult and the noisy room wasn't helping.  We ate, the kids got some instructions for the morning, and we headed for home.  We stopped at the store hoping we'd get some clues on what they might like for lunches.  Nope.  Pulling into our neighborhood, they told me the houses were different.  I believe they live in flats there.

After a quick tour of the house, we all headed outside for the backyard.  They were astounded by our backyard.  With jaw literally dropped, they told us it was like a small park.  They walked around.  Mika caught grasshoppers. They saw the dog and cats.  We just hung around.

Here they are looking at some of the grasshoppers with Josh.  I think they told me that the Chinese word for grasshopper means "lives in grass".   We had a language-challenged but good evening.

This morning went well.  We had breakfast.  The boys pushed it around a bit, not sure of what it was, but ate every bite.  I was impressed at how open they were with the food.  After breakfast, we headed out to take them to school. 

They have English class most mornings followed by field trips.  Today, they went to the Mariner's Game.  After they came home, we had dinner and headed out to the real park.  They were impressed by the size of the park.  Apparently, China doesn't have a lot of parks.

We kicked around a soccer ball for a while. Scott and I took turns playing soccer and watching Maddie.  Then we encouraged them to try out the playground.

You could tell that they weren't used to visiting parks.  They didn't know how to swing.  They tried, but they just couldn't get the right rhythm going with their body movements.  The more athletic brother climbed the rock wall with my son, but then had difficulty getting down.  The other couldn't figure out how to get up.  I can't imagine 12 year old boys not knowing how to swing and climb.

They had no trouble climbing the rope structure, though.

We all enjoyed our visit to the park, and then came home for ice cream (drumsticks) and homework before bed.  We are definitely seeing a huge difference between our cultures!

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