We have now finished the first week at school. We all made it fine, even though getting up at 6 am is NOT our favorite thing. The really good thing is that Viv is meeting people who may become friends. Nice girls from the basketball team are bringing her home after practice. We may have some adjustments to her classes, since being a foreign exchange student is basically a “lost year” as far as her serious studies in Germany are concerned. We want her to be interested, but not in a panic in her classes. We should make final decisions in the next day or two.
School itself is a wonderful way for teens to meet each other. There is little awkwardness, and the classes or after school activities are a fun way to get to know others.
Last week there was a volleyball game, and another night we all went to the Sebastian County Fair. Viv met another foreign exchange student, Mimmi, from Sweden, and they went off happily while we geezers enjoyed our version of the fair. (One of the big attractions was wrist bands that you could buy for $20 that allowed you unlimited rides until 9:00 or so.)
My husband and I love to see the animals that have been submitted to judges. My husband loves to see the pigs, for some reason unappreciated by me. The larger and more stinky, the better, according to him. He was a bit disappointed this year. There were no pigs who filled up their stalls, though the stink was plenty for me.
My favorite is the rabbits. I love them all, small or large, no matter what color. My favorite this year was a small one. He was a rich, brown color with darker ears, feet, and big, brown, sparkling eyes. He was just beautiful. I really wanted him, but saw no way to spirit him away without someone noticing… :0)
We had looked forward to feeding some exotic animals this year, but there were none. Last year we fed outrageously expensive food sold in a small cup to llamas, a camel, some kind of elk, we think an ostrich, Asian Musk Ox, small goats – we can’t remember them all, but it was fun. I guess not enough people paid to feed them last year, so they didn’t return.
I really enjoy the lights! I love to walk around the fair, watching the people, appreciating the bright lights on the rides. There were plenty this year. It all looked so pretty! They had turned the music up to ‘kill,’ and it was ‘school night’ so there were a gazillion people all enjoying themselves.
We enjoyed going through the exhibit buildings, with handmade quilts, artwork, photographs, flower arrangements, pies, jellies and jams, and lots of other things. We found a quilt that was really special. It was a ‘picture’ rather than a more classic quilt, and was machine-outlined. In the commercial building, we found the business of one of the girls on the basketball team. She and her family make wooden accents, such as light switch plates and take custom orders. I was impressed.
It was super hot and muggy, so it wasn’t long before the geezers chose to leave, get some food at the Sonic after traveling there in our air-conditioned truck, and then going home to wait for a text that the girls were ready to leave. That came about 10:30. We took Mimmi home and exchanged fair experiences on the ride home.
For a first week at school, it went really well. Riding the bus in the morning is now routine, except when we’ll drive her down to the bottom of the driveway and wait with her if the weather is rainy or cold. Friends are bringing her home. Homework is scant so far. Getting to classes has become easy. She is unable to get into her locker, but it’s in a bad place, far away from classes anyway, so probably won’t be used. Thank goodness the backpack she chose is working well.
On to the start of another school week tomorrow. I’m keeping my ‘back to school promises.’ I’m walking far more than I usually do (promise to my son); and I’m on the elliptical every morning (promise to Viv). I’ve lost 5 lbs. so far. I’ll be happier when many more pounds are on the ‘gone’ list, but I have a good start….
We LOVE being a host family! It’s good to have a completely new focus, participate in new things, change plans to accommodate a good opportunity at the drop of a hat, and more. Wonderful challenge and FUN life!!