Back in the day, we had many exchange students within the school system. At one point, there were fifty students staying with our community. I loved it. I loved the possibility of new friends. I loved learning new languages and having inspiration from their free-thinking ideas. I am who I am today because of the friends I have chosen.
My favorite friends were from Japan, Germany, Spain, and Mexico. I have the best memories of meeting students at school or their dormitory, and the sad memories of being with them when they boarded their planes to return home.
Earlier this summer, one of my friends from Japan asked me over facebook if I would host her daughter for a few weeks to help improve her English. I didn't hesitate. I said yes immediately. Her daughter sat next to her and cheered when she saw my reply.
I forgot how much fun it is to help someone learn English and her facial expressions as she tries our food. I loved making spaghetti and steaks and seeing a smile on her face. I loved to see her politely eat her tater tot hotdish and just eat the tater tots. It's been lovely to hear her mother's far away laugh and smile within my new friend's face.
My girls are now experiencing the wonder of the world watching Japanese movies with English Subtitles, eating Japanese Noodles and candy, and drinking Japanese Tea.
It's funny how the past has tapped me on my shoulder and reminded me of one of the greatest joys... A New Friend....