Friday, November 4, 2016

Five On Friday: Our First Time Hosting Exchange Students

I love cultural exchange. I love learning other languages, I'm fascinated by foreign cultures, I'm crazy about trying new cuisines. 

I always believed we'd someday host exchange students and when the High School had an opportunity to host British students for just ten days, I knew this would be a great way for our family to try it out.

So I said I'd take two!

We were all excited. Our youngest child gladly gave up her room (really, she adores sleeping in other people's rooms) for the boys, whom I began referring to as The Brits. I changed sheets and set out clean towels and wondered what else they might need. And then . . . I got nervous. Oh god, what if they don't have a good sense of humor? That was the most important one to me, living in this house of five children and lots of shenanigans, the thought of a humorless duo struck fear in my heart.

I had no reason to fear.

Our Brits fit right in and before the end of the week were calling, "SHOTGUN!" in an attempt to call dibs on sitting in the front of the car before an excursion.

This week's list is the top five observations made by us and them:

1. American Skittles are much sweeter than British Skittles. So much so that one junk food loving 17-year-old British boy almost couldn't stomach them. (He managed to choke them all down. We bought them both some to take home and horrify their friends and family.)

2. In Great Britain they don't eat ice cream on pie. At least that's what one of our boys was trying to tell us when he was slightly disgusted by the sight of that combination. We were surprised but then the other boy piped up, "We do have that in the UK!!"

2b. That first one didn't really count, did it? How about this: a "plonker" is a moron. Who knew? (Other Brits, I imagine.)

3. In Great Britain, sales tax is added on to the item's price. Our Brits found the added tax that mysteriously appeared at the register to be "rather cheeky." I found the idea of taxes being cheeky to be rather adorable.

4. The "corridors" at the High School are "spacious." Funny how we understand the words just fine but we'd probably just say "the hallways are big."

5. Americans are ostentatious. Well, obviously, but even us? One of our boys was skyping with his sister in our Family Room. She asked where he was sitting. He paused and then answered, " . . . a second living room." Hm. Guess so.

A rousing game of American Football in the yard with two more players than usual.

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