Thursday, November 12, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
One of the first nights Natalia was here, she was looking for a snack in the pantry. She pulled out a packet of "peanut butter and cheese crackers" like the ones pictured here. She looked puzzled and said to me "What is this?" I told her it was cheese peanut butter crackers, to which she replied, several seconds later, "This is not cheese".
What Natalia learned: When it comes to food in America, you are not always getting what you think you are getting. "Cheese" might really mean artificially flavored, artificially colored crackers, chock full of preservatives.
What I learned from Natalia: We eat a lot of shit that is not real food.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
At the start of the school year, my daughter came home telling me about a new friend she had met. An exchange student from Spain named Natalia.
As the weeks passed, she began telling me that Natalia's host family was having some personal problems, which eventually grew out of control, and Natalia became displaced. She had to move in with the coordinator of the program while she searched for a new host family.
One weekend the coordinator had to be out of town, and since Natalia was friends with my daughter, we were asked if we could keep her for the weekend. Once I met her, I just fell in love with her. I can't really explain what happened next, but I felt it was laid on my heart that we had to take this girl into our home.
Now bear in mind my home is not always the most stable place on earth, but everyone in the house agreed we felt it was what we were being called to do.
As I type this, Natalia has been with us a couple of weeks. She is intelligent, beautiful, and witty. Every day I learn something new from her. In the days, weeks, and months ahead I will share with you the things I learn. Things like bravery, about giving, and how similar yet different our two cultures are.