Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Checking in

My son finally called this morning all the way from Turkey. Impressively, he timed it at 06:30 and not 0330 when I might not have been as receptive to chatting, even if it were my son who is 6500 miles away and hadn't spoken to in a week.

We explain the importance of assigning chores to the exchange students to our host families, so the kids have a sense of responsibility and connection and are no longer seen as a guest, but as a family member. Alex tells me his job is to walk the family dog. Funny, it was his job here too, but pretty sure my dog never saw the leash in Alex's hands...I'm hoping he does a better job there than he did here.

We tell all our inbound exchange students that MOST families here do not have a maid. It is common practice in much of the world, but not in the U.S. It is important that you pick up after yourself and respect your surroundings. That being said, after 7 years, I finally admitted defeat in keeping this 4700 sq. ft., 5 bdrm house clean to my standards and contacted Merry Maids to come in biweekly. My life is so busy and with the renovation in the backyard going on, it's become even harder. My son will hopefully laugh at the irony now that he's not living here...I am fully expecting some backlash once he finds out...

On another Youth Exchange note. Wessex is going to kill me. Wessex is the "Western States Student Exchange" database that the State Department (read: bigwigs that are only there to make my life difficult) requires everything reported. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I truly understand the rationale and actually agree with it, but I am a committee of 1 and my cloning machine is in the shop! (the 9/11 terrorists were in the US on student visas hence, the scrutiny of all student exchange programs)

Well, that's it for today.

Peace out.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It happened...

Wow, it's been 3 weeks since I last posted. Time flies when you're having fun. I'm trying to think of all the "fun" I've had in that time.

For starters, I crewed the Komen for the Cure 60miles/3Day event in Seattle. It's 3 days for the walkers, but 4 for the crew. 4 REALLY long days, but so life affirming that everyone should take part in this event as either a walker or crew member. Crewing as medical personnel always gives you a little bit of an extra kick in the pants because you see first hand the trials of some of these walkers and how to the detriment of their own health, will persevere.

Unfortunately, in doing my duty in Seattle for breast cancer awareness, I was missing out on doing my duty in Penticton (Canada) for the Rotary Youth Exchange. I missed meeting this years inbound students for their first major get together. Bonus for missing the meeting, I was assigned to the District Committee as the Outbound Selections Chair...(sigh). Out of the frying pan and into the fire...that will teach me to miss a meeting.

Between recovering from the brutal body stiffness from bending over 3000 feet, reeling with the news I had acquired a new position in Rotary, dealing with the minutia of home renovation and 3 teenagers with varying emergent issues, I was actually working at my PAYING job (hence now to be known as my hobby since I work less at that than I do at the volunteer stuff...).

But the biggest news comes from the fact that Alex's visa to Turkey finally came through. With only a few days notice, we made last minute purchases, last meal requests, packed, weighed, repacked, partied, said goodbye in various venues (the girlfriend was the HARDEST) and before we knew it, we were driving to the airport.

The beginning of Alex's adventure began a year ago and it's so odd to look back and think the process culminated in a hug that lasted only 10 seconds. I know the adventure has only just begun for him, but for me, it ended when I let him go and he walked through the security gate. The boy I let go is now gone forever and it will be a year before I can hold the man he will become in my arms.

To top off a very emotional day, I hit and killed a deer on the way home from the airport. What can be read into that? A lot. But I refuse to contrive any connections and will think of the positive aspect in that I have a large vehicle and sustained no injury or visible damage.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When is it going to happen..?


Here I've taken 2.5 weeks off from work to get the 2 new inbounds in (Austria & France) and to ship my son off to Turkey. Well, still no news about when the Turkish Consulate is going to pull their heads out of their collective asses and release Alex's visa. I go back to work today and have a MAJOR committment in 10 days that I NEED to atend. I have this gut feeling that he'll get his flight out during that crucial time.

What lesson do I need to take from this? Be patient. Come what may. Breathe. Good things come to those that wait. In God's time. Everything happens for a reason. Well screw all of those. I'm popping gray hairs faster than Michael Jackson popped pills. ARGH!!!

By the time the kid leaves, the sentamentality of his leave taking will be gone. I'll push him onto the plane and put a boot print on his butt.

Ok, enough of the rant. Maybe it will happen today...(sigh)