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.