Friday, October 28, 2011
Every Friday night is Chi Alpha International. We've met over 20 new international students this semester, and we have quite a few returning students who come regularly on Friday nights.
It definitely didn't get started out that way. Just over 4 years ago, we had about 3 international students, and one of them, Rike who is from Germany, was an intern, but she was international!!
Rike actually helped us get to where we are today...(along with the advice from many others who are staff professionals at Chi Alpha International around the country.)
On a regular Friday night towards the beginning of the fall semester, we were eating dinner, sitting around the table talking. There was probably about 10 of us total - staff and international students...and Lee began saying "schnitzel" over and over again in a way that only he can, and it was making everyone laugh. Rike said, "What, do you want me to make it or something?" And then the light bulb went off in my head..."YES!" I said!!
And that was a turning point for us. The next Friday night we had schnitzel made by Rike and Myrthe, a student from Holland. And from then on we've tried having as many international students cook for us as possible!
We've had authentic food from such a wide variety of countries. It has been an amazing way for our international students to share their culture with us.
We also get to share our culture with them.
Just this week, Lana, our intern from Texas, made chili and grilled cheese sandwiches...served with corn chips and sweet tea. (And I must say, that with the weather change, it was perfect chili weather!!)
We are on a cultural exchange. I know that our international students are excited about learning about our culture...and they are here to share their culture and their lives with us.
I know that Lee & I, and our kids too, are going to have much richer lives because of the students we've met...the meals we have shared...and the friendships that we will carry with us forever.
And it all began on Friday nights....