Wry Exchange


Happy Halloween
10-31-07, 8:26 pm
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  Husband and I love Halloween.  We decorate the front porch by wrapping yards and yards of black fabric everywhere.  Next is a layer of spider webbing, then the decorations-Bats, spiders, and rats.   Someone took a photo of the house tonight.  Several Trick-0r-Treaters told me ‘Cool house’, ‘Spooky house’, and ‘This is the best house!’  A father said he little princess was talking about our porch before they got out of the car.  The beasts did their part by occasionally barking like hell-hounds through the screen door.

Husband had to work tonight, he missed scaring the kids.  It’s a highlight of his year.  He dresses as The Grim Reaper, and sits very still in a corner of the porch.  I usually stand nearby to pass out candy.  The candy is on a table next to the Reaper.  He doesn’t move if little kids come up, but will wait until middle-schoolers get close and pretend to grab them.  Nothing better than a smart-ass 13 year old boasting to his friends that ‘I’m not scared, it’s just a mannequin’, and then squealing like a little girl as he runs from the porch.   Friends sometimes drop by to get a Halloween beer, and they’ll helpfully tell the kids ‘Sure, it’s a dummy, go ahead and kick it.  It won’t move.’ when he’s trying to hold still so as not to scare the hell out of a toddler.

It’s a damned lie that I kept all the Bottlecaps for myself!  🙂  The lab snatched a Milky Way, and he’s been carrying it around for an hour.  He likes the feeling of plastic crinkling in his mouth.

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Wry’s going to Santa Cruz, Bolivia
10-31-07, 10:58 am
Filed under: Culture, Home | Tags: ,

  I’m going to Bolivia.  It’s unexpected, I’ve been planning on going to Chile next month.   My counterpart in Bolivia has been promising to ‘send me a ticket’ for 3 years.  This time, she meant it.  They use frequent flyer miles to bring 2 volunteers a year to Santa Cruz to show them how they run their program.  (I felt better about accepting the ticket when I found out it was frequent flyer miles, not money.)  Not many US students want to go to Bolivia, so they want to show the adults their country is safe, modern, and a great place to live.  The country interests me.  I’ve taken an extra Bolivian or 2 each year for the last 4 years. (Extras are fine as long as you can place all the regular exchanges first.)  In 5 years, we’ve only sent 4 kids to Bolivia.  The kids have been great exchange students. 
I’ll stay with 2 of my former students.   One is turning 21, and the other is going to turn 18 and graduate from high school while I’m there.   I miss the 18 year old tremendously, and will be happy to see him.  It’s so cool, he’s sending me advice.    you´ve been advicing kids what to teke t usa for like 20 years ow is your turn… bring a light coat for when ever get rainy a sweet shirt and a lot o tshirts tank tops and shorts,…. im taking y to the place i promisse so its gonna be very humid and warrm.
Earlier this month, American Airlines suspended operations in Bolivia.  From UK’s Guardian website: Bolivia’s busiest airport became the scene of protest last night after a local governor urged residents to demonstrate against a military takeover.
Santa Cruz governor Ruben Costas urged residents of the province to hold an overnight vigil at Viru Viru airport in protest against its military occupation, which began on Thursday following a dispute over landing fees.
Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz – Bolivia’s wealthiest province – was seized by armed forces in an operation that left two soldiers injured. Several hundred Santa Cruz residents then responded by attempting to crash through the facility’s gates with cries of “The airport belongs to Santa Cruz!”
The military was called to the airport after workers detained a Miami-bound American Airlines plane, carrying 140 passengers, on the runway on Tuesday. The workers were demanding the airline pay landing fees of up to US$2,000  in cash locally, rather than deposit the fees with the federal airport authority.
I love South America.  I’ve never been to Bolivia before.  I’m excited.



Black Amish Nachos
10-30-07, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Culture, Home | Tags: , , ,

 Do you know what are ‘black Amish nachos?’  If you speak Exchangish, you know they’re blue corn tortilla chips.  Husband and I guessed correctly.   One of the Bolivian students wants me to bring some down to Bolivia with me, ‘even if they get all smushed.’   I’m also taking  Pixie stix, Cowtails, candy corn, sour gummy worms, vinegar potato chips, Goldfish crackers, Oreos,  and a whole bunch of scented crap from Victoria’s Secret.  Junk food in one suitcase, cologne, bath gel, body lotion, and candles in the other.  

Did you know there are Amish and Mennonites in Bolivia?  When we first hosted Bolivians, we’d point out the Amish and Mennonite families.  The kids would say ‘Ho-hum, we see them at home.’ 



FES in Argentina
10-29-07, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students | Tags: , ,

   Please Welcome Tiffany Pierce’s Blog to my blogroll.  Tiffany is living near Cordoba, Argentina this year.  Life in Argentina!



The Hygiene Speech
10-29-07, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students, hosting | Tags: , , ,

 ~Sigh~ I gave the hygiene speech last weekend to one of our students. 
I spoke to the man who should’ve given FES the speech back in August at Orientation, and at the September meeting. (Didn’t want to overstep.) The guy said he held up deodorant, and told the kids ‘You must used this daily.’  Um, yeah, that worked well.  No one thinks he or she smells.  Everyone thinks it’s someone else.
I really like this kid, and pulled FES aside to quickly and quietly say that the deodorant isn’t working, perhaps you need something stronger.  I apologized for bringing it up, but said “I’ve been able to smell you each time I’ve seen you.  Even when I’m not walking too close, I can smell you.’  The poor FES probably wanted to hide, but someone had to tell the student.
If you have to give the speech, do it quietly and privately.  Keep it brief, because the student is going to want to escape before s/he dies of embarrassment.  Be blunt, this isn’t a chat you want to repeat.  You have to tell the student, otherwise the other students won’t want to be friends, or will tease, and your house will start to smell. 
See also: Stinky Exchange Students, Eau d’Exchange Student



“Hey, is Bolivia Safe?”
10-29-07, 11:50 am
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“Hey, is Bolivia safe?”  That’s the question 2 girls from my small Appalachian town were asked in the Summer of 2006.  By someone calling from the US Department of State.  Go ahead, read that again.  Our government is asking for advice from 2 teen girls.   The girls went to visit a former student from Bolivia 7 months after President Evo Morales took office.  They received the phone calls after returning home.  They were asked their opinions and feelings about Bolivia, Santa Cruz, safety, stability, etc.  
  I think I’m going to Bolivia next month.  I’ll let you know if Condi calls….



I can has cheezburger pic
10-28-07, 7:59 pm
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Funny picture - Who maked my water go hard? It’s much cuter on the original website than here.