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Posts Tagged ‘exchange program’

I just wanted to apologize for such a slim number of updates lately. We are now in the full swing of Christmas plans. It has been very crazy around here with both Kat and Holly having such full social calendars. We have all been sick at some point since Halloween with various illnesses. Our little exchange group has to see two of the members off this coming weekend. It will involve two separate days of driving to Savannah for us, but we want to be there, so that the students will know that yes they did touch all of our lives.

Hopefully after Christmas, I will have the time and energy to post somke updates and brag a little about how well both Kat and Holly have been doing in school and outside of school.

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Holly has decided officially to stay on through May.  She signed up for just one semester, in case she got tooo homesick, or just didn’t like the reality of America.  last night she told us all that she wants to stay here.  She has to of course go through all the channels and get her visa extended and all that paperwork. 

Holly staying gives us more time to take her to all the places we want to go.  I think we’ll go to Helen in the spring.  We’ll also try to take her to the Renaissance Festival.  Of course, we’ll also go to Disney and Epcot maybe during spring break.  Maybe we can also go to Jekyll Island, Ga. and wherever else Holly might want to see around the state.

We must be doing something right.  Herman, Katie and I have done a lot to make her feel at home.  I think it helps that she has made several friends and is involved in activities at school.  She has her first Cross Country meet this afternoon.  Katie and I are going to watch.  It is lucky that band and flag practice was cancelled because we have a no football game this week.  Katie’s boyfriend, Cameron is also coming to watch the meet. 

I’m not sure if Herman will get to be there.  He has quite a bit going on at work this month.  He leaves for Vegas for a week and then he goes to Boston for 3 days.  Even when he is in town, we haven’t been seeing a lot of him lately.  But I keep reminding myself that it always something big this time of year in the computer business.  So many businesses are updating things or moving things/data/equipment around during the 4th quarter each year.  Of course, during April and May nothing much is going on, so we get to travel and have fun then.

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Holly has now been at our house for a little over a month.  It feels like she has been here longer, but in a good way.  We seem to be trying to pack as much as possible into every day lately. Things are going very well I think.  She is fitting in nicely both at home and at school.  This week, she will run in her first Cross Country meet.  We are very excited about it.  I think she will do very well.  She is always one of the top 4 or 5 girls that finish when they run races during practice.  At the football games of course, she’s like every other teenager and doesn’t want to sit with us in the reserved section, which might as well be called the grown-up section.  She has made quite a few close friends on her own and goes off with them frequently on the weekends.  She now has a cell phone, so I don’t worry about her as much. 

We found her a small TV for her room, so she can explore the wonders of American television.  She often joins us in the living room during the afternoon and evenings to watch things, but this way, she can watch or listen to all that MTV has to offer while she does homework.  Just like every other American teenager,  I suppose.

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It has been an exciting week this week. I had to miss last week’s scrimmage game with Westside, but we won.  I’ll have to find out the exact score, but I think it was like 32-7.

Katie & Kelly visit the stands during 3rd quarter

Katie & Kelly visit the stands during 3rd quarter

Katie had her first danceline performance of the season Friday night .  It’s our first away game at Bleckley High Schoolin Cochran. Katie travelled with the band to the game and probably ride back on the bus as well.  Holly and I made the trek on our own.  It was  a good game, everyone was pumped about the win.  Swainsboro beat the Royals 27 to nothing.

Holly decided last week that she wanted to go out for the high school’s cross country team. So I took her to get her physical Monday and at tryouts, she was the second place girl.  She wasn’t even feeling well that day either. I’ll try and take some more pics at the meet.  She is quite a runner.  The coach is very happy that she came out for the team.  It seems that there aren’t many girls who like to do long distance running at the school.

SHS Cross Country team stretches after practice

SHS Cross Country team stretches after practice

Both girls are doing well in their classes.  Holly struggles from time to time with the language barrier, but it’s getting easier and easier every day.  We went to the mall on Saturday to hunt for shoes and other neccessities ( an Abercromie t-shirt, a hoodie, etc. ) .  As of today, we are still hunting for a new pair of Converse for Holly.  She knows what she wants, we just can’t find them in a store yet.  Sometimes that’s the drawback of living in a small town.

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Well, Holly has been with us a little over two weeks now.  It has been an adjustment period for everyone involved.  I have finally gotten my room all straightened out and my bathroom is back in order also.  Now I don’t feel like I am living in a hotel room.  It’s back to being an oasis in the middle of the chaos that is life with two teenage girls.

Holly and Kat went to the DEA (David Emanuel Academy) scrimmage game with Kat’s boyfriend, Cameron Friday night.  It was Holly’s first experience with high school football.  They had a good time.  DEA lost the game, but I have been told that is nothing new.

Kelley's dog's puppies a week or so after they were born

Kelley's dog's puppies a week or so after they were born

Today Kat went over to Kelley’s house to help bathe the 1 month old puppies.  Holly was going to until she was invited by another friend to go hang out, etc.  She and her friend from school went to Statesboro and saw The Dark Knight.  It was of course Holly’s second time seeing the movie.  I am glad she is making friends her own age and experiencing life like any other American teenager.

I am trying to plan a girl’s shopping trip to the Tanger outlet in Hilton Head, SC .  I want Herman’s younger sister, Mandy to come along as well.  I think we all need to go do something fun and Holly probably needs some new clothes. The agency and airline would only let her bring 2 suitcases with her.  Even if she only stays 5 months, she didn’t get to bring nearly enough clothes. 

Holly is taking U.S History and a literature course that concentrating on American authors.  This means that I am in a sense repeating U.S. History, 20 years after I graduated high school.  So far the focus of American history is dealing with Unions and the pros & cons of this on society.  I also get to repeat this next year when Kat takes it next year.

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Holly arrives tomorrow evening.  We’ll leave when Herman gets home from work to drive to the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport to meet her plane.  Well I say meet her plane, but since 9/11, of course, all we can do is wait on Level 2 in the common area.  It seems like such a long time ago, when you could go right to the gate and watch the plane land, etc.  Katie made a big poster to welcome her.  We’ve seen pictures and all, but we want to make sure she feels welcome in America.  It will be a long night, but I am very excited that this day has finally come.  Our area representative is going to meet us at the airport so he can meet her with us in case there are any questions. 

I think we are going to take all the exchange students in our area (there are 4 or 5 total) to Tybee Island next weekend.  Seth wants to take them all to the beach while it’s still warm. I guess the upper 90’s is what you’d call warm.  Because 2 of the students are girls and Seth isn’t 21 yet, all the overnight trips require an “adult” chaperone.  Herman and I will be filling in that spot.  It will be an adventure to say the least.  He also wants to take them down on River Street in Savannah .  I also thought this would give the students a chance to pick up any odds and ends they might have forgotten at home.  Swainsboro is a small town and doesn’t have much variety as far as retail shopping goes.  Savannah has two malls and plenty of shopping of every variety.

Off to bed now to rest up for tomorrow’s adventure…..

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We have spent all Saturday cleaning off bookcases, moving furniture, cleaning underneath beds and rearranging kitchen cabinets.  We said we were doing this getting ready for Holy, but then we noticed our next door neighbors doing a bit of “spring cleaning” out under their patio as well.  I guess this is a good time of the year to do some of this with the holidays just around the corner and all.  It was quite a lot of work needless to say.

So after all our hard work, we decided to treat ourselves to a fun time on Sunday.  We took Katie and her boyfriend, Cameron to Statesboro to see The Dark Knight.  It was worth waiting 20 minutes in line to get tickets.  I came prepared with my diet popcorn as I knew it was a 3 hour event.  It was one of the most awesome action movies I’ve ever seen.  We saw Hellboy II last Wednesday.  It’s hard to say which was better and then to try and compare those two movies with Ironman.  It has been an action packed summer as far as movies go.  I think Hellboy had the best effects.  It was visually stunning.  Batman/The Dark Knight had the better plot of the three.  It had lots of twists and turns in the storyline.  Ironman had the best acting of all of them. 

I have always said that Robert Downey Jr. is one of the best actors of the past generation.  I have been saying this for years.  Even when he was strung out,  it never came across in the films.  He has always been believable in every role he’s taken.  If I ever write something that is made into a movie, he has to be in it. 

 Of course Chistopher Walken and Willem DaFoe would also have to be in it as villans and Willem Dafoe would have to wear the same outfit he wore as Raven in the greatest movie of all time, Streets Of Fire. It has the most romantic passionate kissing scenes ever filmed. Diane Lane and Michael Pare’ are great together on screen.

I’ll compile the complete list for you another time. I have the cast all figured out I just haven’t written the script and/or screenplay yet.  Mickey Rourke will have to be in it too.

Oh and I almost forgot to include this.

It is the best song ever written.  Of course it’s from Streets OF Fire.  Dan Hartman performed it on record, but the band playing The Sorrels lip-synched it in the movie.  It is my favorite song of all time.  Enjoy !!

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