Donnerstag, 12. März 2009

FIUTS Pen Pals

Yesterday, I finally got to meet my little pen pal Bethany.

Bethany and I had been writing letters and Emails back and forth as part of the FIUTS Outreach program with the White Center Elementary School. Most of the children are considered materially or socially less fortunate and have a slim chance of going to college. By meeting somebody at a university (and from a foreign country even), they get introduced to this form of higher education, which might help them to lose at least some of the unknown big world of ACADEMIA.

Wednesday lunch is a great opportunity to come together, so we met the kids there to have peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches.

As I knew from the letters, my little "midgit" is a little shy and not very talkative. When she saw me first, she blushed and turned away. Since I knew she would be hard to crack, I had brought her a camera in order to engage her in an activity and possibly some conversation.

We did manage to talk about her last holiday, locate Long Beach on a map and took a couple of pictures together. Like me she prefers to be behind the camera rather than in front of it.

Rica from Japan had similar difficulties with her little pen pal Zainab, who happened to be Bethany's best friend. We joined froces and learned to write our names in Japanese and Arabic (Zainab's mother tongue).

For Shaun from Australia and his little pal, the connection came a little more natural, it seems ;-)

However, when Bethany got to show off her new name sign (in three languages and with little drawings on it) to her friend Mariah, she bloomed. Mariah teaches Bethany some Spanish and so I learned how to say "can we go out to play" in Spanish: "Podemos ir jugar afuera?"

Montag, 9. März 2009

Dad visit

Dad Visiting

Two weeks before the end of Winter Quarter, I had a very special guest here in Seattle. Admittedly, it might not have been the wisest choice to have him here while I had to work for school like crazy, but we still had a very fun time. Most of the time we went out together we took pictures.

We took the Ferry to Bainbridge Island on Tuesday after his arrival (which was adjacent to my return from Nashville)

The ferry ride in itself was a lot of fun and we had a little picknick on the island. And of course some good ol' conversations from man to man.

I was pretty busy on Wednesday, but Thursday we made it downtown and took a stab at the Seattle Art Museum before I had to do my big presentation in my film class. It was funny discussing art with him once again. We have a very different taste and approach to art, but it is nice to discover the similarities and differences and discuss the viewpoints.

That night we went for a FIUTS Benefiz concert and I saw to it that Papa Britz (as my roomies called him) would get himself on the dancefloor - where he was actually doing really good!

On Friday, after an Odysee in court and on the buses, we took the Underground Tour of Seattle, which is amazing. The Old Man had a close encounter with the "crapper", although I have no idea why he would want to clean his glasses in that ;-).

At night, it was time for a plunge into more new experiences. I finally managed to get Kamil AND Hermina together and Jenna joined us for my Dad's first Mexican food.

Saturday was probably our best day together. After I had shown him MY and THE center of the universe, we went on a hike through the neighborhoods of Seattle to Discovery Park, which is an amazing site!

Apparently, my Dad had been watching me taking pictures and adopted my weird camera positions.

We took great pictures at the site ...

. . . and had the most delicious honey smoked salmon snacks there.

I think it is funny how obsessed he has gotten with photography after I started it, yet he still maintains his own style. We have a different way to look at the world, although I think we can get an idea of how the other one sees "the picture" by now. I was actually surprised by how well we got along considering how thickheaded we have both been in the past.
It was a great visit and I am glad that he had made it over. I think I was able to show him a little bit of my life and how great it is - and maybe I was also able to grind down some of his (what I think is unfounded) Americanism in this awesome city!