The last time Claire and I got to hang out with the Oli family, unfortunately there was only the youngest son (Bibek) home. The mom was at some kind of work and the older brother was helping his uncle out with something (possibly another job). Bibek, who is only 11 or 12, is the best speaker of the house. So naturally, this was a pretty easy and smooth visit for Claire and I. We asked him if we could help him with his homework, but he said that he didn’t have any (or that he had already finished it). We then sat for a few moments, pondering what should we do next. He asked us if we wanted to watch some movies that he had. Claire and I were surprised about this, but happily agreed to watch whatever he wanted. Now, I need to say that watching these movies with Bibek has showed me 1. how different each culture really is when it comes to movies, and more importantly 2. how much of the same we really are. First he showed us this bollywood movie. Which was absolutely ridiculous, but at the same time extremely interesting (especially when you look past the effects and such, its actually pretty interesting stuff). It was the second video that he showed me that really affected me. He popped in an old set of videos of Charlie Chaplin. It’s a very old school style of comedy that relies on mannerisms and facial expressions, rather than the spoken word. And as the video went on, we were laughing at the same moments. We both got it, and there was absolutely no barrier between us on the joke whatsoever. It was a great feeling, it really opened my eyes up about the differences between myself and others (especially those with a language barrier).
We’ve consistently been going to visit our family twice a week, and it gets better every time. Everyone is excited for it to get warmer outside, and we really hope to do some fun outdoor activities, but for now we’ve been making do inside. Last week, while Denise was finishing up homework with the 5th grader, man do they have a lot to do, I played the so called “clock game” with the other two children. As their aunt watched, we went around trying to make matches with the times of day and different names for it. I was really impressed with everyone, even their aunt was playing! I always forget how much kids like to play, educational or not, if you make it a game they are more than willing to participate. After their boredom kicked in three quarters through the game, they decided it was time to play the “rock game.” Which has now become a staple for every visit, and everyone joins in. The mothers are really good, and so are the kids; Denise and I aren’t exactly experts, but the family gets a kick out of it. I’m not sure if anyone else has played this game, but basically you have five rocks, and in a distinct pattern you throw them up and catch them while grabbing another rock. I think the kids may cheat a bit, but everyone has a good time, and it has served as a bonding activity for us and the kids, and the adults as well.