The visit we had this week was especially fun, we got to help prepare some Bhutanese cuisine! They showed us how to wrap some chicken and vegetable mixture into paper thin wonton papers. I love a good challenge! Bishnu can do it the best making the most even folds. If done not just adequately, but with extra care, the edges look like delicate flower petals. Perfectly even. Nick and I each made a few imperfect ones and they still told us we did a good job. This is a good example of how our relationship has felt pretty balanced in our cultural exchanges. We talk about Asia as much as we talk about the US. This time, we watched part of a Bollywood film, then we watched Indiana Jones -for about 20 minutes before it got switched back to an action film that was in Hindi. Another thing, I love the kind of support that good teachers effectively show thier students. I remember learning in Comparative psychology that one behavior that makes humans different from apes is that when teaching, humans encourage their students. Effective teaching requires encouragement from the teacher. Not just “see me do this, now copy.” Whether it’s learning a language or a cultural specific thing like making wontons, having a good teacher is key.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, thanks to Spring Break and confusing schedules. When we saw our family on Sunday though, it was like we had just seen them a few days before… which was good because I was nervous that it would be slightly awkward. It seems like every time we go visit with them it’s raining! What’s funny was when we got off the bus at Pratt on Sunday, it either stopped raining or it wasn’t raining there!
Each time we visit, we never know who will be at the apartment. Sometimes it’s just the older girl and two of the other girls or sometimes it’s the whole family. This time almost everyone was there, and we played some Uno, which is fun but can sometimes be a never-ending game! We also helped with some homework, which even though math is technically universal (I’m reminded of a line from Mean Girls haha: “yeah I like math.” “eww why?” “because it’s the same in every country.”), the girls need a lot of help with it… and as I’ve said before, math is not my strongest subject. I’m also still surprised at how much is expected of these girls in school, when they’ve only been here for a few months! They have book reports to do and the only extra help they get is from us. I wish there was an easier way to reform the Chicago Public Schools system.
After homework we watched my all-time favorite Disney movie, the Little Mermaid. The girls hadn’t seen it yet and they loved it! I have 2 younger brothers and a younger sister at home in Minnesota that I miss a lot, so it’s great to be able to spend time with the girls each week. I just hope they enjoy it as much as we do.