A visit from down under
June 9, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

In about one week, three Australian teenage girls will be staying with us for about a week before they venture off to compete in Future Problem Solving International competition in Iowa.

There are three other families from our community that are also hosting FPS competitors. Yep. Good American culture.

We have been corresponding with the girls for the last few months, sharing information about each other. This has been fun, getting to know the girls, their interests, school, families, and culture, and vice versa. We have been sharing information about our jobs, hobbies, and our children.

I am really looking forward to meeting them in person. We pick them up from the airport, and then it is time to experience a little American culture, specifically Minnesota culture (after they sleep off the jet lag, of course).

They want to do typical things that we do. A trip to the Mall of America is on the docket. In fact, we will be enjoying the mall with the other host families and their respective Australian teen visitors.

What is more American than hot dogs and baseball? We plan on taking in a local town team baseball game, plus a hot dog or two and some peanuts.

Enjoying some s’mores over a bonfire/campfire has truly become an American tradition. One evening is saved for this activity.

Hamburgers on the grill, some corn on the cob, and watermelon, and I have been thinking of a s’more bar. These days, people have gotten really creative with what goes between the graham crackers. Of course, marshmallows, but no longer is it just Hershey bars inbetween.

How about Hershey’s with Almonds? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, caramels, and Milky Way are other options.

Really, the sky is the limit for s’more fixings.

Instead of graham crackers, how about some Girl Scout cookies, like Thin Mints or Samoas?

I have a friend that used Peeps instead of marshmallows.

Maybe we will head to one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes for a day of relaxation and adventure.

We will have to see if our friendly Minnesota mascot, the mosquito, is out in full force or not. We don’t want to send them off to their competition full of welts from ‘squito bites, even as American as this is.

Maybe we’ll enjoy some canoeing, a trip on a pontoon, some paddle boating, or just a trip to the local swimming pool.

I have been reading up on a little Australian vocabulary. We will eat brekkie, and not breakfast for that week. There will be lots of fruit; that is a good thing. We might still have to add some good ol’ bacon and eggs to the brekkie menu.

And, of course, we will send them on their way with some good American candy.

I am looking forward to adding some Australian culture to our home, if but for one short week, and getting to know these fine young adults.

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