Exchange Personalities

Having survived my first weekend with our exchange students, their personalities are starting to become more clear.  The honeymoon is not yet over officially–they are still acting very polite and are very joyful.  As their sleep becomes more normalized, their personalities also become more clear….

Our Korean student has some very clear traits:

  • She is very enthusiastic and joyful.  She can make peeling a peach or cutting a melon into pieces a great deal of fun.  She says “great” often, and for her, I think it is.
  • Mosquitoes seem to like her.  I teased her and told her, “When the mosquitoes knew we were going to get exchange students, they requested someone from Korea.  Koreans are extra-sweet!”
  • She is having a little more trouble adjusting to the time change.  She took another nap today of about 2 hours.  I don’t think her adjustment is going as well OR all of the language translation going on inside her head is taking its toll.
  • She absolutely loves fruit.  She is adventuresome in trying new food.  And, I don’t think we have offered them anything to eat yet that they have not liked.  (We made grilled chicken on the grill tonight.  There were a couple of spots with darker grill marks.  Both of the students cut these off, but ate all of the rest of it.)
  • She never had cantaloupe before coming to the US.  She now loves it!  Our Chinese students said Chinese cantaloupe-ish melons are bigger and not as sweet.  And, honey dew melons are smaller than US honey dews.
  • We joked with her tonight.  She dislikes the bright sunlight.  And, since it was cloudy the past two days, we suggested she prayed for the clouds and the rain so she wouldn’t have to deal with them. She really doesn’t realize how lucky she was to experience a rainy day!

Our Chinese student is similar but different:

  • Although both of our students seem to grasp the English language at a pretty good level, our Chinese student seems to do it at a slightly higher level.  Both of them grasp many new concepts well, but our Chinese student seems to be able to make greater leaps during conversations.
  • She loves to fold paper into various designs.  She labored today for a considerable period of time trying to make a paper rose.  She worked on it for over an hour.  She is certainly capable of pretty good concentration.
  • On her cellphone/Itouch or what it is, she has a translation program.  If we are talking and she can’t think of an English word, she does a search on it to try and keep the conversation moving.  It has helped numerous times!
  • She was not planning on doing cross-country, but her mother told her she needs to exercise.  She may only run/walk a couple of times per week.  I believe Asian cultures typically respect their elders quite a bit.  It is certainly the case with her.  (Our Korean student also seems to have very good relationships with her parents.)
  • We had sweet potatoes for supper tonight.  She claims the “meat” in sweet potatoes in China is purple.  The Korean student claims the outside is purple and the inside is yellow.
  • It only took 3 days to get them into the pool.  I believe they wished they would have braved it sooner.  Where our Chinese student took the water temperature calmly, our Korean student had to talk her way in….
  • It was our first time to take them to Sonic tonight for a half-price milk shake.  Our Chinese student remained strong and only sampled everyones.  Our Korean student seems almost guaranteed to gain some weight–she finds it hard to say “no” to our treats.
  • I think she has a very good relationship with her father.  She caught me individually a couple of times for extended conversations.  She is a fine young lady!

As we continue to observe and respond to the small curves/hiccups that now fill our life, we are grateful.  I try to keep my mind active with bits of sass doled out to all available family members.  The experience of having exchange students allows me brain to operate on overdrive.  My sass potential has gone up!  My linking of jokes to other comments and events over the last 4 days has made my brain feel years younger!  As school prepares to start in a couple of days, I know I will have less interaction with the girls.  I think it will be fine.  The synapses will keep firing even without a full day of exposure.  Truly grateful we made the decision to open our home to two fine young ladies who are so eager to share and absorb.

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