Monday, November 15

kazakhstan

craziness and excitement never cease at my home, as you may be able to tell from some of my posts. well, the last week of october was no exception when we once again hosted people from a foreign land like we did here {and countless other times that i simply haven't mentioned, the time previous to this being just last march}. the two lovely ladies we were blessed to have stay with us for the open world program this time were judges from kazakhstan - one a federal judge, the other a supreme court judge.

i was more involved with this hosting experience than i have ever been before because my mom was out of town for business the first couple of days of the experience. it was fun and exciting, but horribly exhausting and i will never take for granted everything my mother does. my father is wonderful and i love him, but he is very easy-going and more "tell me what to do and i'll do it" .... so i would have preferred my mother's expertise :)

at least i love to organize things! but seriously, our house feels more like a hotel... and looks that way too. {and don't judge! we provide coffee, black tea, and green tea because we want to make our guests feel comfortable, even though we don't drink it.}


here's a glimpse of the week we had:

one of the ladies got sick with bronchitis in washington d.c. so we officially met our visitors in the hosipital - very glamorous, let me tell you!


once mom got home, the ladies were excited to present us with presents from their home country.





the fall weather brought an exquisite array of homemade soups by mom - pumpkin soup, beefy vegetable, and creamy cauliflower {which was the biggest hit of the night!!!!}. the ladies loved that we had soup because apparently they eat soup at least once a day at home.


for dessert..... we 'beefed-up' a costco cheesecake with delicious peaches. the ladies had never had cheesecake before, so they couldn't come to america without experiencing cheesecake!


on the last full day of their visit, the ladies graduated from their program...



... and insisted on making dinner for us; an authentic kazakhstanian meal.


{cooking for us}


we provided the dessert :)  = pumpkin cheesecake. oh happy day.


and that is when we presented the ladies with our special gift to them.




it was a wonderful week, full of culture and love and understanding. it definitely was not without its ups and downs! haha when you have two different groups speaking two different languages, misunderstandings happen. mistakes are made even when you have the best of intentions.... what am i talking about?

one particular incident was with bedsheets. yes, bedsheets. you see, having hosted many foreign dignitaries i learned early on that cold is not something they like. no ice, no cold fruit, no cold feet, no cold bodies, no chill, ... everything needs to be warm. well, one of the rooms is in the basement {yeah, that was whole different issue}, which can get a bit chilly if we're not careful. taking this into account, i decided to put flannel sheets on the bed because they would be warmer than anything else... right? well, i guess i just wasn't thinking about the way the sheets looked


it was like playing telephone, *she complains to another, who tells another, who tells another, who interprets to us ...... *

we are guessing that the problem was the 'childlike' sheets for a supreme court judge?

i just didn't think about it that way when i put the sheets on!

i know, i know.... i have a lot to learn. thank heavens "mommy" came home and took over the 'problem' so i could claim ignorance and escape blame.

everything ended up alright, and the lady with the flannel lamb sheets stuck with them because she decided they were warmer than anything else. both ladies developed a strong attachment to me and i decided not to hold any grudges :)

one final story: one of the last nights the ladies were here, they were up later than anyone else. they knocked on my door and in usual charades language asked me for what i figured out was a lighter. they were going outside to go smoke. their last words to me as they smiled and went outside were, "secret! don't tell mommy!"