Dear Faraway Friends,
One of the highlights of my year--and I know of Connie and Ben's--is the gift of Rasmus and Felix. They are fun and respectful young men who brighten our days with their stories, laughter, and good humor.
At school, the boys are shining examples of what exchange students should be. They enjoy their teachers, attend plays and sporting events to support their American friends, and treat their schoolmates with kindness. The school office staff loves "The Foreigns," and all the coaches (especially those of tennis, track, and baseball) want these talented boys on their teams!
Here at home we laugh a lot and enjoy dinner together most evenings. It's like a television sitcom: "Three Guys and a Dog." There are ping pong matches and movies, Celtics games and wild battles of "Catch Bailey" where Bailey runs around the first floor of this big old house carrying his special "Turtle" while one, two, or three of us chase him down to wrestle away the Turtle. He loves it... and he loves these boys. Last night, Felix reports, Bailey slept on his bed for 3 hours.
On Christmas Eve, I watched as the boys called home to chat with you, their families. Even though you spoke in languages that I'll never understand, I recognized the stories being told and the deep love that carried these conversations across thousands of miles. What a joy to behold.
This morning, the boys are at Rumford's lovely Catholic Church with their Aunt Connie. They'll learn more about American religious traditions and then return to a breakfast brunch and a wide array of Christmas presents from Santa, Bailey, Fred & Pam, Rich, and a few special contributors. Ho! Connie and Ben will celebrate with the boys on Monday night after we return from Boston. Santa has been kind to "the Foreigns"; he knows how difficult it can be to be far away from home during the holidays. What amazing courage it takes to leave home at 16- and 17-years-old… and what courage it takes for parents, siblings, and friends to let them go for the year.
Thank you so much for sharing your sons. They are the most special Christmas presents I could ever have. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Affectionately, your friend,
... and always, Bailey Tuckerman.
We had a terrific Christmas Eve with my niece Melissa and her family. For the full album, just click on this sentence.
Like many homes, we leave notes and we have subliminal messages. Here are a few.
Bright and early on the first day of vacation, the boys headed up to Black Mountain to test their skis and their legs. They skied from 9am to 4pm, including a ski team practice. To see the entire album, just click on this line.
We picked up the boys' alpine ski equipment yesterday. Once we arrived at home, they set up a ski hill in the front yard replete with jump. From 4pm to 9pm, with time sliced out for dinner, they swished, jumped, and turned. I lit all the lights on the east side of the house so the slope would be illuminated. At times, Bailey joined in. While they skied, I recalled my days skiing in the yard and on the hill behind our home in the 1960s. Great memories. To see the entire album, click on this line.
The boy's first trimester assessments arrived yesterday. They both did well. Even though the grades don't count at home, they matter her in town. The townspeople wouldn't like to support international students who attended our schools didn't take their studies seriously. So, well done Rasmus and Felix!
The boys did an awesome job today for their first XC ski. To view the whole album, just click on this sentence.
Connie and the boys have been on this project for several days. From shopping in the local supermarket to finding the right nuts! Last night, the cookies appeared. I sampled them this morning… Delicious!
Felix stayed on Thursday with a cold. He ate waffles and bagels while Bailey stared in hopes of a treat from his brother from a much different mother. Click on photos to enlarge.
The Kent Boys...
Rasmus and Felix are Danish and German exchange students. Throughout the year, we'll be posting photos and stories of our time together.