Thursday, April 22, 2010


The local high school has been hosting some French students the last few weeks and I seem to hear about them all the time. The local paper did a feature on them; both Atticus and Grace have met them all since they came to speak to their French classes; and Lilly's friend Carolyn's family is hosting one of them. That's some of them in the photo wearing sunglasses they received as a gift from the American students.

It seems everyone loves them. They are beautiful and they speak with that most coveted of all accents. Lilly gets updates from Carolyn about the student they are hosting. His name is Tristan and here are the stories she's collected so far:

On day 1 when he woke up after sleeping off his jet-lag for hours, Carolyn asked if he would like something to drink. Tristan responded, "No thank you, I do not thirst."

Day 3 he discovered Eggo Waffles and now each morning he asks for them.

Day 4: his host mom asked if he'd like to drive the car and he said yes. She asked if he were scared and he said yes.

Day 5: when asked if he wanted more Eggo Waffles he said, "No thank you. My stomach is already crowded."

So when Atticus and Grace brought a note home from their French teacher asking if we'd be willing to host a French student who may be stranded by the volcanic ash incident (a different group than the Glenview group--these kids have been in Ohio but are scheduled to fly out of O'Hare tomorrow) we raised our hands enthusiastically and said "OUI".

Cute French kids that say hilarious things like "my stomach is crowded". Heck yes, sign us up.

Unfortunately for us, with the planes flying again it looks like we won't get one after all. In fact, even if they are stranded we may not get one because it turns out that we were just one of 40 families who raised their hands and said "OUI" and there are only 9 students who might need to be housed.

And you gotta love that. I'm quite certain that all over the US there are families opening their doors to stranded exchange students and the same thing is happening in Europe to stranded American students.

So despite the lost commerce of last week's volcanic episode you gotta love the whole thing: that we were reminded that yes indeed, Europe is very, very far away and hard to get to without planes; that it isn't just terrorist attacks that ground planes but mother nature too; that when people are displaced and need a place to stay there are always friendly families willing to open their doors and just say "Bonjour, may I get you an Eggo Waffle?"


  1. There must have been scores of French students around asking "Do you have a reum?" in Inspector Clouseau fashion, then.

    The Atlantic can still be crossed by ship. It only costs one hell of a lot of money, even on a cargo ship.

  2. Need to figure out how to say "Leggo, my Eggo" in French! :)

  3. Loved this blog! Thanks to you and all the other kind members of your community who opened your hearts to stranded French kids. I was welcomed into so many homes in France and Germany when I first moved abroad as a globe trotting ball player -- it makes me smile to think of the reciprocity of goodness in the world. Pat