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Posts Tagged ‘students’

We had another stint entertaining strangers last week – a group of 15 students came from our beloved university in Abilene, Texas, to spend their Spring Break sightseeing and doing service projects in Boston. On the day they arrived, they’d been up since 3:30 a.m., to catch a bus to Dallas, a flight to Boston and a long T ride from the airport all the way out to Brookline, where a group of us were waiting for them, with pizza.

Despite their exhaustion, we all ate pizza and chatted, and then J and I took our two guys, Zach and Lucas, home via the T. I expected them to fall straight into bed, but instead we poured ourselves glasses of water and stood in the kitchen and talked. And then moved into the living room and talked. For hours.

It went on like that all week – chitchat over coffee and breakfast in the mornings, or sometimes just greetings on our way out the door, and a nightly catch-up in the kitchen after each day’s work and play. J and I were usually in our pajamas when they came in, but we’d stand there asking them about what they did, and the schedule for the next day. J even took a rare Friday off to tour Fenway and wander around Cambridge with the group. And on Friday night, five students and their hosts came back to our place for cookies and a hilarious, hours-long game of Catchphrase. I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks.

Most of us at Brookline didn’t know any of these students before – though Daniel was friends with one of the group leaders, and one of them was a former student of Shanna’s, to her surprise. But we had the common bonds of faith and ACU, and – as Zach put it – “the Texas approach to Boston.” We know what it’s like to be strangers here, so we could nod along with the guys’ first impressions of a city both foreign and fascinating to them. And we fell easily into talking about our common ground – professors, chapel, Abilene, Sing Song.

We speak the same language in so many ways, which is perhaps why I’m missing our guys this week. We’d never met them before and only spent a week with them, but we learned to love them pretty quickly. And should they ever decide to come back to Boston, our door is always open.

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Just putting out a first WordPress post from a cosy, aqua-walled flat in Oxford. The spring crop of students arrive tomorrow and we’re nearly ready for them. Until I work out the kinks, you can find my old posts here.

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It’s already been proven that Oxford holds the key to my heart, but I couldn’t resist the reference. 🙂 A mere week after landing back in Oxford exhausted but exhilarated from four days in Austria, I’m off again – to Paris, this time with the whole ACU group, plus Jacque. It’s a quick trip – just three and a half days in la ville de la lumiere – but it should be fun.

I’m still having absolutely NO luck posting pictures on Blogger, but I hope to get it figured out soon. Or put a lot of them on Flickr, or something. We’ll see. Europe in autumn is too beautiful not to share, so I shall come up with something. Until then, happy November, and au revoir! I wish you all a weekend full of crimson leaves and hot apple cider and walks under crisp blue skies.

*title from the movie “Anastasia”

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The students are here! The students are here!

They arrived yesterday around 11 a.m., jet-lagged and bleary-eyed but excited. We have 29 students, plus Dan and Brenda McVey and their daughter, Tessa. Quite a mix among the students – we have some backpacker/adventure-type guys, some sweet quiet girls, some louder, funnier types of both genders, seven guitar players, and a wide range of majors. This crowd is going to be a lot of fun.

Today we hosted them for tea (scones and jam and clotted cream…yummm) in the House 9 back garden. We (by “we” I mean Jacque and the Morgans and I) have been bombarding them with information about life in Oxford, life in these houses, laundry, traveling, classes, living in community, etc. I think they’re a bit overloaded. But they’ve also started to go out in groups and see the city for themselves, which is, of course, the point. We want to be here for them as resources, but we also want them to get out and explore and discover.

One of my very favourite things to do in Oxford is ramble, and I’ve done plenty of that this week. I never get tired of Broad Street, with its stately colleges and the huge Blackwells bookshop, and I love the charming Covered Market and even the busy High Street. The energy of the city centre is quite fun and stimulating, but when I want some peace and still have restless feet, I seek the relative quiet of University Parks and the lower end of the Broad, which leads to Radcliffe Square.

Rambled tonight to the neighbourhood called Jericho, not far from our ACU houses, for a lovely Lebanese dinner with Jacque and the Morgans and the McVeys. Fresh salad, hummus and pita bread for starter; lamb cutlets with grilled peppers and tomatoes for main course; and a little pistachio baklava, with fresh mint tea, for dessert. Exotic and spicy and absolutely delicious. The best part? It was on ACU – a celebration dinner for getting through our organizing and orienting with success and flair. 🙂

Moving into my own house soon, down in Cowley, a part of Oxford I don’t know very well yet. I am ready to be out of a suitcase and into my own space, but I will miss living in these houses I love so much. But I’ll be over to stay often. They can’t get rid of me that easily. 🙂

Happy, happy weekend to all. Pictures to come soon!

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