Students Arrive Tomorrow

Tyley and I finished up the flooring in the basement bathroom today. It looks pretty good, considering we’d never done anything like it before. I repeatedly requested (read: demanded) Billy’s help. He helped a few times but kept diverting his attention back to his electronic devices. Tyley persevered and completed the project even when it was time to eat. He impressed me with his desire to finish the current row we were working on before coming to dinner. It reminded me of when I called him my “angel boy” for he tended to put others’ needs before his own. He still often shows that compassion now, just not as frequently as he did when he was younger.

I have a group of students coming from China tomorrow that will be here for a few weeks. They are going to attend the American International School of Utah and various after-school activities that Shu Mei and I have arranged. It is Shu Mei that has a connection to a student agency in China from where these kids come. We coordinate two or three programs a year, hoping to do more in the future. They are work, but nothing extremely burdensome. For the most part, the greatest difficulties have been dealing with the various personalities at the schools we use. A lot of school administrators seem eager to get money from our program but quick to blame us for any mishaps. Trust me; the blame is unfounded.

If they allowed us to run the program the way we’ve done it in the past, everything would go a lot smoother. They tend to want to take on parts themselves that they don’t have to. Inevitably, they cause bumps in the road that needn’t be there. For example, this current one has a snafu where we have one family hosting four students and another hosting six. The other hosting families have no more than three students. That is what we want – no more than three students per family. The students’ parents get upset when their children are crammed into the same host families’ houses. I would, too. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. In the past, when Shu Mei and I facilitate orientation meetings with prospective host families, we inevitably end up with more than enough.
However, this school said they would take on the host family part and deal with them so we wouldn’t have to. On the surface, this sounds easier for us. However, it ends up causing more problems than it solves. We’ve had that happen before with other schools. I suspect we’ll have that difficulty this time around, too. I hope not, but I have my doubts.

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