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 an 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 a child.

I have a group of students coming from China tomorrow that will be here 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 the connection to a student agency in China where these kids come from. 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. The blame is unfounded, though.

If they allowed us to run the program the way we’ve done in the past, everything would go a lot smoother. They tend to want to take on parts themselves that they don’t need 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.

We presented our program to the school, stating that we would like to have a meeting with the potential host families to answer any questions they might have.  In the past, this establishes a relationship between the families and us, so that any issues can be resolved quickly without involving school officials, who have their own responsibilities to deal with at the school. However, this school said they would take on the host family part and deal with them so we would 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 with another school in the past. I suspect we’ll have that difficulty this time around, too. I hope not, but I have my doubts all will go as smoothly as it could have had we been able to deal with the host families.

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