Humidity is rising
Barometer’s getting low
According to our sources
2221 Ashland Street’s the place to go
Cause’ this month for the first time
Just last week-end
For the first time in history
It’s raining men
This last week-end we hosted three male teachers in our home as part of the Fort Worth Sister Cities International Leadership Academy home hosting program. RM and I have hosted students and teachers over the years but never three men at the same time. There was more testosterone in our home these last few days and it brought back memories for me of growing up in a family of mostly men; three brothers and a dad left mom and I bit outnumbered. RM and I have three daughters and even our pets were female so our house is not accustomed to the male variety beyond Big Dave. It was nice for the novelty of it.
The International Leadership Academy (ILA) for high school students is a summer leadership program bringing Fort Worth students together with students from our sister cities in China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, and Mexico. Our daughters attended ILA as students and as facilitators. This year’s ILA also includes students from Vietnam. Students are housed in dorms on the TCU campus where most class activities are conducted. More than 125 students participate annually. This year, even more! Over this last week-end, the students and teachers left the dorms to spend a week-end with Fort Worth area families.The 2015 theme, E3-Energy, Environment and Education, encourages students to explore and focus on critical and current issues and their global influence as they gain essential leadership and communication skills.
Since the teachers staying with us (two from Swaziland and one from China) were discussing energy and environment, RM and I thought they should spend the week-end learning more about the gas industry in Barnett Shale. So RM, through his job at Williams Industries, was able to line up a hands-on tour, complete with protective gear, hard hat and big white truck and off they went. They spent several hours exploring pad sites, offices, fracking, and more. I stayed home and read a very good book and made a peach pie. They came back hot and sweaty and hungry. I think this tour was one of the many experiences they will not soon forget about their stay in Fort Worth, Texas.
These guys seemed to like best:
1. Listening to music – all varieties including Kenny Rogers
2. Taking quick showers
3. Shopping at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target and I noticed they mostly bought from the electronics section
4. Laughing with (or was it “at”?) RM.
5. Sharing insights about their experience in Texas and giving us feedback as they compare/contrast with their own culture
6. Speaking English impeccably — we were amazed at their skill level and it made for more in depth conversation about religion and role of men and women in society. We didn’t always agree but everyone spoke their mind (even the only woman in the room).
7. Appreciation of spicy, Tex-Mex food and my cooking. I love to feed people and these men gobbled everything up that I placed on the table. No leftovers!
8. They loved our car culture and took several photographs of the front grills of big Texas trucks — Love of Transformers is universal.
9. Paying attention to the landscape around them and asking questions about how things worked or were made.
10. Appreciation for the very good life we have here in Fort Worth even with the heat made only survivable by great A/C and gallons of water.
So thank you for the memories and Hallejulah — Amen, It’s Raining Men.