Monday, July 8, 2013

The International Language

I just returned from an epic water war with Tevy, Chaeeun, Dominic, Minkyu, Makela, Myeonghyeon, Sam, Hayong, Hanna, Yerin and Jieun. (I'm sure you'll be hearing more about them from your kids, but I thought I'd put a name to the host sisters and brothers). 

After getting drenched in water and sharing many laughs, it hit me that despite the language barrier, we were all experiencing something together. No matter where you go in the world, a water fight is a water fight. 

And after that water fight, Sam and I insisted we play soccer, which of course is THE world sport. It wasn't Lansing vs. Korea, nor was it batched by home stay couplets, but it was simply a pickup game. 

Perhaps it was a "you had to be there moment," but it was definitely a memorable one, so I thought I'd share it with you all. (Also my team dominated the field. My Brazilian in me must have come out.) But in all seriousness, I can't express how closer we all became as a group. 

I know first hand the difficulty of a language barrier, and hopefully we will all pick up some Korean while we are on this trip. But even if we only learn the basics, everyone will understand what it's like to be linguistically lost and that can go a long way. The young adults of this trip will be more accepting and willing to help out a foreigner in the United States, and if they travel the world again, they won't be afraid to speak an unknown language, ask questions and dive right in to a new culture, community and language.

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