I went to Stacey’s house for Thanksgiving, and she always has guests for large gatherings. This year, there was a foreign exchange student from Asia. The girl, whose name I can not spell correctly nor could not pronounce correctly until I had much coaching, is from either Kazakhstan or Kyrgystan. She explained it used to part of Russia, so after looking at the map I would assume it is the former rather than the latter. In her country, she attends a boarding school (she said she received a scholarship to attend there), and she plans to attend an American University in Turkey when she graduates from the boarding school. I said, “Oh, you must be smart to get the scholarship to attend the boarding school.”
She said, “I don’t think so.”
“Well, you are speaking English very well, so I imagine you are smart,” my conversation continued with her. “How many languages can you speak?”
“Russian, English, and…” there were three more that I had never heard before, could not pronounce and wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to spell. She could tell how foreign they were by my expression. She explained that they were dialects of her country.
“Oh…,” I marveled.
We spoke of many things, none important, all very important because the two of us (plus more) were communicating even though there were words neither of us understood. I talked about our idioms and gave her a couple examples. I could tell that the meaning of the idioms were foreign to her by her expressions, but she said she was introduced to them at her school in Asia. We touched on religions, and I learned that while we have many sects of Christianity, they only have the term Christianity. And Muslim.
Since this was Thanksgiving, I asked her if she liked our food. She was going to try turkey, yams, and cranberries for the first time. Wow!!! I asked her if she liked what she saw in the U.S. of A. and she said yes. We all danced to the Wii and she was good, very good. So, that is the same everywhere.
But, when all was done, I felt like Sally Fields felt when she received the Oscar. “She likes us, she really likes us.” So, all you naysayers out there, saying that we Americans are not liked, I know one who does like us. She really does. Oh, and she likes our turkey, too.