Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Life's too short to stuff a mushroom." Alison Ballantyne

We just finished a very fun lunch at the White Hart Pub with my retired British teacher friends; Phil and Gill White, Alison Ballantyne, Helen Martin Peters, Diana Annis, Janice Newnham. Plus Mary's new friends (mine too of course) Rachel Peters and Bryony Lund. Pub food is fantastic these days, big changes from thirty years ago. As you can see the gifting of courgettes/zucchini's is a universal gift in the temperate climate zones of the world. 

Phil, Gill and Allison visited my family in Washington nine years ago. Helen, Phil and Rachel have visited and stayed with my mother who knows Helen well, twice over the years. We hope Diana and Malcom will visit, and that others will return. "Our Brits", Janice and Peter Newnham have visited us many times. Now Mary has invited Rachel and Bryony to visit her. It is wonderful to see friendships last over the years and new friendships form, all the result of one teacher exchange.

Helen and I have had a chance to reminisce about our teacher exchange experience. We both agree we really blocked out most of the school experience. Helen said "I was rubbish". That is exactly how I felt. The teaching experience was challenging. Somehow students know what to do and carry on. The human contact is always the best part of a Fulbright experience, based on my opportunities in Britain and India. Both were challenging in different ways, but they were both life defining for me early and late career. 

Really a great afternoon! 

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