Door County businesses have a difficult time getting enough workers to help during the tourist season, so there is a program where university students from other countries can come here and work. There is also a coalition of churches here called Bridges that recruits Christian families to sort of “adopt” these international students for the summer. Mark and I did it last year and they asked us to do it again this year. We accepted.
Our student this year is Merih (pronounced Med-EE-Hhh) Bayirli from Antalya, Turkey. This is his second year in Door County. He is working two jobs this year (we’ve spoken with one student who has five jobs!) but he has Wednesdays off. We took him out for pizza and a musical this evening. Bridges had sent us a free ticket to take him to the Northern Sky Theater in Peninsula State Park. This is an open-air theater and they always put on musicals. We got someone to take our picture with Merih before the play began:
The play we saw was based on a historical event that happened here in Wisconsin. In 1967, a small tourist town called Winneconne was accidentally left off the Wisconsin state map. They petitioned the newly elected governor to correct the error, but he didn’t take their problem seriously, so they announced that since they weren’t on the map, they were going to secede from the state and start their own Republic of Winneconne. The story was picked up in papers around the world (they even mentioned the Portland Oregonian!) and their publicity stunt got them more fame than having their name on the map would have. The play is entitled We Like It Where?
Merih couldn’t follow all of it, but he was laughing along with the rest of us and said he enjoyed it very much! He seems like a nice young man and we are already planning more things we can do with him.