Guys and Gals

This morning, Mark took me and my bicycle and art portfolio over to where Merih and Kader live.  He left me with Kader for the day and took Merih with him.  Merih wanted to buy a car, so Mark took him down to the Green Bay area to look for one.

When I first came into Kader’s house, she went through a portfolio I had from when I took art in high school and college.  She says I should start drawing again.  I told her I am rusty and she said she and I can draw together.  Then she showed me her artwork.  It is very impressive!

After that, we rode our bicycles to an art gallery not far from where she lives, Frykman Studio Gallery.  It’s three family members and a friend who do different kinds of art.  There were mostly photographs (gorgeous!) and some paintings, pottery, and woodcarvings.  She and I had a good time looking at everything.

From there, we went for a cup of tea at Tea Thyme in Door County.  I used to work there when they served desserts and sometimes high tea.  Now they only serve tea, but I introduced her to my favorite: Cinnamon Spice.  It comes in herbal, green or black form, but today we chose the green tea.  She liked it almost as much as I do!  It was quiet and she told me a lot about Turkey and showed me some pictures.  It almost reminded me of Italy in some of the pictures, with red-tiled roofs.  There was a tower that she said was famous.  I asked if it was a minaret and she said it was just a historic tower.  It looked kind of like a castle tower.  She showed me her university and it’s right on the edge of the water.  It looks like a beautiful place.

By this time, it was time for lunch, so I took her to a restaurant in town that serves all local food.  I ordered a salad with all kinds of fruit and vegetables and some goat cheese.  It was very good.  She likes to order hamburgers and french fries.  How does she stay so thin?  😉

Then we went to the library and I helped her get a library card.  She checked out an English as a Second Language (ESL) book that I picked for her.  We also got her a couple of art books and then she asked if they had any manga books.  (She called them comic books.)  I found one for her.  She was thrilled!  Then she found a whole section I hadn’t seen of manga books in the Young Adult area.  I’m sure she will go back to the library!

We took the books back to her place and then we went for a walk down to the beach in Sister Bay.  While we were there, Mark texted me that Merih had gotten a car and they were almost home.  We walked back to Merih’s apartment and he and Mark were already there.  You should have seen it.  Merih’s friends were gathered around and he looked so proud!  Mark was talking to one of Merih’s friends who is having car trouble.  Mark may be in for some car repairs for Merih and his friends.

The car Merih got is a 1998 Oldsmobile.  The body is in pretty good condition and the inside isn’t bad.  It needs a new muffler and the radiator needs replacing, but fortunately, the seller had the new radiator already in the trunk.  Merih bought it for $600.  He is so excited, and he kept saying how smart Mark is.  He said Mark knows everything.  I guess Mark made a big impression on him today!

The four of us went out to dinner at one of the restaurants Merih works at.  Mark and Merih were talking cars at the table and I leaned over to Kader and said, “Guy talk,” and she said, “Boys!” and almost rolled her eyes!  We all had a wonderful day of getting to know each other better and we left two very happy young people behind when we drove home.

When we got home, I checked my computer and found I had a message from the very first foreign exchange student we ever had, a young man from China who called himself Jet after Jet Li!  We haven’t heard from him in years.  There was a picture of him and he looked so grown up since the last time we saw him.  He said he still dreams of coming back and seeing us some time.  I told him he is welcome anytime he wants to come.  We always have a spare bed for him.

We have mostly been very fortunate in the foreign students we’ve taken under our wing.  When I was at Kader’s house, I almost felt like taking some of her housemates as our Bridges kids too.  They all came to greet me when they saw me and I learned that some of them don’t have Bridges families yet.  There is a shortage of Christian American families that have offered to “adopt” them.  I wish I could take them all under my wings!

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