My host family is so good to me. Tonight I needed to do some laundry, and I didn't know how to work their washing machine (it sounds pathetic, but you wouldn't be able to work it, either). I asked Cathy if, when she had a minute, she would help me work the washing machine. She asked me if I wanted her to do my laundry. Honestly, how many people are so quick to offer doing someone's laundry?
My host family always tells me to sit in the front seat of the car. If I start getting into the back seat, they just say, "Beth, get in front."
In class, it is interesting because the students will always answer if I ask them a question. It sounds obvious that they would, but it actually really does catch me off guard sometimes. For instance, when they first come into class, I ask, "How is everyone doing?" They all respond at the same time with, "Fine." Or even when I say, "Good morning!" Everyone responds with, "Good morning." Sometimes I'll ask, "Does that make sense?" and they'll just all say, "Yes." I especially noticed that they do this today when I demonstrated how to make an origami butterfly. I had them all gather in around a table to watch me fold the butterfly, and sometimes I would ask, "Can everyone see?" or "Do you see how it's a triangle?" And every time they would respond with, "Yes."
After school I was online for a while. I got to video chat with my parents and Jillian, so that was fun. It's always nice having a "face to face" conversation with people from home, even if it's just virtually. Last week my entire family joined a video call, and that was awesome. Today when I was talking with them, Moana's (Mo-onna) daughter, Siu (See-ew) came over and started talking to me, interested in what I was doing. She is fourteen, and she just hung around. I'd talk to her, then she'd say, "Oh, you can talk to your family!" But I let her say hello, and she loved it. She eventually just sat with me and talked with them, and she'd turn to me and say, "Your family misses you." She acted so concerned that they were sad I'm not home. She also loved Jillian's long, blonde hair. Mom asked Siu if I looked like Mom or Dad, and she said that I look more "like the mom." Then I asked if I look like Jillian at all. Siu said, "No offense, but I think that Jillian is prettier." If that doesn't just sum up my life, I don't know what does. Just kidding. But it was really funny. After we were done with the video call, I just chatted with Siu. She gave me a bracelet made out of little colorful rubber bands - she said, "Keep it as a friendship bracelet." So sweet.
This evening all of a sudden Manu and Christein started paying attention to me. Manu has always been mildly responsive to my questions, but Christein usually just stares at me when I say something to her. But tonight Christein suddenly attached herself to me, and just played with me. Then I played a game with them with some Tongan coins, hiding the coins in one of my hands and having them guess which ones the coins are in. They loved it and we played forever. Then I taught Manu how to catch a coin off of his elbow. He thought that was pretty cool. Then he came and sat with me on the couch for a while. Those kids are so cute. And even though Christein doesn't speak English quite yet, it's interesting to see how easily and willing she has been interacting with me. When she tried hiding the coins in one of her hands, she would tell me which hand to pick by pointing at her other arm, trying to trick me. Every time. It was hilarious.