The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Friday, March 19, 2010

international connections

sunrise:  6:41

I had the pleasure of company this morning.  This weekend our town is hosting all of the region's AFS students (American Field Service -  international student exchange program).  There are about 35 in all, spending their years in a dozen different towns around Bangor.  Four will be staying with us this weekend.

Miriam from Denmark and Saskia from Germany were both game to join me on my sunrise walk this morning, in their pajamas.  Carolina from Chile preferred to sleep, and Wei from Italy doesn't arrive until tomorrow.

When a 15-17 year old decides to go away for a full year, often to a place where she or he barely knows the language, it is an act of impressive bravery.  We hosted Max, from Germany for all of last year, and another German boy, Lukas, stayed with us for a few weeks a couple of years before that.
It is an exceptional opportunity for any community, and for any family to take on the challenge and adventure of hosting an international son or daughter for a school year (or even a weekend!).  We had our share of troubles, readjusting family chemistry, working out cultural miscommunications, etc.  But it has rewards like nothing else.  With all of the economic and political strife in the world, it is enormously reassuring to see young people making these connections with others from all over the globe -- which is, I guess, the whole point of the program.

Suddenly these little places on the map that you never thought about before become the home of someone who is sitting at your kitchen table, who loves to pet your dog, or plays a guitar on your sofa, or has a great laugh, or cooks you a delicious meal with ingredients you didn't even know were in your grocery store.  Anything that turns the rest of the world into real places with beating hearts will lead us in the right direction.


  1. Hi! I am a friend of Nancy Riesgo. Lovely lady and our choir director at BUMC. I have been following your blog with great interest. I was a foreign exchange student with AFS many years ago from Belfast, Maine. This particular post really touched my heart. We've had AFS kids in and out of our houses no matter where we lived. My kids are grown and I started blogging when we moved back here to Germany due to my husbands job loss. If you would like to see what I am up to here in Germany go out to and click on the exact words CHECK IT OUT HERE

  2. This spoke to my heart as I was a foreign exchange student with AFS from Belfast, Maine many years ago. I am enjoying your blog very much. Nancy Riesgo told me about it. Maybe you would like to take a look at mine. We live in Germany now. Go out to and click on the words CHECK IT OUT HERE

  3. I will look at it - thank you for visiting. And I agree- Nancy is a lovely woman.