I have made an abundance of international friends over the past year. Being best friends with people from other countries is a never ending learning experience that I love. It enables you to learn different cultures, histories, mannerisms, recipes...the list goes on and on.
The downfall? They generally have to go home.
I drove Abdul to the airport last week. He'll be gone for a whole month, and will return just in time to start the fall semester here.
Last year, I signed up to have an English conversation partner- you meet with an international student once a week, and help them practice English conversational skills. I had the pleasure of being paired with Moeko from Japan. Our tutoring sessions quickly blossomed into a friendship, and before we knew it, I was teaching her to crochet, and she was baking me cookies. I had the pleasure of meeting her sister, Yoko, when she visited America several months ago, and the girls treated me with homemade sushi and the most wonderful hair product straight from Japan.
Moeko made tremendous progress with her English, and she has finished an entire year of American college. She leaves this weekend for a month long internship on the west coast, and then she is headed back to Japan to finish her education. We got together this evening and headed out for dinner- Iraqi food, and a fancy Italian restaurant for dessert! We concluded the evening with window shopping and reminiscing over our year together, and making plans for our futures. I'm so sad to see Moeko leave, but I am so proud of how hard she has worked in school and of the progress she has made. I'm looking forward to traveling to Japan and staying with her and her family!