Sunday, June 20, 2010

Godspeed, Luiz & Yago....

Macaroni & Cheese
(Click photo to enlarge)

This afternoon, I asked the boys what they’d like for our final dinner together. I was not surprised to hear, in unison, Mac’n Cheese! And so in honor of Yago’s departure we enjoyed macaroni mixed with cheese and beef… and no vegetables.

During dinner we talked about the boys first week in Rumford so many months ago. Luiz reminded me that I washed the dishes at that time showing both boys where the plates, pans, and silverware went.

“Ten months later,” laughed Yago, “we still don’t know where things go.”

In Rumford, both boys have made good friends, as witnessed by last night’s party. They played sports in three different seasons taking a chance at ski racing in temperatures much more severe than either had ever experienced. Luiz even tried baseball in the spring… a round bat striking a round ball: one of the most difficult feats in sport.

Both boys learned English well and worked diligently on their studies. In fact, Luiz and Yago landed Honors assessments at Mountain Valley High School for the 2009-2010 academic year. Awesome… and congratulations.

And did they learn the subtle difference of living in a new culture with a variety of people? Yago wrote the following on his Facebook profile to his new friends in town:

“…I will always remember what I have learned from all these people, from this little, happy American town... from all those moments with you.”

And though Luiz is not leaving for a few days, he wrote on his Facebook Profile the following: “Friendship is a virtue… the thing most necessary to life.”

The parties are now over. Yago’s bags are packed and he Skyped his parents this afternoon to arrange his return home. These next few days will be difficult for everyone, those who leave and those who stay behind. Perhaps Niklas, an exchange student who arrived home to Germany this past weekend, offers a glimpse of what Luiz and Yago will face. Niklas wrote on Facebook, “Just came home... my old room, my old house. This is the strangest feeling I have had so far in my entire life...”

To Luiz and Yago… safe journeys, great memories, and joyous homecomings. To their families, this is an exciting time as the boys return a bit wiser and a lot bigger… and knowing they now have two homes.


Gifts for Rich

The boys surprised Rich with several gifts including a Spanish match ball and supporter's shirt, and a Red Sox field chair for those long soccer matches or for sitting in the sun with a cool beverage. Thank you, Luiz & Yago... Perfect gifts for me.

Brunch with Aunt Connie and Uncle Ben

Connie and Ben took the boys out for brunch in Rumford Center. And then, they gave the boys each a gift including a Red Sox beach towel, a photo book from the Red Sox trip to Fenway Park in Boston, a Rumford bumper sticker for the family car.... A family breakfast, together, for the last time... until the first of many visits!

Guard Dog!

Luiz, Yago, and Rich are "babysitting" our friends The Bennetts' dog Lucky for three weeks while they go climbing in Colorado. Lucky kept watch over the party and the next morning kept an eye out, too.
Rich parked his Saab station wagon in the Sullivan's yard so other could park in his driveway in the evening. The next day... his car was up for grabs.

Post-Party Fun

Our next door neighbors, The Sullivans. Photos here taken by Garrett Sullivan (age 7)--the "winker" later on in the blog.

Party for Luiz & Yago

Party for Luiz & Yago

Party for Luiz & Yago

Party for Luiz & Yago

Party for Luiz & Yago

Party for Luiz & Yago

Party for Luiz & Yago