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The way the other half rolls ...

August 5th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Our Italian foreign exchange student (here forward referred to as "M") came yesterday with her mother and stepfather for a visit. They are lovely people. We worked around the language barrier, and I think things will be fine. M is quiet and serious and while I suspect far more mature in her behaviors (FB posts and Instagrams suggest weekends away her boyfriend, drinking and smoking) as she lives at school during the week.

I also determined they are very wealthy.

Like two homes: penthouse in the palazzo in Verona and a villa in Toscano. And after one week in Chicago the parents are going on to ten-days in Barbados. And they love to vacation in Africa, spent the month of January in Zanzibar. And my entire family could like in the mother's Louis Viutton handbag (if it is misspelled, sorry!).

Welcome to suburbia! Our weekend is a trip to Milwaukee on Saturday for an Irish dance competition, and Sunday is a baby shower and a pool party at my mother's friends. And then next Saturday is at our friend's Lake Michigan house. No discoteques in DG!

The only nice thing is my oldest daughter has been invited to summer in Italy with the family. I imagine we are something like family now with these folks. The mother (in broken English) wanted to know that M will be like one of my own. Mothering a teenage daughter other than my own will hopefully be not as scary as it sounds after rereading what I just typed!


5 Responses to “The way the other half rolls ...”

  1. BuckyBadger Says:

    My brother made friends with a Japanese kid at boarding school. For Parent Weekend, my parents took this kid out for pizza because his parents weren't there. As a thank you, the parents of the boy invited my brother to Japan for three weeks. They owned an estate, and had live-in employees. A number of them.

    Traveling overseas with the well-heeled is pretty fun! I'm still jealous of my brother about that trip...

  2. snafu Says:

    Although I never met the parents of foreign students we hosted until after they concluded their studies, I had a similar experience. We were invited to visit and over years were fortunate to be able to do so. Their wealth was beyond anything I understood but like Bucky explains, visiting wealthy people is terrific.

    I hope M is unfailingly polite, does well in her studies and overcomes initial fear to participate in your family's events. Do you suspect she has been sent to you to remove her from BF, drinking, smoking stuff etc? Did M's mom mention how much her allowance would be? It would be terrific if your DD has the patience to include M with friends in her activities
    I hope you'll have her participate in chores and give lots of encouragement. After about a week we had coffee and informally talked about House Rules to avoid misunderstanding. Since they have a better understanding of written English than verbal, we gave a brief, written list and at the end asked them to sign to indicate we'd talked about rules. We also gave them the list so they had a copy we'd signed.

    I think they found it interesting and even exciting to do tasks. We had them participate in fence painting, snow shovelling, vacuum, wash their own bedding and clothes, set/clear table with others, bring groceries in from the car or come grocery shopping if they wished, If they offered to cook we said yes and offered to help if they instructed. We went to the ethnic grocery more than a few times to buy things I'd never heard of!

    We remain in touch with most of our former students, celebrate their achievement and commiserate loss or disappointments. Anytime they come here or anyplace we are working we do what we can to meet up.

  3. My English Castle Says:

    What fun! It sounds like a great experience for everyone! Maybe after next year's sojourn in London, we'll take a foreign student on!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    In my younger days, when I was still married, we had a Japanese exchange student -- but only for two weeks! (Short program). She was charming, respectful and polite. She seemed to adore my father, who talked to her at length about all kinds of nonsense (and she probably didn't understand half of it). It was a wonderful experience for all of us! I am sure we would have continued the relationship but unfortunately she died in a subway accident after she returned to Tokyo. It was so shocking, and sad. But I would do it again in a minute.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    It sounds as though this will be quite the experience both for this girl and for your family!

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