Saturday, August 4, 2007

Reflections of our summer with the Basque

We have had the best summer! I am so happy we were asked to host a Basque student this year. What a Blessing this has been to our family!

I have already posted about Imanol. He is our 16 year old Basque student that lived with us from June 29th- July 29th. He was such a joy!

He was very shy and quite at first... who wouldn't be in another country and living with people you don't know! My son Shawn was such huge part in helping Imanol relax and enjoy the family. What ever Shawn did, Imanol did too.

The first few days were spent going to many activities for the kids.... a welcome BBQ for the Basque and host family's. Orientation on a few days so the Basque could be briefed on what to expect and what was expected of them. Then finally free time.

Our first outing was spent at Westport Washington.

This picture is of Dan and Imanol looking out from a tower down on main street.

The kids had fun in the water while Dan surfed. I took pictures and waded in the water with RyLee.

When we left, I wanted to stop up at the maritime museum before we left town. They have an outside display of whale bones and other local artifacts for you to see. We were so shocked to see that they had a Basque timeline about fishing and whaling! What a trip! Who knew! Thing is... we have been here many of times.....

and here is another....

One of our favorite days/night, was the 4th of July. We wanted to go out of town to visit friends,but my husbands job wouldn't permit it at the time, so we threw together a BBQ and invited friends at the last minute! What a Blessing that all who were invited could come! Even another family who also had a Basque student!

This was Imaols first time lighting fireworks... and he decided he would just watch! *Ü* This is Mikel ( on the right)and Matthew ( left) lighting off roman candles.

WE enjoyed playing badminton (sp?) soccer and great food and fellowship! It was wonderful!

WE have made new friends during this month and connected with old ones. Did things together we have not done in a long time. It was just a great month. We miss Imanol and he now is our Basque son. We all have grown to love him and hope he returns next year.

( This is a picture of our friends the Davidsons and their Basque student)

A few days before they were to leave, they spent the day making a special "Basque" dinner for the host families and also sang and danced for us. It was also the time where they were given scrap books with photos we took and others took of the different outings and camps they went to while here. They were so blessed! Imanol loved his and wrote us a special thank you note and gave it to us at dinner.

We have been able to email and IM a bit since he has been gone. I asked him in an IM if he was glad to be home? He said "yes, and no". I asked, "why yes and why no?" His response, " I am happy to be home with family and friends, but no because I had the best month ever." *Ü*

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