One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Monday, July 17, 2006

7 & Kevin

Wow, it has been a bit of a whirlwind getting to know our two new students. It is quite a different experience having 16-year-old Chinese youths in our home, as compared to Japanese college students.

The process of picking up our students was a cumbersome one. These poor kids had to endure a 13 hour flight and then a 7 hour drive from Los Angeles. Combine that with a flat tire and several stops, they were traveling for over 24 hours. But, in the end, each of us American host families was able to emerge from the UCD campus with at least one Chinese student in tow.

On the way to the car I asked our two new housemates their names. They offered their Chinese names first, which were surprisingly hard to pronounce. They then said that they had English names. Hallelujah! The first said his name was Kevin. Great! The next said his name was 'Seven.' What? I inquired. He responded by saying "One, two, three, four, five, six, SEVEN! My name is Seven!" He said that he didn't like the first name his teacher gave him, which was Andy, so he just chose this name. Yes, I thought, I am going to like these boys.

They are so enthusiastic and inquisitive. After we got back to the house, I took them with me to pick up some Rico's Pizza (which was Seven's first time eating pizza), and Seven asked where all the policemen were. Interesting. Later, when driving by a park, Seven asked if it was free. Interesting. During dinner (it was hilarious watching them eat pizza), Kevin pulled out his electronic translator, typed something up, then turned the screen to me, asking, "Do you have this?" The screen read: guns.

They were thrilled when I said yes, and even more thrilled when I mentioned my dad's collection. According to them, Chinese citizens aren't allowed guns (though both the boys are avid fans of gun-based computer and video games). They were shocked that we could go to stores to by them. We may take them to a shooting range while they are here.

Some interesting notes: they have never had tuna or peanut butter. They were amazed by my lawnmower (they live, like most every other Chinese citizen, in tall apartment buildings). They use Windows XP on their computers at home. They were very nervous about prayer, and asked that we show them how to do it (before meals). They are very focused on the salty or sweet nature of food. The vast majority of Chinese families have only one child, and those children (at least those involved in our program) live at their schools. They have seen nearly every movie that we own and they about know Kelly Clarkson.

I'll tell you what. If all of China is populated with kids like this, who are inquisitive, energetic, good-natured, and eager, then there is hope for that country.


Chelsa said...

Which one likes to observe and capture living things, Seven or Kevin? Also, their names together sound like a children's book title.

Raging Wombat said...

Kevin in the one who observes and captures living beings. Yes, they do sound like a children's story. It was a bit confusing for our girls at first.

Jabbertrack said...

So Kevin... the one who likes to caputure living beings, asked if you had "guns".

Does it mention in the bio whether or not the beings he captures remain "living" in 'captivity'?

Dear Lovey Heart said...

sounds awesome! and hilarious!

Ian said...

How is their english?

Raging Wombat said...

Their English is actually pretty good. Better than some of our other students, at least ...

Mike, I am still wondering about Kevin and guns. It is a bit scary.

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