Friday, July 10, 2009

New Tastes

Ever wonder what to say when someone asks what is your national food? Is it a meat pie? pavlova? BBQ? Vegemite? We settled for a lamington , so as not to assault the taste buds too much too soon ...

This week, the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from Japan arrived . Mayuko is a really delightful, confident and engaging young woman who will be studying for her Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Newcastle.

Have you heard of this program ? It is the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program which has sponsored, since 1947, nearly 38,000 men and women from 100+nations to study abroad, generally completing post graduate degrees. The purpose of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships is to further international understanding and friendships among people of different countries and geographical areas. While abroad,the scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country, and upon returning home, the scholars share the experiences which led to a greater understanding of their host country.

I am very fortunate to have been asked to be Mayuko's counsellor while she is studying here in Newcastle. Mayuko has tonight experienced Friday night dinner with the Simmons family, including the noise and energy of our three grandsons when they are together. And the highlight - a first taste of a truly Aussie delight - a lamington. We, of course, tasted green tea made of tea leaves from Mayuko's grandparents' tea farm, and received gifts of coasters - indigo dyed using a technique well known in Mayuko's home prefecture. I am sure there will be many more dinners while Mayuko is here to experience other Australian cuisine.
So what a good week it's been ...
- Jim has had his plaster cast removed and is feeling so much better with a splint boot;
- I got back into my workroom and made some felt scarves, which I have already sold. I love working with these colours- clean, fresh and alive!

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