Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Four More at the Door Ready to Explore

Tuesday August 15

We had quite a few errands to take care of around town on Tuesday, but the main event (which in fact necessitated most of the errands) was to be dinner with four of our students at the Henry Street Residence. Invitations for our second small group dinner had been offered to Kyle, James, Brent and Laura.

None of them had any schedule conflicts, nor did they know that it might have been better to invent one, since the first dinner group from the week before had given their comrades a good review of the evening. Evidently those that disliked vegetables found other aspects of the evening more than compensated for having to consume plant matter. Or, they were really into the whole schadenfreude scene and wanted to let the next group take the same or similar dietary hit that they did completely without warning?

Wendy has undertaken a mission to expose the students in the small dinner groups to some new and different foods within the context of providing a home cooked meal. Don knew that after making a small objection to the nature of her mission, that the wisest thing to do was not to interfere unless absolutely necessary; and even then what real impact would he have?

So, Wendy took control of the kitchen while Don focused on the clean up and getting all the appropriate dishes, glasses and silverware set out. Lamb was to be the main course with green beans, potatoes and Wendy’s special Louisiana style ‘dirty’ rice accompanying. Ice cream, chocolate and shortbread would be available for dessert, if things got that far.

Everyone arrived and it turns out they brought a bottle of wine to contribute to the feast. However, we started them out with a session of beer sampling, four different types of local brews of differing varieties (Pilzners, ale, etc.). So, beverage sampling began and appetizers were served as we all became conversational.

Dinner was served and with little persuasion everyone moved over to the table and wine was poured. Kyle told us he was soon to travel to Melbourne to take his MCAT exam. He hopes to enter medical school and would like to become a pediatrician or a family practitioner. He and Bethany have been going out for six years! Laura says that she has more free time here than back in MN since her participation on the tennis team at CSB demands a lot from her. She has been running regularly to maintain her physical conditioning in the absence of the usual training and competing. She has also been exploring the shopping options in Fremantle with some of her mates.

Brent’s enjoyment of baseball led him to bring his glove along and has led to him having an interesting conversation with an American woman he met while playing catch who also loves the game.

We cannot speculate at this time what implications this will have for Mr. Mergen, James told us a bit more about the theology class that most of our group is taking and considers to be difficult and or confusing. Don tried to practice his sense of irony by getting James to talk a lot about quietism, which he was willing to do. Don and James had a detailed discussion about U.S. geo political policy and world affairs under Bush II.

Desserts came out and all of the options were put on the table: ice cream, chocolate and shortbread. Don explained how with the tradition established just the week before, that Laura would get to take the left over chocolate back to share with the other CSB students as Jaya did previously. There were not too many overt objections to this, maybe due to everyone having had their fill. Soon enough, as conversation wound down, our responsible group pleaded the necessity to return to the P & O to grapple with homework assignments and they were gone.

Don promptly set about cleaning up and washing the dishes while Wendy saw to her e-mail and class preparations. A full evening that seemed to go very well. Only one more full day for Don in Fremantle before his long journey home to MN.


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