Monday, July 09, 2007

Fellowship-filled Fourth of July

J. and I had the pleasure of hosting three of the six European Memorial Marshall Fellows for the Fourth of July along with Spring 2007 American Marshall Fellow Heather from Seattle.
Here we are after dinner... pregnancy

And all of us again with Heather's friend Nate in the picture on the left. We had a great time getting to know each other, talking about European institutions versus the American versions, and the unique experiences they had already had in their travels around the U.S.

Such as the church two of them visited in the south that was celebrating military veterans on the Sunday they attended services. In addition to the Marine-turned-pastor who gave the sermon, several Marines rappeled from the ceiling of the sanctuary during the services!

"This is very different from churches in Europe," one of the EMMF's said, still surprised by the event even in the retelling.

"Uh, that's very differnt from most churches here in the U.S.," I clarified.

They were all as smart and accomplished as the other fellows I've met to date, although they of course had the added skill of speaking multiple languages. They each spoke at least three to four, which reminded us Americans in the room how much of a disadvantage we're at on the international stage due to the typical American educational system's approach of not teaching foreign language until middle or high school.

Linguistic regrets notwithstanding, it was a wonderful evening and I hope they enjoyed a typical American fourth with a fairly typical American couple as much as we enjoyed them.

1 comment:

  1. Marine-turned-pastor and Marines rapelling from the roof? Actually, not terribly outrageous here in the South, the Bible belt of the country, which also is home to a *lot* of military bases.

    Another example of how different regions of the US have their own cultures.