International students from the University of Southern Indiana’s International Community Service program have been visiting us every Wednesday afternoon all semester and decided to put on an international party this week. They brought food, clothing, games, photos, music, and other artifacts from their home countries and shared them with the children, parents, and other volunteers.
After a snack in which everyone got a sampler plate from around the world, Arts & Smarts participants went from table to table, talking to each of the international students and asking questions. International students visited their neighbors’ tables to learn interesting new facts about their friends. Parents came over to the tables to see what was going on and joined in, too.
France, Pakistan, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Japan were among the countries represented. The room was lively with conversation, smiles, laughter, and engaged faces. Some learned to fold origami, some received henna tattoos, and some learned to say hello in German.
These face-to-face, global interactions are particularly important in this day and time. I’m thankful that Patchwork is a place where they can happen.