We picked up two cute 15 year old boys from Brazil on Sunday, Arthur and Henrique. We were there with our sign waiting to greet them, and the did not come. Another lady from the group said, “Those boys must have gotten lost. They were with us, and then they went to the bathroom, and I don’t know where they are.” That was nice of her to tell us, but we couldn’t go looking for them, and neither could she, so we just waited. The group of host families and students was grouped over by the luggage thing, and it looked like many of them were missing their luggage. When our 2 boys arrived, their luggage was also missing. No luggage for you. They assured us that it would probably come tonight and someone from American Airlines would bring it to our house. Ok.
So, we brought the boys home and let them get settled while we went to meetings. (Seriously? Why so many meetings? Both Jenna and I had interviews, we had to go to a different ward’s sacrament meeting because we would miss ours to pick up the boys, I had to present at “it’s great to be 8) and then there was a court of honor AND a fireside for 11 year old. We missed the fireside.) After dinner, I took the two boys to Wal Mart to buy some clothes. There I was, in the men’s underwear isle with two Brazillian boys. Not something I would ever imagine doing. I had a little trouble understanding that they needed pajamas, but eventually they made me understand. I had to show them how to use their debit cards, swipe, sign the pad, etc. Kind of fun.
Monday I had to rush out the door to be to the school by 7, so I didn’t see them. Ryan took them to the frontrunner station in Lehi, where they were to board the 7:45 train, then in Sandy they were supposed to switch to trax, which takes them to their school. I was a little worried about them finding their way, but since there were about 6 kids all doing the same trip, and some of them have already been here a week, we hoped they could follow them. And we had a map and directions printed out for them. They left the directions home. Ryan gave them his cell number. At around 8:30 he started getting the phone calls from a Brazilian number (someone’s mom is not going to be too happy about that). They had gotten on the wrong train and where should they go? He directed them, but got another call later. They had finally gotten to the stop they needed, but couldn’t find the school. They were at AutoZone. Ryan told them which way to walk and I think he called the school to tell them that our boys were lost. I didn’t know any of this was going on, as I hadn’t checked my phone until after 9. I called the school at 10 and they were indeed there. Cold and probably miserable, but there.
One of the coordinators called me later and said it’s good for them to get lost at first, then they won’t do it again. He also said that the boys were very cold. Yes, it’s cold in the basement. We had warmed it up a bit, but I guess it needs to be warmer. Instead of telling us or the coordinators, one of the boys told his mom, so then she told the school. Oh, great. We’re being tattled on.
I tried to install the whatsapp on my phone. I still couldn’t message the boys, though. We didn’t know what time they would be coming home on the train, IF they made it on the train. But the coordinator called to let me know he had taken them to the station and they should be with the group this time.
Just a long day. And on top of that, their luggage STILL didn’t come. All the others had their luggage. Ryan tried to figure it out, and was on the phone for over an hour (most of that on hold). I offered to wash their clothes, started some laundry for them, and went to bed. I was done. Craptastic day over.
I asked Ryan to drive them all the way to the school today. They got to sleep in a bit longer, eat a little breakfast, and take that bag to the school so they can file a claim with United Airlines.
The first day with any exchange students has never been this hard. Let’s hope that we got all our bumps in the road over with and we can all have a great experience.