Saturday, February 14, 2009

Letters from the Host Brother

8 February 2009

It’s 10:49 at night, about the time this guy hits the ol’ sack, but I just gotta elaborate, for a brief moment, about my host brother, Rustəm.

He’s a creative young lad, that Rustəm, and it comes out when we’re at the dinner table. The T.V.’s usually on, and Firuz and Aybəniz might be having their own little conversation while Hökümə might be doing a little homework and I…well…sit there I guess. Rustəm often prefers to spend his time drawing or writing random things he reads in books (An English textbook is a good example). He loves to see a picture and copy it as best he can. Then he’ll show it to me and say, “This is that,” while pointing to the picture from which he got his drawing. Of course, I’m always very impressed with his artistic ability. To be honest with you, it’s cool to see the little guy going at a drawing. It’s good for him, and fun to watch, too.

Today, I received two very special gifts from my host brother. This morning, he handed me a letter he wrote to me on the inside of a porcelain cup and saucer box. Although I had to use a dictionary to get all the words in the letter, I was touched, as you can imagine. I would share his words of wisdom, but, of course, that would be breaking brother-host brother confidentiality. And this evening, as I finished up the plan for my first English clubs, he knocked on my door and handed me another letter, as sweet as the last one.

Kids are amazing. Who gives a darn if you’re the foreigner and he’s the local and you can’t speak his language very well? None of that makes much of a difference. There’s so much you can learn about a person just by being there, by standing aside and seeing him do his thing. Dad would talk about how he’d swing by Sewanee Elementary just to watch by older brother play on the playground when he was little. I bet Dad learned a lot about his oldest son by simply looking on at eight year-old Clay, at a time in which he, like all kids, did his own thing, and I see the same in young Rustəm. The fact that he wrote me a couple letters doesn’t just illustrate how he feels about the American living in his house. It also says a lot about him, and that’s a heck of a good thing to learn.

No comments: