Two weekends in a row we have had the fortunate opportunity to hook up with other Fulbright teachers who are living near us. Cindy Hardy lives just southeast of Leicester, in Kibworth. She is from Chicago and is over here with her twin teenage boys and her daughter. The boys are in high school, and her daughter is a Year 7, so in middle school.
The Food and Drink Festival, right around the corner from our home, was the perfect excuse to get Cindy to come on over. We had a great afternoon trying out some foods, some drinks, and just a chance to talk. She and I needed a little time just to bounce our experiences off each other. Her boys loved Melton and found it a ‘big town’, which we found funny. Kibworth must be really small. We hope to go south and visit them sometime in November. There is the Diwali Festival in Leicester and we may all meet up for that. Apparently it is the largest Diwali Festival outside of India!
Last weekend we drove south to Woburn Sands, a town near Milton Keynes, which is a small city about 50 miles north of London. There abodes Rebecca Smith, a teacher from Alabama. She and I first met in Denver back in May and found a lot of common ground as people as well as teachers.
She lives in a modern townhouse, with central heat, a large upright fridge/freezer, and about 300 DVDs. I was a tad jealous of its modern feel.
We chatted with Rebecca, and then went out for a walk. Her town is close to a couple small villages and we figured we would just walk to them, grab a bite to eat, and talk. Well, the sun gave way to massive rain so we found ourselves in a Woburn Sands pub for our bite.
Afterwards we walked around the corner to see a monument erected to Greg Rutherford, who won gold in the mens long jump at this year’s London Olympics.
Rebecca (Sturges) and I agreed that it was really nice to hook up with other American teachers having the same kind of experiences that we are. Cindy, with her kids, faces many of the same daily challenges we as families do. Rebecca Smith has similar challenges as I do as we learn how to effectively teach over here. I was glad to know that Ms Smith was making connections with many of the other teachers as well. All Fulbright teachers in England are women, and there are only a couple blokes up in Scotland. Rebecca has been able to make arrangements with the other female teachers and is going places with them when she can. Cindy and I do not have to deal with loneliness as much as many of our counterparts must be going through because of our families. I wish I could see more Fulbright teachers, but traveling with a family is a different kettle of fish. Hopefully we can get up North to see other teachers soon. Any and all are invited to see us in Melton!