Celebrating life and friendship

On December 1, my afternoon ESL students threw a little party to say goodbye to one student and to celebrate another student’s birthday.  As you can see, it’s a very diverse group of international students, representing Iran, Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Uganda.

Many students brought food — cooked at home if they had time, or bought from Subway if they didn’t. 

Above is Mahboubeh, who cooked a delicious Persian chicken dish called fehsenjoon (spelling?) for everybody.  She has no car, so she came on the bus lugging a pull-cart filled with large glass casserole dishes.  (She did all this even though her house was broken into and robbed a week ago.) When she came into the classroom with her food, she waved her arms in the air and said, “I love everybody!”  Mahboubeh is a widow who raised seven children.  I think she’s amazing.

So we all sat down and ate.  It was good, especially Mahbouhbeh’s chicken.  I had two plates, with rice.  Surrounded by beautiful women.  (See below.)

And then we danced.  Well, they danced while I took photos.

(Above)  On the right (in the black-and-design top) is Roya, an Iranian-born woman who has lived in Luxembourg for many years.  She’s going back on Tuesday, Dec. 6.  On the left (in the brown pullover) is Felipe, an airline pilot from Brazil.  It was his birthday.

Above is Lesli, who has a special reason to smile.  A few years ago, she was in a coma and was not expected to live.  Thanks in part to the support of her loving husband, who is from Afghanistan, she has made a full recovery.  For her, every moment of life is a special gift.  It is for everybody, but she appreciates this in a very personal way.

 Goodbye, Roya.  We will stay in touch.

While she was here, Roya tried to start a meditation group called “The Tranquility Zone,”  which is something she did in Luxembourg.  Even though she is going back to Europe on Tuesday, we are going to try to have weekly meditations at or near our school.  If you are interested, please leave a comment.

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About John Mears

I teach English, take photographs, play guitar, write, do yoga, meditate, hike, play computer games, and love (and try to serve) humanity. If anything here touches you, let me know! Leave a comment! Subscribe! Enjoy! If you like the photos, you might like the greeting cards we will be selling soon!
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2 Responses to Celebrating life and friendship

  1. Lilly Edens says:

    You get to teach an amazingly diverse group of people – and I am sure it changes all the time. How Glorious – to be able to touch all those distant lands and peoples even if you can’t be traveling yourself. I bet you get to learn as much if not more than your students do 😀 And such life stories to tell too.

    • John Mears says:

      Lilly, you are so, so right. They are not only diverse; my international students tend to be open-minded, open-hearted, fun-loving, and appreciative of so much good in this country that we take for granted. And yes, the life stories. Oh my God, the life stories. They could fill a book. A bookshelf. A library!

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