The Weekend!

It’s finally the weekend! And here we are…doing research. Well…supposed to be doing research. That’s kind of the plan for this afternoon.

Yesterday in class, we went over different “tools” for ethnography. We really can’t use most of it until we actually get to our countries. The premise of the day was to be ready to intentionally study the culture once we get there. We have lots of ideas on how to go about that and we’re excited about the process. To help us get started, we have an assignment that some are really, really nervous about. We are supposed to interview three people who were not born in the US. Everyone wanted to know if I counted, but apparently I don’t. Bummer. Anyway – we’re to go in teams (so Brian and I can do it together) and just approach people that are obviously not American and find out different information about their home country and the culture. It’s supposed to be very informal, not pressuring them at all. Our instructor said that some students have even been invited over to people’s houses for dinner after this project! The goal is actually to get us used to going out of our comfort zone and talking to people we don’t know. See, one of the steps to figuring out how things work in another country is by asking several nationals about what’s going on. We need to get used to it now, at home, or it’s going to be ten times more difficult overseas. Brian and I are actually very excited. We had to approach people during Bible school about their worldviews and that seemed harder. People generally like to talk about themselves and they love it when they’re asked questions about their home. I loved sitting down with people from our church in Montreal and just drilling them with questions. It’s fascinating what you learn just by listening! Hopefully this will go well. I think we’re going to try to interview people next week since we have a longer weekend.

Tomorrow, we are going to go to a Catholic church and get that assignment done. We need to do a “physical map” of the building and take notes of how they conduct the service, dress, decorate, etc. Should be interesting!

Last night, we all went to Old Fort, North Carolina, to attend the Old Fort Mountain Music. Here’s the link:  It was so fun! It starts around 7 and goes til around 11. All different bands come in and play a set for about a half hour. There’s clogging and line dancing and it’s so cool to see the mix of ages all mingled together. Brian and I had a great time just observing and seeing how everyone interacted. There was a whole group of what we would’ve called punk kids that had a blast clogging and dancing with the older folks that had come. There were even little girls up there clogging! The bands mostly consisted of a fiddle, a guitar, a bass, a banjo, a mandolin and singers, or some combination of the above. One group had all guys – 3 were brothers. The youngest was 14 and holy cow, could they sing! It was such fun. We left around 10:30. Check out the website – it was really a neat experience. We may have to go back. 🙂

I’m going to add just a couple more pictures to Facebook. I did not get a chance to get a picture of the nursery area, but I will get that done. We didn’t take pictures in Old Fort because we really felt that would be inappropriate. We were the only tourists, as far as we could tell, and we didn’t want to offend anybody. But, take a look at the website; some of the bands they have pictured we actually got to see. If you search “North Carolina clogging” on, you can see short video clips of stuff similar to what we saw last night.

Hope you all have a nice weekend! Drop us an email, send us a letter (or a package filled with cookies…), give us a call, or comment on our website. We enjoy hearing from all of you!!

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