We are always excited to get blog submissions from friendship families! Last weekend Oni Dju Lete’s friendship family, Paul and Linda Kappus, took a group of students to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. Paul summarized the day for us in this blog post. Interaction with friendship families is an important way for NWCCI students to engage in cultural exchange and it sounds like this was an adventurous day of culture for the students and family.
Five Edmonds NWCCI students, Issa, Oni, Azhar, Maira, and Pasa, and two other international students, Momo and Betty, traveled with veteran friendship family, Paul and Linda Kappus, on the Sounder train from Edmonds to Puyallup to attend the Washington State Fair on a sunny Saturday in September. Before the trip, everyone practiced the correct pronunciation of “Puyallup” (PEW-awl-uh p) which can be tricky to pronounce even for Americans. Puyallup translates to “generous people” and the city is named after the Native American tribe who populated the Nisqually River Valley for thousands of years.
On the first leg of the adventure, the group took Community Transit bus 116. The NWCCI students tried to adopt their bus driver and convince him to come to the fair with them. Sadly, he had to be on his route but he did go “out of service” long enough for a NWCCI photo opportunity. Next, they made a transfer to the Sounder train for a beautiful train ride along the shores of the Puget Sound, through Seattle and on to Puyallup. Some even received dessert-plate-size Washington State Fair buttons on the way.
The day was a definite cultural experience filled with sun, food, and good times. The group toured the Puyallup farmer’s market and town square for fresh fruit snacks and photos, then headed to the Washington State Fair for hamburgers, hot dogs, scones, strawberry shortcake, curly fries and every imaginable American excess. It was a great place for people watching and observing the diversity of American people. The group spread out in teams of two to cover the large fairgrounds, eat more food, see the animals, and ride some rides.
The NWCCI students observed and took a steely measure of the carnival rides. The award for bravery above and beyond the call of NWCCI went to Maira who selflessly agreed to go along with Oni to keep her company on the “BIG SLING,” the most adventurous ride at the fair. All the team came together to witness the awesome event. The happy and tired group shared their observations and reflected on their experiences on the train and bus ride back to EdCC after the setting of the sun.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S.Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.