Two months have passed...no way. We seem to have accelerated time's passing once again (having kids really does this) and wish there was a way to slow it all down so it can be savored. I actually had no idea it had been 2 months already until Iris and Daniela (an AFS student from Chile) were lamenting time's passage while driving back from a long weekend over in Bend, OR. Both girls were worrying about how little time of their stay was left if things kept going by so fast! That is surely a testament to the AFS program making what would seem a daunting trip away from one's 'home' into a fantastic journey.
Of course we have now heard of a few rumblings of this journey not going so well for everyone but how could it be otherwise. Maybe some student-host pairings were not great matches, a few students who really couldn't transition away from their home or hosts who in the end who weren't really wanting a teenage offspring in their well-oiled household machine. Who knows but it is really not the norm and hopefully won't deter others from taking the step forward to have a good chance for a really great experience.
Back to our new reality and what a blast taking teenagers to their first Pumpkin Patch. It was so corny (ha-ha-ha)! The Central Oregon Pumpkin Co. in Terrebone, OR has a classic Americana Fall experience. Of course there is a field of pumpkins where you stumble around selecting your perfect globe amongst the thousands of perfect globes. But it is all the other pieces that just makes this a destination worth traveling to: the corn maze, pumpkin cannon, horse-drawn wagon rides, train-like kid ride decorated with zoo animal cars, petting zoo (with escapee chickens and roosters), farm market, hay bales, caramel apples, carnival food and places just to hang out and watch the whole scene. It was even dog friendly (Cory was very happy and decided he likes caramel apples, no surprise there). All of this with a background of Smith Rocks just adjacent to the farm. What a great day to share.
Yummy caramel apples.
Crooked River Gorge and railroad bridge.
Those funny photo-ops...the Peanuts gang!
AFS Oregon students at Sky Camp.