Monday, August 02, 2010

"Goldberry"

You know we had such an amazing year with Patrick here, that we decided early in the year (February??) that we would host another student during the coming school year.  We poured over the lists of students, reading profiles and host family letters students had written.  There were a couple that stood out, and we printed these so we could study and compare.  I was a little disappointed when I found that one of these students was already on "hold" by another family.  In the selection process, a family can place one or more students on hold so that no one else requests the student and they can have time to make the best decision.  I asked Mitch if he could find out more information--for example if it is a family we knew or if they had already made their decision.  He looked it up, and to our surprise WE were the family with this student on hold.  I was surprised and excited--Marilyn had put HER on hold for us thinking she might be a good fit.  We finished up our paperwork, made our calls, and soon we began receiving emails from our student.   Up until now, we have left this as a bit of a mystery for several reasons.  When we made our family t-shirts, I hinted at the new family addition by including HER shirt in the picture (though we didn't know which LOTR name to use for her yet).  It was fun to hear all the guesses from people if we were pregnant or hosting another exchange student.  :)

After a little research and discussion, I am pleased to introduce...
Goldberry

(My letters didn't turn out quite as nice as the others...I don't have Patrick here to help...sniff, sniff)

Because Goldberry doesn't appear in the Lord of the Rings movies, I feel that I need to give you a little background.  

As a character she is magical and mysterious, yet humble and pure. Frodo is enraptured by her. Here is how the book describes her the first time the hobbits met her, in the house of Tom Bombadil:

“In a chair, at the far side of the room facing the outer door, sat a woman. Her long yellow hair rippled down her shoulders; her gown was green, green as young reeds, shot with silver like beads of dew; and her belt was of gold, shaped like a chain of flag-lilies set with the pale-blue eyes of forget-me-nots. About her feet in wide vessels of green and brown earthenware, white water-lilies were floating, so that she seemed to be enthroned in the midst of a pool.”

She also sings beautifully. Here is what Frodo said to her:

“’Fair lady Goldberry!’ said Frodo at last, feeling his heart moved with a joy that he did not understand. He stood as he had at times stood enchanted by fair elven-voices; but the spell that was now laid upon him was different: less keen and lofty was the delight, but deeper and nearer to mortal heart; marvelous and yet not strange. ‘Fair lady Goldberry!’ he said again. ‘Now the joy that was hidden in the songs we heard is made plain to me.

O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool! Fair River-daughter!
O spring-time and summer-time, and spring again after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves’ laughter!’

Suddenly he stopped and stammered, overcome with surprise to hear himself saying such things. But Goldberry laughed.”
Doesn't she sound wonderful??  Would you like to know our student's real name?  More about her??  Well, for that you will have to guess...or wait...I'll introduce her fully when she arrives (which is very soon--August 12).

If you are interested in hosting an exchange student, there are many students that need to be placed in host families.  Even arrival families who only host the student for a shorter amount of time while a permanent family can be found (that was what we originally wanted to do with Patrick...until we got that first email from him, then we knew we would be keeping him forever).  Now that August is here, it's really down to crunch time--students are anxious to hear something and are preparing to fly to America but they have no idea where.  Log on to YFU-USA and fill out an application, look through some student profiles, and see if there is anyone that would fit well in your family!  You have nothing to lose and SO MUCH to gain by hosting a student.

Well, I won't say nothing to lose.  It was hard to say goodbye.  I feel like I shipped a piece of my heart to Germany.  But it was worth every bit of it.

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