02 August 2011

Takes a Village, #2

Zolboo and the Mama.
We're on our way to his basketball banquet.
Guess what. I was an exchange student. I was in high school and I went to live in Mexico. It was stressful and lonely, and at times frightening, but I've always been really glad I did it. So when this woman named "Bunny," whom I'd met in the grocery store (making eye contact again), asked if we could host an exchange student, I said Sure!

I asked if it mattered that we were a gay couple with no teenagers, only a 3-year-old boy. Nope, said Bunny. This is America. They're coming here to learn about it. They have to deal with where they end up. (I love Bunny.)

And that's how Ganzolboo "Zolboo" Galbadrakh of Mongolia came to Maine to stay with us. He was 17 and from the capital city of Ulaan Bataar. To become an exchange student, applicants must pass a test to show that they're proficient in English. When Zolboo arrived at Portland International Jetport, I asked (cleverly), How was your trip? And he said, Yes...?

Zolboo was about as miserable as I was as an exchange student. I think he liked living with us, and loved Asa, always reading to him and holding him up high to make basketball shots. But his beginner's English held him back in making friends at school and he wasn't much of a self-starter when it came to exploring the city or finding other ways to meet teens.

Zolboo brought home one friend, another exchange student named Ruslan. He was from Tajikistan. That guy was dangerous and nuts. He got drunk at a party, which embarrassed Zolboo to death but he had to bring him home with him--Ruslan was staying the night. I gave Ruslan a small room of his own. He threw up all over the white duvet cover and it went through to the comforter. We had to throw it all away.

Other than that lapse in judgment, Zolboo was a great guy to have in the family! He calls sometimes. His English is much improved. He lives in Washington D.C. and has some big job with an international corporation there. He is so grown up.

1 comment:

  1. This is Z I tried to send you a email. But something wrong with your address. My email is ganzolboog@yahoo.com write me