With nicer weather finally making it's way to Minnesota a new adventure awaited Erik. Most school children in Rochester are bused to and from school everyday. In the beginning of the exchange we would have never have imagined sending Erik on a school bus as he was still learning conversational English. Now with his newly acquired language skills (and the melting of the snow) it was the perfect time to let him have a traditional American kid experience: riding the big yellow school bus!
The night before Erik and went over his route. He would catch bus #25, with a picture a pear, 200 meters from our house and take it to Mayo High School. He would then get off and catch bus #116 (the carrot) and take it to school. All the buses in this area meet at Mayo high and the bus driver (a retired school teacher) assured me that he would help Erik find the right bus.
Erik almost did not catch his bus the first time as he looked at #183 and said "that isn't my bus!" I told him to always look at the number that is with the picture.
Off he went saying "take the pear bus to the carrot bus."
Meanwhile at the farm Harrison went out to hunt worms alone. He misses Erik a lot when he is at school.
Both Madeline and Erik have birthdays in May. On May 4th Madeline turned 8. Her breakfast of choice was oatmeal and cooked blueberries.
Much to Erik's delight, Madeline and Nana made cookies with M&Ms!
The next night we took off for the Cities (what we affectionately call Minneapolis and St. Paul) to attend Circus Juventus. This children's circus was founded in 1994 with the following mission:
We believe in providing ordinary children extraordinary opportunities at Circus Juventas … which creates and fosters the idea that our students do not feel boundaries or obstacles in imagining and building their future.
There mission resonates with me as it's mission could be applied to this wonderful exchange process!
Erik, Remington, Jack, Madeline, Alexa, Katherine
Exploring some of the outside creative structures as we wait to be seated.
This permanent circus building is quite impressive.
The children in the show range in ages 2-18.
The children did flips, vaulted over each other and flew through the air holding a strap with only one arm.
At intermission Alexa and Madeline found their friend Elia. Elia and her parents travel to the Cities several times a week to provide their daughter with the Circus opportunity. (that is over two hours in the car each night!)
When intermission happened shortly before 9 p.m. we knew there was no way we could stay for the entire show as it would end at 10:30 and we still had to drive an hour back home. Not being above bribery, we told the kiddos we could stop for ice cream if we left at intermission. Sugar and smiles were had by all!