The last fortnight has been full of faces. 80 new international students here to improve their English in advance of their courses starting in September, converge on a quiet campus well outside the city. They have so much to adapt to. The language, our accents, the lie of the land, the food, and of course, the weather. Lots of it. Does nobody tell them to buy a Gore-Tex before they come here? And a fleece? Apparently not. But they do have umbrellas. Just as well.
It's a privilege to be here to welcome them, to try to be a friendly face, to offer a bit of fun, and link them to some locals, so they can practice their English. Whiteabbey Presbyterian Church has been really hospitable, welcoming, and delighted to receive forty of them last Thursday night for table tennis, pool, Jenga... green tea ... and it seems they particularly enjoyed the apples!
I had lunch today with the three girls from Taiwan and Carlo, an Italian. Really chilled. Not too much conversation, but plenty of fun with the Jenga. I hope we can do this regularly!