Amazing Kait

For the next 2 months, my daughter Kait will be in Japan, participating in the Asian Rural Institute (ARI). It’s part of her degree program in Asian Studies at St. Olaf College–and from where I’m sitting, it looks like the best part of her college experience. She is only one of 3 Americans participating in the program this summer; everyone else is from other cultures and countries. She’s written us some great emails from ARI–here are some excerpts:

  • “Today I started working in the kitchen and was put in charge of teaching how to make cookies. So we made 112 rhubarb jam and strawberry thumbprint cookies (with no recipe and margarine instead of butter, so I was worried). People don’t know how to bake cookies. They don’t know how to bake anything. The success of the rhubarb cookies has placed me as head baker at ARI.”
  • “Yesterday I biked the couple of miles into town with some of the other volunteers. We were all riding the old old and very worn out bikes that ARI owns. My brakes needed some lubrication and just barely worked. We were like an international bikers gang, with folks from India, Japan, Germany, and the U.S. all rolling down the tiny streets.I think Japan would make for an excellent abroad biking trip, so you and Mom should do that instead of going over to Europe.”

Kait’s a good writer because she’s a great observer. And, she is a great participant in life. Not everyone would want to go to Japan for the summer to work in the kitchen for an organization that trains “… local grassroots leaders to more effectively serve in their communities as they work for the poor, the hungry, and the marginalized.” Kait would. It’s yet another reason why I love Kait.

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Kait sings with her fellow volunteers.
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Kait and her colleagues go to class. I wish I taught in a classroom such as this.
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Kait’s on the right, planting rice.
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