I love to cook and Ashley is an excellent hostess, so we combined these things with our love of the international this evening for a dinner party at my apartment. Ashley started preparing food last night, and I started cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking at 2 p.m. today. After devoting the afternoon to preparation (thanks, Anna and Becky, for the help), we were so excited when 6 p.m rolled around! Well, 6-something-ish... I've learned to never rely too heavily on a concept of time when interacting with those from more relaxed cultures. ;-) We had a nice mixture of international students (8) and American students (8), most of whom did not previously know each other, as we began to eat. Several people brought food, so we ended up with: stuffed shells, lasagna, salad, cranberry orange cream cheese dip with crackers, coconut pie, monkey bread, strawberries, chocolate ice cream, and Korean crab chips. We had JUST enough food. We scooped up the last bit of lasagna and the last leaves of lettuce for the last two people who walked through the door. Whew! God provides. :-)
I would just like to take this moment to describe what a poor hostess I am compared to Ashley. She is always looking out for the needs of others, and she does an amazing job of making people feel at home. And it comes naturally! I, on the other hand, have to constantly remind myself to try and think of what people may be thinking or feeling and figure out what I can do to fill those needs. I'm not always successful with coming up with stuff OR being mindful of it in the first place. Dishes didn't even occur to me tonight, and we ended up having to scramble for a motley collection of plates and cups. I love being with people and doing things for people, but the hostess aspect of it does not come naturally at all. I guess that's what's so important about the concept of each of Christ's followers being part of the body of Christ; we complement each other and fill in the stuff they're missing!
Four countries were represented in my living room/kitchen tonight, and my apartment was full to the brim of lively discussion about everything from driving to dancing to finding similarities in everyone's languages. You know the night is successful when people offer to host it at their place next time. :-)
Thank you to everyone who helped prepare, everyone who helped clean up, and everyone who CAME (and interacted and learned and laughed)!
What did I learn most from this evening? Molla/Buzhidao/Je ne sais pas/No se/Shirimasen/I don't know. But I sure look forward to next time.