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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Calls to Ireland

Since some of you weren't aware of our house guest, I had started to reply in the comments, but got a little long winded. So, I'll make it another post.

Joe is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (A.O.H.) It's an Irish-Catholic men's association. Every year, they sponsor a group of children who live in the Northern area of Ireland to come over on "holiday" during what is known as "The Marching Season". This season starts towards the end of June and runs through the month of July. While I don't think the religious friction between the Catholics and Protestants is as bad as it used to be, the A.O.H. still likes to get the children out of the way of any trouble that might arise.

We had wanted to host one of the kids, but since we both work during the day, we agreed to host one of the chaperons. Deborah is a really nice kid. Kid. She's 21. But to me, that's still a kid.

Aaannnyway.. we opened our home to her, told her that if she wanted to have some friends over to swim, that would be fine as long as she remembered that this is our home and she was to respect it. Me & the kids go down the shore every weekend and Joe works over the weekend. She was basically on her own over the weekends.

Even though we bought her one of those pre-paid Trac-Phones, we had told her that it was ok for her to use the house phone. I was thinking to order a pizza, call the other chaperons and host families to schedule some of the outings that they do on their holiday.

Apparently, towards the end of her visit she got a little homesick, and made 409 minutes worth of phone calls to Ireland. Most were kept under 5 minutes, but one was 75 minutes and the other long call was 69 minutes. My International Long Distance bill was $118.74.

Other than this, Deborah's visit with us was a great one. The kids absolutely adored her, she really liked the kids, she never asked us for anything. She was a gracious guest. The evening before she left for home, we had gone to Joe's parents for dinner & Deborah was invited too. She told us on the way back home, that we were the best family she had ever4 stayed with. Some of the other hosts she felt were a bit controlling. Made plans to drag her all Philadelphia and see the sights. Not that that's a bad thing, but the chaperons and the children already have an itinerary planned before they get here. Deb said that last year, her host family was a really upset that she couldn't go to Penn's Landing for the 4th of July fireworks show with them, but the group already had plans to take the children to a Phillie's game.

Since she's gone back home (7/27), Maggie asks me every Sunday on the way back from the shore if Deborah's going to be at the house to go swimming with her.

Deb brought the kids each a little teddy bear from Ireland, and Maggie has named hers Deborah-Bear.


Christy said...

That actually sounds really fun. I bet it was neat getting to know someone from another country. However, the phone bill does not sound fun.

Lainey-Paney said...

I'm impressed that the phone bill was only $118 for 409 minutes of calling!

I remember when I lived in New Orleans...sometimes my monthly phone charges would be over $300, and I couldn't pay them. My parents would have to pay them...and then they would be mad...but then they wanted to talk to me too---so it was a crazy cycle.