Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Friendship Bracelets at the Friendship Group

May 11, 2010 · No Comments

Ok, so not getting a CRB check was slightly problematic, until Dee, the head of Interface Learning pointed out something rather obvious. It went a little like this.

Dee: Wait, your an international student!

Me: Yes.

Dee: Well than you are an international woman and can come to the International Friendship Group anyways.

Me: Ohhhh…

So, we managed to sidestep that little inconvenience, which just meant that I won’t be able to go into the crèche, which is the children’s playroom. Like that’s a problem for me. It’s really more of a gift, actually. The group gets together once a week, and while the mothers have an English class with a certified English teacher, the children are dropped off in the free childcare. The ladies cook a communal lunch, with everyone taking turns to “host” the meal. Since I couldn’t help with the children I was sort of a gopher by bringing the dishes from storage to the kitchen, etc. It was a lot of fun, and while the younger volunteers I had met at the meeting were very friendly, these women were a lot more reserved and shy with me. It was rather obvious though that many of the women knew each other and spent time together outside of their weekly meeting.

There were a couple teenagers who weren’t in class and they most definitely did not need day care, so they spent the morning in the café with myself, the other volunteers, and Dee. I was amazed by one young woman’s embroidery. She was working on a pillow while waiting for her companion, and the thread that Dee had provided was the same as the kind that I used to make friendship bracelets in summer camp ages ago. When I mentioned that, I was greeted with blank looks from both other volunteers, Louise and Faith. So when I took some of the scraps and showed them what I meant I didn’t realize that I would end up being the referee in their race to start and finish their own bracelets. Unfortunately class ended before a winner could be determined. A small sidenote, I once again had to cross the huge scary roundabout to get to the Children’s Centre, but on the way back Faith taught me a shortcut! No more rotary! Now, I just have to figure out the shortcut in reverse.

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