Thursday, August 23, 2012

she was wearing a burqa

The majority of my students are not old enough to initiate, or have conversations about a given topic; some however are able to.  These students are those who typically only have speech sound errors and we get to a point in therapy that we need "conversation starters".  So, with this in mind I have been creating a conversation jar.  The conversation jar idea is an adapted idea courtesy of Pinterest which is simply a jar with conversation starters written on slips of paper.  During the process of creating this jar I came across "Journal Jar" starters for adults.  Here was one journal jar suggestion: Tell about the most wonderful experience you've had.

Story Characters:
Rachael- myself
Anna- friend of Rachael and Tiina
Tiina- friend of Rachael and Anna

Background history: Rachael, Anna, and Tiina all lived in the same house at the boarding school in Ranua, Finland.  Anna and Tiina are Finnish.  I met these two friends in 1996

Story takes place in London, England.

The year was 2004, I decided that year for my birthday I would purchase a ticket for myself to London to visit my good friend Anna.  The flight from Minneapolis to London story is for another blog.

Upon arriving in London, I took the tube station from Heathrow to Green Park to wait until Anna completed her shift working at a hotel.  In the early evening we arrived back at her place and discussed the plans for my stay there.  I was told that in a few days time there would be two girls from Finland who needed a place to stay for the night and that they would be coming to stay at Anna's apartment as well.  Well, Anna's apartment was shared with another girl Viivi, and was quite small.  I wondered in my head that why would these two girls go completely out of their way to spend the night at Anna's apartment which is so far from the train station and airport only to have to get up in the morning to go back.  Why not stay at a youth hostel or hotel??  I was feeling a little frustrated and jealous that my time with Anna had to be shared with people I didn't even know.   I asked Anna many questions.  Do you know these girls?  Do they have the same faith?  Will there really be enough room in the apartment for 5 people?  Why are they coming to London just for a night? and the list went on.  I encouraged her to tell them to stay at a youth hostel for the evening, but much to my dismay that wasn't going to happen.  I was told that these girls shared the same faith that we did, and that she didn't know them personally but that Anna knew them through others.  The other thing I simply couldn't understand is why I needed to go with to meet them at the station?  Why couldn't I stay back to sleep?

The night these Finnish girls were coming to spend the night at Anna and Viivi's apartment I found out that they were coming in quite late.  And to add to my further frustration of having to share time, many of the tube, bus, and trains wouldn't be running by the time they got from the airport to when they arrived a the train station.  I was having a glorious snit fit in my head about having to go so late to the train station, however somewhat curious about who these girls were, my defenses were caving in.

We arrived at the train station and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited....Finally Anna turned around waved and said "Oh I think that is them."  I turned to look in disbelief.  One of the women had a burqa on!  I thought since when do Christian women wear burqas?  But Anna, got up and started to walk towards these women.  As I hesitantly walked with her the woman wearing the burqa's stance looked oddly familiar.  At this time all flag are raised in my head.  As I continued to approach her the burqa continued to fall away from her face.  I couldn't believe it!  It was my other good friend Tiina.  I just started to cry the happiest tears I have ever had in my life.  I looked at Anna in disbelief and asked if she had planned this all for me?  And the answer was yes. 

We walked back to Anna's apartment through the city towards the country side.  The one distinct thought I had was, I am the most fortunate person to have at least two good friends who would plan a surprise so fantastic for me. 

This story has been and continues to be one of the most wonderful and amazing things that a friend has done for me.  From here Anna helped me plan a surprise for Tiina's wedding in 2006.  I have yet to plan a surprise for Anna.  What will it be??

Circa 2004 Rachael, Anna, Tiina

Circa 2004 Tiina, Rachael, Anikka, Anna

1 comment:

maaretp said...

You're on a roll with your storytelling! Can't wait to read the next one!