I will be unable to travel somewhere exotic this summer, and the same has been true for the past few years. As someone who hoards travel guides and maintains an ever growing "bucket list" of countries to visit in this lifetime, this is sad news indeed. However, I am determined to enhance this summer with cultural activities and experiences that are right at my fingertips, and yours too. Here are 5 ideas:
Students from all over the world study year round at the ELS Language Center located at Roger Williams University. Host Families can request students of a certain age group, gender, nationality, and for a particular length of stay. By welcoming an International Student you invite a new culture, language, and point of view into your home to share with your children, plus you receive $775 a month. Talk about an economic "staycation"! Visit the Dobbyn Homestay website to find out how it works.
2. Go to the Black Ships Festival
This event takes place in Newport in July, and celebrates the food, music, arts, and sports of Japanese culture. Sumo wrestling anyone?
3. Attend the International Film Festival
A great way to renew your teen's interest in his/her language studies. Better yet, dress up in your favorite trendy, funky outfit, throw a beret on your husband and catch a romantic French film. Then head for dessert at Pastiche.
4. Go out for Ethiopian Food
When you catch yourself ordering pizza again, pack the family into the car and head for Wickenden Street. The flavors will awaken your palate, and your kids will love eating with their hands at Abyssinia
5. Spend a morning at the Chinese/Taiwanese Dragonboat Festival
This is a wonderful way to experience the flavors, sights and sounds of Chinese and Taiwanese culture. If you want to take it a step further, you can even enter your company or school into the Dragonboat Race!
So fear not, East Bay friends, there is lots to do right here in Little Rhody. I challenge you to make your summer an intercultural experience, one that shakes up your normal routine and inspires new conversations at the dinner table. Bon Voyage, and don't forget to take pictures!