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Our Surprise: Multi-Cultural Day
table full of desserts
Diane Scalia
Diane Scalia
February 11, 2009

We thought we knew what we were in for

You look forward to something, you're on your way out feeling good about what you think you're expecting to happen. Then that 'something' unfolds so much more amazingly, and in more magical ways, than you never saw coming.

Lisa and I were on our way to meet with Entrepreneur-extraordinaire Curt Ewald. We thought the meeting was going to be about our working with his new destination management concept, and it was. We thought he'd have some good stuff to offer and he did, only great stuff to offer would be more appropriate and, a gross understatement at best. I thought I would also speak with him about other part-time tour-leader opportunities, and I did. Fabulous opportunities.

To get to the meeting in the first place, we thought we knew where we were going and then we thought we needed to backtrack to find our way. As we went to turn around, there in front of us was the address we were looking for. All 5 minutes before we were supposed to be there.

We thought our time together with Curt would last only until 11:30 when he had another appointment. We thought we'd need to book a whole second appointment to meet his wife Debra, whom we'll also be working with. We thought we would all head back to our respective corners, and right away begin on our next steps.

Not so fast. None of the above actually happened as we thought it would.

"What school do your children go to?" Lisa asked Curt as we prepared to leave. We had just learned they were elementary school-age.

"Open Charter," he said.

"That's where our other sister teaches!" She exclaimed in awe. "I bet"

And before she finished that thought, Curt 'recognized' the family resemblance, since our sister is his son's teacher. So, we accompanied him to his son's, and our sister's school, to join their Multi-Cultural Day celebration. Their unbelievably fabulous Multi-Cultural Day celebration.

kids eating at the lunch table

Curt's wife Debra was teaching a Chinese New Year unit in our sister Suz's classroom. Curt had had to leave our appointment when he did, so that he could deliver - on time - his wife's brilliant Chinese Fried Rice to the massive, bountiful buffet in honor of Multi-Cultural Day.

Backing up a moment, I had passed an Indian restaurant on my way to Lisa's that morning. An Indian buffet lunch sounds really good, I thought, hoping I could talk Lisa into it later. I had ethnic food on the brain ever since.

I love the expression 'be careful what you wish for'. We barged in on Suz in her classroom, cleared up all the confusion about how we got there, and met some of her beautiful little students. Curt was in and out of tow, carrying this beautiful bowl of fried rice which I was really wanting to taste, so very much...and here comes the rest of the story.

"Would you like a plate?" We were so kindly asked, at the beginning of the 100+, maybe 1000+ dish buffet. This was set up so bountifully and beautifully, for the dining pleasure of the little students, their families who came, the teachers and staff and, party crashers.

Only if there is enough

"Oh, only if there's enough," I answered.

"Are you kidding," the kind woman laughed. "The kids are only going to eat the buttered spaghetti! There's plenty!"

Well then, in that case, I told her we'd be honored to stay. Because we were.

A mere fraction of what was there, included: THE BEST bbq'd chicken. Guatemalan soup (served by an Irishman!). Ethiopian specialties. Spaghetti with tomato sauce. Cornbread. Spanakopita. Baked beans and hotdogs. A million Japanese offerings. Korean foods. Festival bread. Rice from China, Cuba, Persia, Mexico, Japan. Mac n' cheese. Croissants. Sweet potato fries. Hummus and pita. Taquitos. Jambalaya. Then, desserts!

Chocolate mousse. Baklava. Apple strudel. Mushroom-shaped ginger cookies. Turkish delight. Korean cookies. Rice pudding. Brazilian pastries.

Do I need to eat again before December? I do not. (But, Lisa and I are dining out Japanese tatami-style tonight. Just bein' honest.)

We got more time with Curt. We got to personally meet the lovely Debbie and their beautiful little son.

I especially loved visiting with the multitude of students with roots from all over the globe, and their families. And I thought my day couldn't get better, until we tried to say goodbye and got this response.

"Don't go yet," two beautiful little girls pleaded to Lisa and I. "You just GOT here!

Please tell me you've had one or more of these kind of days.

Your full, and faithful Tour Maestra,

Diane Scalia

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