These next two stories are really for two specific groups of people, but I think that all of you will be amazed by them.
The first story is for the Curtis/Ackley/McConnell family (sorry if the spelling is wrong - I can never remember if it's 2 n's and 1 or 2 l's). When we the new staff first arrived in Ooty, we went out to dinner with the Weber's, a couple of the single staff, and two college-aged volunteers from Australia. We went to a Chinese Restaurant in Ooty - strange combination, but great food. Anyway, we had been ordered our food, and one of the Ozzies (Australians) got a call from a friend that was going to meet up with us at the restaurant. This friend, also an Ozzie, had been in Ooty for a few weeks studying Tamil (the local language). His name was Russell, and he had been a volunteer at Hebron a few years ago. During dinner as the group was talking I (Angie) overheard him say that he was currently teaching in Yemen. Someone else at the table told the group chimed in and said that not only was he teaching there, but he was teaching the President's children. So, being the well-mannered and civilized person that I am, I yelled across the table, "Hey! Do you know Lonnie and Jeran??!!" Needless to say, he looked quite shocked because he knew them quite well, and had taken over some of their responsibilities when they moved back to the States. So, over a meal in India, I met a guy from Australia who knew a couple in Yemen who we knew from Idaho!
The second story is for Ryan's and my immediate family, and all of our friends in Corvallis. Last week while I was working in Hoz, one of the older students at school sprained his ankle. It was pretty swollen so he had to stay overnight and most of the next day icing and elevating it. This would have been bad enough for both of us on a normal school day, but it was the holiday weekend so there was only one word to describe it, BORING! To pass the time, I let him visit with a few friends, but they eventually took off to do fun things in town. They also were off playing in the soccer (we call it football here) tournament that Jonathan, the injured, was supposed to be playing in as well. After a while, when everyone had left, he asked me where I was from. I told him the US, and he said, "I can tell that, I'm an American too. But what part?" I said Idaho, and he told me that he knew where that was because he pretty much grew up in Oregon. I said, "Oregon! What town?" "Oh," he replied, "You probably won't know it because it's not very big....it's called Corvallis." "Corvallis!!" I said. "That's where my husband and I both grew up!"
So, we spent the next little while talking about the years we lived there, what schools we went to, and how our dads both worked for HP. We reminisced about HP picnics, Papa's Pizza, Willamette Park (I think that's where my friend Mindy and I waded in the river and almost weren't allowed to see the age of 7, because our parents were so mad at us) and all kinds of other stuff. It was so crazy, especially since we lived there around the same time, but he's about 15 years younger than us. I asked him what church he attended, and when he told me the name I told him that I really only knew of one family that went to that church (but that was a really long time ago - a neighbor/friend that I knew when I was like 9 years old). When I told him my friend's name, he said that she used to babysit him!
Such a small world!