One of the best things about being in a small school is that sense of welcoming warmth everyone experiences from finding supportive friends, no matter where you are from. Ultimately, they become your family. I was amazed at how easy it was to bring two of my “families” together. From my homeland, Justin is a part of my Taiwan family, and he was fortunate enough to meet my”family” here at Fontbonne this weekend.
Justin came to visit me from Ann Arbor, where he studies at the University of Michigan. Justin and I both grew up together in Taiwan, so we have been lifelong friends (I was 7, he was 4, when we first met.) Our homes away from home are very different to Taipei City, and we chewed each other’s ears of trying to describe and outdo each other in who lived in the better city. Of course, I can’t compare Ann Arbor to St. Louis, but the best way to amicably settle the dispute was to visit each other.
It only took us 4 years to actually make it happen.
Wow. I cannot describe how incredible the weekend was, not only because I had one of my best friends with me, but because my friends and family in St. Louis welcomed Justin with more than open arms. Several of my friends went out of their way to meet him or to have dinner with us at Duffy’s. The people I introduced him to at Fontbonne welcomed him so warmly that he was overwhelmed by kindness. To say that he was floored at meeting Dr. Golden (“His hands are HUGE”) and Mrs. Golden is an understatement. He left conversations with Fontbonnies feeling immensely honored and loved.
As for sightseeing, I showed him Forest Park, The Art Museum, the Arch, the Courthouse, Union Station, the Courthouse, the Loop… we missed Ted Drewes though, I bitterly regret, and he attempted to watch UMich vs. Penn State football at OB Clark’s in the middle of the Cardinal’s Playoffs. Should we have gone anywhere else? Let me know so I can take my other friends there!
I was just amazed at how Fontbonne welcomed Justin so warmly into her embrace that I swelled with pride when he said, “I can see why you love this place so much… they go out of their way to love you.”
Indeed. My time at Fontbonne has been incredibly bright, and I am thankful to my family here for making Justin know that he’s an honorary Griffin!