Wright-Patterson AFB is enormous. It's actually like 3 bases squished into one. Fred works in finance for one part of the base. There's also the materials command. Then there's AFIT (Air Force Institute of Technology). It's basically grad school for Air Force officers.
What does that have to do with pioneers? Aside from existing to further the education of US military officers, there are also many officers from countries all around the world who come to Wright-Patt to further their education. It can be really neat to go grocery shopping and see other shoppers in uniforms from various different countries.
Much to our delight, there's a pretty well-represented group of Brazilian officers. There's one couple in particular, Kezia and Alan, who we have made good friends with. They are both in the military, but only Kezia is in training. Her husband, Alan, stays home with their 6-year old son. Neither of the guys speak very good English, but they're certainly determined!
Kezia called Fred that Thursday to let us know that a new family had arrived from Brazil and that they were throwing a welcome party. I had a grueling day that day and at first told Fred to go on without me. In the end I decided to go along, and boy, am I glad I did!
The new family consists of the father who is here for training, and his wife and 2 teenage daughters. The ladies don't speak a lick of English, although the wife's name is "Deborah"! So cool. They plan on putting their girls in public school. Sink or swim, I guess.
It was so funny how some of the Brazilians just couldn't get over how well Fred can speak Portuguese. This one lady would randomly burst out laughing, exclaiming in the cutest pitch, "You are amaaazing! You speaky suchy good Portuguese!"
She adored Kai. He wasn't sure about her at first, but warmed up quickly once she let him gnaw on her necklace.
It was just such a warm evening of laughs and fun stories. We were sad to go.
It also opened up the opportunity to tell our kids about modern pioneers. They were in awe when I explained that my mom (their oma) is a pioneer, since she moved here from Germany to marry Opa.
(I didn't have access to many pictures of them for this post.. although this one captures their fun relationship pretty well)
While the evening was completely modern, it was a beautiful experience!