The Middle: Updates from the U.N.

Note to new readers:  Our family took in two foreign exchange students this year. Denmark is a 17 yr old girl. China is a 16 yr old boy. The U.S. is our 15 yr old son (Little Man). Israel, when home, is our 22 yr old daughter (Principessa), and Canada our 19 yr old son (Middle Man). I am The Secretary General. Smart Guy is Dad. Together, we are the U.N.: a home where laughs come daily, chaos reigns and borders fall easily, as we live like a real family.  Know that no foreigners were hurt in the making of this blog post or in the incidents cited. All parties were aware that their comments were being noted, and pictures were used with permission, and assistance in editing for privacy. That said…

As summer approaches, Denmark and China are preparing to leave the U.N. and return to single nation status. This involves a lot of checking suitcases to figure out what will fit and what will not. Denmark has already done one full packing check, while China continues to guess at what will fit and what will not. China does not take advice from any other nation… and when it comes to the wire, packing will no doubt be entertaining for the U.N.

Denmark: “I can’t believe I’ve been here all this time and I haven’t made frikadeller.” The Secretary General has offered to help make this numerous times, but the U.N. has still not tasted this Danish delight, that is apparently “sooo amazing.”

Here in the furthest northwest corner of WA state, the sun sets very late as summer comes on. By July, it will be nearly 10:30 PM when it gets dark. Recently China was going to bed early (8:15) and as he headed off to bed, it was still light out. “I can’t believe I’m going to be sleeping for one hour with this huge sun hanging in the sky! It’s too weird!”

The U.N. Assembly wanted to hold a farewell party for departing countries Denmark, China and another student from China, who we have been close to. Instructions for each of the three Nations was simple: choose 7-10 friends to invite and let the U.N. put together an authentic American BBQ and bonfire.  Denmark and China liked the idea and plans moved forward.  However, things did not remain simple. Initially China expressed concerns about not having many people to invite. Denmark expressed concerns about possibly having too many people to invite. Fast forward 10 days and China announced that he’d already invited “a lot of people.”  Umm, what exactly does that mean? How many? Secretary asked cautiously. Evasive smile from China. Seriously. How many? Ten?  More evasive, eyes averted. Seriously! Fifteen?… Twenty? Secretary General’s voice clearly rising, China wasn’t denying any of the numbers. Apparently China found a whole lot of new friends, just before finishing and invited all of them to the party… at the U.N.!  Secretary General had no option but to reign it in; thirty+ teens was not an option at the BBQ.  Within minutes negotiations dissolved and China and Denmark had opted for independent ventures. Nothing’s that simple at the U.N.

(<– Frikadeller, image from the internet)

Denmark: “You would really like Frikadeller. I should make it.”  We’d love that. Let me know what to buy and I’ll get it. 


Canada and Israel will soon re-join the Assembly and Secretary General is on alert. The Secretary General is happy to welcome Israel and Canada back to the Assembly, but knows that these countries will bring huge changes.

China was in the kitchen cracking jokes, to no response.  “Why no one is laughing at my joke? Why I’m not funny anymore? I feel like dad… not funny.”

Denmark has planned her independent venture party at a park, with help from the Secretary General, and invited 50 people. She isn’t worried about the weather here in the Pacific NW, and she isn’t worried about sitting in the park for 6 hours. Denmark is a planner, who always anticipates the best and then jumps in.

China has planned his independent venture too, with no help or advice. He has invited 30+ people to a local restaurant. He isn’t worried about whether they’ll all fit, or that he needs to let his guests know that he’s not paying for them all. China isn’t much of a planner; he always assumes that it will work, and then he jumps in.

The Secretary General has some reservations about both events… China has no reservation, yet.

Now that Denmark is leaving the U.S. she has set out to bake all kinds of Danish baked goods: Rye brød, Danish merengues, and other delights. Denmark can bake. In addition, Denmark found and purchased “Danish butter,” insisting that it is “very special.” Other nations don’t have the heart to say aloud, that it tastes an awful lot like U.S. butter. Ahem.

Israel graduated from college (read here). Israel is very independent and is willing to submit regular updates on travel and security, but is flying solo.

Denmark: “I should really make Frikadeller; you guys would love it.”  Yeah, we’d love to try it. Just tell me what you want to do and I’ll help.

(<– German/Mexico addition= tiny cuteness)

Canada has added Mexico and Germany to the mix Assembly. The Secretary General will be very happy when Canada arrives home from a visit to Boston and New York to teach  this new addition not to pee and poo on the floor the ropes, however Secretary General admits some affection toward this new member.

Fooling around, China threw a wet sponge against the glass doors, leaving drippy, streaky marks.  Secretary General told China that he would need to clean said doors. “Ma, does the door look ok?” Ask Dad. It isn’t just up to me. “Ok… Hey dad, does the glass look ok?” (in fake dad voice, China continued) “Yes Chris it looks great!” “Oh thanks dad… Mom, Dad says it looks great!” China is so funny.

Denmark: “This (meatloaf) tastes a lot like Frikadeller. I think you’d really like it.” Uh, yeah, so you’ve said.

Given recent developments, the Secretary General has questioned the meaning of  “friend,” as farewell party guest lists continue to grow and morph. Perhaps this word translates differently from Chinese and Danish? Chinese: 朋友   Danish: Ven

Two and a half weeks until Denmark and China leave and barely a dull moment ahead. The U.N. will not be the same without them.

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About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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9 Responses to The Middle: Updates from the U.N.

  1. jillcoburnmay says:

    I will miss China and Denmark. I know you will too.


  2. I’ll miss reading what you write about them! I’ve loved these posts. So did she make that dish yet?


  3. …and all this still begs the question: What the “frik” is a Frikadeller?

    (Actually, I did click on the recipe, and it looks yummy — just wanted to try out the word in a sentence.)


    They’re all so lucky to have you in their lives — I’m sure they will be missed, as you and Smart Guy will be, too!


  4. Valery says:

    I hereby cast a (non-binding) vote for continued negotions at the UN, after a brief & well-deserved hiatus. Perhaps a change of delegates will provide new cultural perspectives for the Secretary General’s well-documented consideration. I have it under strictest confidence that random, incognito delegates may sometimes be detected in suburban public localities. Looking forward to future reports 🙂


  5. Pingback: Some Words of Grief and Hope | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND


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