Despite coming from many different places and living in many different countries and having so many stories and experiences that interweave to make us who we are, in this moment in time, one common element to all of us, is living in Houston, Texas. I often wonder, what do the children notice about this place, what do they see, hear, smell or feel?
Our class representatives organized some activities to help us to better understand our host culture and to develop our appreciation of how fortunate we are to be living in Texas. We are grateful for our Texan parents working with us with the support of parents from many different backgrounds to add a cultural richness to the day.
The children excitedly arrived at school dressed in their cowboy boots and hats, jeans and plaid shirts. We made cornbread and cooked sausages and beans. A band of older students performed country music songs. The children eagerly watched the The official Salt Grass Trail Ride as it passed by the school. The Salt Grass Trail is the original and oldest trail ride that promotes the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
As expected there were so many engaging conversations between the children as dressing as cowboys captured their curiosity and imagination. There were so many ideas about cowboys… What is a cowboy? What do they do? Can girls be cowboys too?
“They ride horses and they live in the sand.” (Bilal)
“They’ve got rope and they wear belts.” (Luke)
“Cowgirls have a lasso to catch cows.” (Juliette)
“They round up bad guys. They live in the wild west.” (Jude)
“Their horses have saddles to sit on.” (Lara)
“They wear cowboy hats and boots.” (Eli)
“They live in a different desert.” (Anna)
“It’s called a cowboy but it could be a horse boy because it rides a horse.” (Noah)
These experiences all bind us together in common memory and increase the depth of our relationships and understanding of one another.