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Old 12-30-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
laurcunningham
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Brenna's Basketweave Scarf
My eighteen year old cousin Brenna is a foreign exchange student in Germany right now. She has gone through some rough times with the first family that was really mean to her and wouldn't let her speak with any of her family or friends in the States because "it wasn't necessary." Who does that? Who tells an eighteen year old kid that they're not allowed to speak to any of their friends or family for an entire year because you have problems with the country they're from?

Anyway, she is with a new family now that is a million times better and I'm trying to work on some scarves that I can send to her and her exchange family she is staying with.

Here is the beginning of her basketweave scarf.

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Old 12-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #2
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That looks like it's going to be awesome! I have tried a few basketweave items, but always got the pattern messed up, so kudos to you!

About the exchange thing, we've had some experience. Our son, 18, spent a month in Japan this summer, and the first few days he was pretty homesick. For some reason, the exchange organization discouraged contact, "We find that it's better if they focus on the new environment and keep busy."

In our son's case, we had the host family's phone number, so we called him anyway. They didn't seem to mind (only the grandfather spoke much English, though), and our son was buoyed up by hearing from us. He went on to thoroughly enjoy his stay and can't wait to go back. I'm not sure why these organizations have such a policy.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jinxnit55 View Post
That looks like it's going to be awesome! I have tried a few basketweave items, but always got the pattern messed up, so kudos to you!

About the exchange thing, we've had some experience. Our son, 18, spent a month in Japan this summer, and the first few days he was pretty homesick. For some reason, the exchange organization discouraged contact, "We find that it's better if they focus on the new environment and keep busy."

In our son's case, we had the host family's phone number, so we called him anyway. They didn't seem to mind (only the grandfather spoke much English, though), and our son was buoyed up by hearing from us. He went on to thoroughly enjoy his stay and can't wait to go back. I'm not sure why these organizations have such a policy.
Thanks. When Brenna's organization found out they moved her to another host home because you can't tell a kid they can't speak with their family. I mean... come on. That's crazy. Luckily this new family is great and she is learning a lot without the fear of making someone mad.

Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma View Post
That's very pretty. I think being away from home like that would be very hard on a any 18 yr. old. I see no need to make it more difficult. Was the move to a different family because of this or do they get switched around anyhow?
She was moved because of this and because the host mother was emotionally abusive to her. She would mock and pick on her over everything. The host mom made some onion thing and Brenna hadn't recognized it as an onion, and took a small portion for herself during dinner. When the woman saw that she pushed it to the side and didn't eat it, she mocked her for being "arrogant enough to take an onion and then refuse to eat it." Brenna apologized and told her that she hadn't realized it was onions and she isn't a fan of onions. The woman accused her of lying and told her that there was no way that she couldn't have known they were onions, and "it wasn't like America didn't have onions." She couldn't learn anything with them because she wasn't allowed to leave the house, she couldn't use the internet, she wasn't allowed to speak with her family or friends in the states, and essentially was a prisoner in the house with their miserable kids. Finally we convinced her to let the organization know and they immediately moved her to another host home. My cousin is one of the sweetest, most calm, and polite person you'll ever meet and would never imagine going into anyone's home and offending them on purpose, so she said she spent most of her nights crying herself to sleep because "she didn't know what was wrong with her that was making the host mother hate her so much." I was ready to fly to Germany and fix the problem myself.

Originally Posted by Jan in CA View Post
That looks really pretty! So nice of you to do this for her. I'm sure some love from home will really be appreciated!
She's doing great now! Thanks!

Originally Posted by salmonmac View Post
That's going to be a lovely scarf. It's a wonderful warm color and such a thoughtful gift. Glad your cousin has found a more sympathetic family and hope she learns a lot and has a great time in Germany.
Me too! She is such a brilliant girl that I would hate for this experience to be wasted on so much stress. She was picked out of thousands of applicants to be one of twenty (I believe) to be sponsored and sent abroad through our government. I'm so stinkin' proud of her.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:10 PM   #4
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Wow! I'm glad she's with a good family now, and the scarf will be a beautiful pick me up from home.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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I'm so glad your cousin's with a new and better family. My God, she's 18, have a heart people!
I love the scarf. It was the very first pattern I ever did when I was learning how to knit, so it's a bit sentimental to me.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:36 AM   #6
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It is a beautiful scarf, how nice that you are able to show your cousin that you care for her and every time she wears this scarf, she will be reminded of that.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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That's very pretty. I think being away from home like that would be very hard on a any 18 yr. old. I see no need to make it more difficult. Was the move to a different family because of this or do they get switched around anyhow?
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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That looks really pretty! So nice of you to do this for her. I'm sure some love from home will really be appreciated!
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:38 PM   #9
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That's going to be a lovely scarf. It's a wonderful warm color and such a thoughtful gift. Glad your cousin has found a more sympathetic family and hope she learns a lot and has a great time in Germany.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #10
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I did a basketweave pillow for my dd along with a blanket. It was fun. Your pattern looks great and a great color too. She will it
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