By Amema Saeju (Mimi)
What did we do on our last day with our host family? My Lao friend, Yong and me and together with Billie’s, we made our Asian dish for today farewell gathering, spring rolls. We all had a wonderful time to wrap and roll the spring rolls, it was actually the first time for me to do that because I was never interested in this kind of dish so it was a great challenge for me to wrap and roll them beautifully, but it turned out quite impressive though, just wrap and roll.
However, just before we left, we took a selfie with our host family, Billie and I took a picture of her house too. I will miss this house as well as the environment in Polson, I will miss my bed, best pillows, and soft warm blankets. I will miss the fresh air, great blue sky and the fabulous snowed mountains!!
We all arrived Ronan where the gathering was held around 12 pm and the first thing I drew my attention was Tucker, a dog of Maggie, Rusty and their lovely daughter, Molly. I have met with this dog twice but only for a short time so I was very lucky to meeting with him again and could be together for a little bit longer.
After everybody had arrived we all headed to the vegetable garden of Maggie. It was a huge garden behind her garage where she grows vegetables and above the vegetable garden there was a pen for her two little black pigs, moreover, there was a huge land for her chickens and her cows to enjoy their freedom. Meggie told me that she could not stand how people treated animals. She rather takes care of her own animals, giving them a good food and shelters them in a friendly environment. Her daughter, Molly, was a wonderful girl who took me around her chicken pen, she has her favorite chicken and I asked if her family will have to kill her chicken “my family knows my favorite one, they will not do anything with it and I will take care of it until she dies”. I remembered Maggie told me “It was hard to eat animals you raised but at least they had a good life while they were with us”. I could not agree more with her saying and that was one of the things that Montana makes me so special and I’m jealous that many animals here are being well treated better than a human in some countries! I appreciate how people I have met in Montana were so kind to their pets and wildlife animals. At Maggie’s house there was also a fence to prevent a grizzly bear, an electric fence. This fence is to protect her family’s chickens from grizzly bear attack. It will not harm the bear at all but to frighten. That was the story and the memory I have got from Maggie and her daughter.
After we all had a great sharing story of the having an own farm and garden we all headed to the kitchen where all kind of foods were being displayed. It was so wonderful to have seen and eaten a big salmon and tender bison meat prepared by Germaine. A wonderful vegetable salad made by Maggie and Marie, a great spring rolls prepared by us and a great dessert brought by Shay, a mother of little boy named Henry and an owner of a handsome dog named Scottish.
We all were having a good time and gradually people start leaving because they had to work. It was a very emotional moment to really say goodbye to everyone. I was in tears when I was hugging Marie, she was in tears too, a few days spending with her were really meant a lot to both of us. I got another tears when I hugged with Germaine. I was emotional because of the beautiful songs that Rusty, Meggie, and Molly sang about a farmer and other songs while Oshi sang and played along with his Karen music instrument. How hard to hold my tears and not feeling emotional seeing all these beautiful pictures on our departure date. Moreover, the little girl Molly she made a very sweet crown flower and she handed it to me just before I left. I kept hugging her, thank her and my tears almost out again but I could hold my tears this time. Little Molly, I will be seeing you again when you are big enough to travel alone or with your parents to my country.
Lastly, I was able to meet with two cows, the mother and the little son (calf). That was the first time I had tried fresh cow milk from my own hands. It was so tasty and warm and a lot better taste than the milk I had in my daily life (of course).
To Polson, Ronan and Pablo people and pets, thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to experience a wonderful cultural journey in your town and have taken a good care of all of us. You were a stranger to us but now you all are our beloved stranger, our mother, our sister, and our beloved pet too.