I'm sorry to my friends that I stood up yesterday. I got an emergency call asking me to drive the French to the powwow.
Let's back up. I spend a little time volunteering for the 35th Infantry Division Association. Usually my volunteering consists of the Association calling me and explaining why they need my help (fyi: I have relatives in the Assocation itself). And, since apparently I'm reliable, they've already told everyone that I'm going to do whatever before they call me. Argh! And that's a whole other catch-22 because 1) I like helping people and 2) I'm so sick of the slackers getting away with everything because no one ever asks them.
So... the Assocation is having its huge reunion with a lot of really awesome WWII vets. Sadly, there are fewer of them every year. This year we had some of our French division of the Association actually come over for the reunion. These are the people who were children when the Americans liberated their villages and their children.
And, of course, if they're going to come over to Kansas. They want to see the a powwow. And, it just so happens that the Potawatomi Nation was having their 12th Annual Veterans Recognition Powwow. A match made in Heaven.
But, the Assocation didn't have a driver. I would say that I graciously entered the stage at this point to save the day, but it was more like a surprise push. I didn't even get a script, but since my French sucks, I wouldn't have been able to read it anyway.
We went, they took their pictures with people in their traditional outfits. They bought some native jewelry and hats. They even got officially recognized - which I had to push them out in the arena because they didn't know what the announcer was saying.
And, I simply didn't have the vocabulary to explain that their Indian tacos were actually a sample of Mexican cuisine.
This reminds me of the time in high school that I had to drive some German foreign exchange students to their house. I do not speak German, and they barely knew English. But, they knew right and left, which was of great help for driving directions. I certainly didn't know which house they were supposed to be at. We did have a little confusion when they said "left" and I acknowledged by saying "right." That led to even more confusion.
You know, I have no idea where the French get their stereotype. All of the French people that I have ever met in my life have been very kind, generous, willing to stumble along with me in my poor French and so on. I had one entire conversation on a train in Colorado that consisted of myself and a French lady flipping through the French/English dictionary. Seriously, they've been totally awesome.