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This month's Quilt Block Mania theme is "international". I almost skipped this one because I just couldn't come up with an idea. But after much thought, I realized that to me, "international" represents the many fascinating cultural differences we have here on earth. Even though political borders change frequently, local customs and traditions remain mostly the same.
We've hosted 12 foreign exchange students over the years and have been blessed to have teens from Mexico, Guatemala, Hungary, China, Thailand, Serbia, and Indonesia. They enriched our lives beyond measure. We've also had short term visitors from numerous other countries.
We've visited many other countries as well and our list of countries we'd like to visit is endless...we want to see and experience them all!
Our favorite times spent with our exchange students were usually sitting around the table after supper comparing customs. As teens, our students were generally experiencing their first look at the world outside their homes and beyond their border or even continent. They were open and able to look at likenesses and differences without needing to label them "good" or "bad". This taught us to do the same and to learn to embrace "different" as interesting and educational. It opened our eyes to our own culture and gave us a broader perspective on life and what we consider "normal".
Most of our travels outside of the USA have been on mission teams to assist in eyeglass and dental clinics. We are used to getting elbow to elbow with local people, struggling with language, and eating new foods. We can pack for 2 weeks in a carry-on suitcase. But the best part of traveling with our passports, is experiencing how other people live and work. We have been incredibly blessed to stay in the homes of families in many countries, to ride public transportation, to shop locally, to eat what is put in front of us and to communicate with our hands.
"International" to me is a celebration of life and what the world is really about.
The different colors and textures in my block represent the beautiful color and textures of cultures worldwide. The footprints remind me that we are all humans, we are all self-powered by beating hearts that yearn to be loved and accepted, and even in our differences we are all very much alike.
More blogs and free Quilt Mania Blocks:
Holland Windmill by Carolina Moore
Dutch Mill Tulips by Perkins Dry Goods
International Airport by The Quilted Diary
Three Amigos by Heidi Pridemore
Making Memories by Blue Heron Quilting
World's Fair by Blue Bear Quilts
Highlander by Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
Love One Another by Faith and Fabric
International Space Station by Duck Creek Mountain quilting
Friends by QuiltFabrication
World Trip by Patti's Patchwork
Hollyhock Flower by PhoebeMoon Designs
Olympic Rings by Slice of Pi Quilts
All Together Now by Inquiring Quilter
Butterfly Block by Oh Kaye Quilting
Coming Together by Cotton Street Commons
Friends Around the World by Appliques Quilts and More
Greek Cross by Mom and Me Quilting Co
Caracalla by Pretty Piney Quilts
Mystery Quilt: The Kids