Last Saturday our school had a fundraiser called the International Dinner. I think most schools might be able to pull this off but it's a fitting fundraiser for this school given that many of the families come from places around the world. There are about 10 different food themes (Indian, West Indian, French, German, Italian, American....) and parents volunteer to make a dish in keeping with one of those themes. The most enthusiastic participants are the Indian families making huge amounts of Indian dishes and that is the table (and the dessert table of course) that E and I visited to pile our plates high. In addition to paying the entry fee for the all-you-can-eat-affair ($15/adult and $10/kid) there was a raffle and a silent auction of a dozen baskets each filled to the brim with items to complement a theme: Lego basket, spa basket, garden basket, game night basket. Each class had donated items or money to make the basket as appealing as possible. But most importantly it was just a nice evening out. The high school kids were DJ's (sounds scary right?) but they were easy on us - even if was a bit too loud. The kids danced, ran around, inside and outside while the parents were able to sit down and eat and talk. I haven't been to an event stateside like this (besides donuts after church) where the kids are free to roam without a hovering adult, or worry about them getting into the street and as a parent I felt comfortable not knowing exactly where my child was at every moment (expect the youngest of course). When we return stateside someday, I'd like to see if I can feel this at ease about my kids in a large group setting. Is it this school, this community or my parenting that is different?