Back in the USA

Ollie pets a goat at the Kutztown Folk Festival

For the second consecutive summer I am studying here at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. It is better this year to have my family with me! I love seeing Nadia and the kids when I get back from my classes. The class I am taking has been very stimulating and it is nice to spend time with family. I really love the atmosphere of a university town and the Lehigh Valley in particular.

We were here for the 4th of July celebrations although we kept it low key. We did watch the fireworks display in Bethlehem and say Happy 238 Years to the USA. We also went to the Kutztown Folk Festival in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. This is the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch (German settlers to the USA) and Mennonite/Amish country in eastern Pennsylvania. The festival celebrates farm life (agriculture/livestock) and the “olden” days of America settlement. The kids watched a sheep shearing demonstration, saw many old engines for pumping water, sawing wood, husking corn, etc. I read to them a couple of books in Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and we particularly liked Little House in the Big Woods which is set in 1870s Wisconsin. I highly recommend the series for children and to see the stories come alive for them at the festival was really interesting. We also had some old fashioned kettle corn and sasparilla root beer.

One impression of the USA is the amount of space here for everyone compared to Europe. There is a lot of land for not that many people! As you can see below, the sports facilities of Lehigh University, which can be used by the public, are immense. I can just see the sports fanatical Serbs going crazy here with all this room to move. Nadia runs the cross country loop on the grounds while the kids play soccer.

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