In this interview, I introduce you to my supervisor, Christine. She has led Youth Fellowship for the past 20 years after moving to Heswall from London. Under her leadership, YF has grown from 7 young people to over 70 youth. No easy task, especially in a town with a population under 30,000. She hosts most YF events (about four events with anywhere from 5-80 teenagers) in her beautiful home. She works well over 40 hours a week as a volunteer in an effort to bring more people into a deeper relationship with God. She also has a fabulously posh British accent and a great (also British) sense of humor. Chris and Simeon, the other two interns, were also present during the interview and are included in the dialogue below. While all three of these people (especially Christine) are teaching me daily about how to live a life centered on God, in this interview, they taught me more about what happens when cultures collide (Simeon is from France).
Claire: Three most important things in your life?
Christine: What? Three most important things? God…
Claire: Wait! Slow down! I’m typing this.
Chris: She said ‘God’.
Christine: …my family and young people…
Chris: Slow down. (mocking me) Christine throws aluminum foil at Chris.
Christine: What’s this for, Claire?
Claire: My newsletter.
Christine: Who’s it going to? Why are you writing down everything I say?
Claire: It’s going to people who have supported me, my family and friends.
Christine: If I don’t know them, I don’t care. I just don’t want it going to people I know and then be ridiculed.
Chris: Whoever donated money to Claire, it was wasted. (What he meant: whoever donated money to Claire is brilliant. She’s changing lives.)
Claire: If you could have one superhero power what would it be?
Christine: I’d fly.
Chris: That’s so pedestrian.
Claire: Not really, pedestrians usually walk. If you could switch spots with one person for one day, who would it be and why?
Christine: Sigh. (Phone rings) I would be the queen.
Chris: How very British.
Christine: Christine answers phone and returns. I would like her to see what life is like with a house full of a bunch of teenagers and I would like to see what it is like to be waited on hand and foot for a day.
Simeon: I would like to be a lady for a day. Because after that if I return to my body, as I hope, I will understand the ladies better and it would be easier to convince them of things.
Claire: What is your job?
Christine: I don’t know. laughs It’s too complicated to explain. And what is a job? If a job is something you get paid for, I don’t have a job.
Claire: Favorite characteristic about GB?
Christine: That it’s green.
Claire: Least favorite?
Christine: The weather. That’s so stereotypical, isn’t it?
Claire: Which temptation do you try the hardest to resist?
Christine: Eating the raw mixture from the cakes I make. (And she makes a LOT!)
Claire: I don’t resist that.
Christine: Yeah, but there is nothing left to put in the tin. It is a bit of a disaster.
Claire: What’s your favorite baseball team?
Christine: I don’t the name of a baseball team. laughing I’m serious.
Chris: The New York Yankees are a baseball team, aren’t they? And the Red Sox. I don’t know where they’re from. Boston, is it?
Claire: Yeah, it’s the Boston Red Sox.
Chris: But ‘sox’ is spelled s-o-x, right? Is that how you spell ‘socks’ in America?
Do you spell ‘socks’ with a ‘ck’? Me typing furiously Why is it spelled differently? Is that just to be awkward? Just to spell it differently? You don’t know, do you?
Claire: It’s spelled with a ‘ck’. I’m not sure why the Red Sox spell it that way. It’s a historical thing I think.
Claire: What did you get into the most trouble for when you were young?
Christine: Hanging the intestines of a rat over my teacher’s phone and then phoning his phone.
Chris: Pretty sure there’s stuff in the Bible about [not doing] that.
Christine: That was just one of many things.
Claire: Okay. Yuck. Biggest myth about Brits?
Christine: That we’re reserved. That’s a myth that the Americans have about us.
Chris: One that we have about ourselves is that we’re good at sport.
Christine: We are good at sport. For a little country we did really well in the Olympics.
Chris: It was a good year, but then next year…
Claire: What is the worst gift you have ever given and received?
Christine: The worst gift I gave was a pair of socks with toes in––
Chris: Was that with an ‘x’ or a ‘ck’?
Christine: ––to my niece who has webbed feet. I forgot she had them. She thought it was really funny fortunately. She wrote me a thank you letter which was hysterical. The worst one I received was probably a vest made out of leather strips.
Claire: When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?
Christine: I wanted to be a nurse and I was a nurse.
Claire: Favorite food?
Christine: Hmmm. That’s real difficult. I like lots of different foods. Umm I like chocolate.
Claire: Favorite ice cream?
Christine: Ummm. cookie dough
Claire: If you could have a wild pet animal what would it be?
Christine: I’d have a panda.
Claire: What would you call it?
Christine: Panda laughter all around table
Claire: What stereotype of American people does Claire fulfill?
Christine: Bubbly and enthusiastic.
Chris: She spells things wrong.
Claire: What stereotype of America do I not fulfill?
Simeon: You are not fat.
Christine: Okay, yeah, you are not fat.
Claire: Thank you? I think. Any last comments? Or questions you think that I should’ve asked? Silence
Christine: We are speechless.