By Jesse Utz 

Ready to share the coulee — again

Jess Shut Up


Two years ago, we hosted an exchange student from China. His name was Charles and we loved him dearly as did many of you that got to know him. How we got him into our home was a very quick and life changing moment.

It was in the middle of my sickness in January, and Karrie called me from the high school. She filled me in that this student was about to head home because he no longer had a place to live here in the Coulee. In fact, he was checking out from school and was saying his goodbyes. Somehow someone had asked if she would be willing to let Charles live with us, and after a very brief conversation with me, yes was the answer. Then the whirlwind of paperwork, phone calls, home visits and more paperwork. By the end of the weekend, Charles moved in.

We celebrated Chinese New Year with him and watched an emotional Skype between him and his grandfather. We took a trip to Seattle and State Wrestling. We watched a true perfectionist with the smallest of homework assignments. We were introduced to traditional Chinese cuisine and lavished with gifts on our birthdays. When it was time for him to return to China, a tearful goodbye. Who knew we would miss his smile so much? We still stay in contact, although it is very little. He is in Maine now, finishing school.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Well now it’s time again. Over the weekend, Lucas joined us from Brazil. Another whirlwind procedure and a quick trip from Levi to pick up his new brother from the airport. Jennifer, Kayden, Hillary and Cousin Tianna have already become friends with him, and as you read this, he will have made many more since starting school at LRHS. We have already tried Brazilian candy — not good for someone on a diet, but I had to be polite, right? I look forward to learning a lot more about his Brazilian roots and to us as a community teaching him about ours. Levi and Tianna have already got plans to make him a wrestler; Hillary and Kayden, a tennis star. We just want him to feel loved and delivered back to his parents a better person for his stay with us.

This Friday and Saturday we will introduce him to some music tradition from the USA. Junior Cadillac and 33 will be playing this weekend as the Rock It summer concert series wraps up. A quick side note on that: How many times do we hear people say, “There is nothing to do in the Coulee.” Well, here is something to do and the crowds have been mediocre at best. So get down there. Friday, come listen to some good old rock ’n roll, and Saturday come listen to some good new stuff for the homecoming of Joe Oliver and his bass guitar. OK, commercial is over.

So, as we take Lucas around and show him our community, we ask you to make him feel at home. Our exchange student is your exchange student. The coulee wall, fishing, hunting, Siam Palace and the Tee Pee, Grand Coulee Dam, American football and a State Wrestling Tournament are all stops that we plan to make on this journey together. Feel free to make some memories of your own, not only with Lucas but any one visiting our majestic home, The Coulee.

Oh, and a happy birthday to the State Champ. (He begged me).


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