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Dry Sense of Humor

Working with youth from families around the world is a blast. We get to learn about new foods, cultures, and traditions as we share life together. What is more difficult, it explaining American expressions to non-native English speakers. Once those funny phrases are explained, it can open up a whole new world.

For instance, in After-school, we have a middle school girl who is newer to the group. She's artistic, reserved, and inquisitive. Her anime drawings are amazing and the stories she writes to go with them are impressive. When you talk with her one on one, she's full of ideas and stories and questions. In a larger group, she's more likely to pull up her hood,  put her headphones in, and tune out the craziness (I can't blame her, I would too). Some of the other girls weren't too sure how to approach. They were friendly and inviting her to join them in their exuberant, loud, silly ways that often caused my friend to go straight back into her shell.

Being new to the group, some of the other girls weren't too sure how to approach her. They were friendly and inviting her to join them in their exuberant, loud, silly ways that often caused my friend to go straight back into her shell. They thought she was different. She thought they were different.

They thought she was different. She thought they were different.

Until one day it changed.

We break into groups in after-school to focus on particular sets of goals. My friend is in a group that is focused on entrepreneurship. She had so many ideas of things we could make and sell. Finally, we decided on jewelry. She had the ideas. We provided the materials. And we learned together how to make things. Other girls were interested in helping her make products. She went instantly into boss mode and began delegating tasks, approving designs, and cracking jokes. One of the other girls at the table with us commented that she thought my friend didn't like her. Which sparked a discussion. We explored why she felt that way and what the true meaning of my friend's actions. That's when we learned a new phrase together.

Dry sense of humor: when you do or say something funny while still sounding serious

Once the definition was given, they all laughed. "That's exactly what you are!"They had been taking her seriously when she was making a joke. That caused them to feel misunderstood on all side.

Since then, the interactions between the girls has been much more natural.   My friend accepts the loud obnoxious ways of the other girls and the other girls laugh at her quick jokes and sarcastic statements.

I love seeing the youth get to know each other and themselves better. Every day we become more and more of a family.