With over 60 nationalities represented, our student body is extremely diverse. Nevertheless, we do have our similarities, such as our love and celebration for food. To celebrate this theme, on July 10th, our EF staff was very excited to take our students to an amazing restaurant in our lovely and peaceful town, Thornwood, a hibachi restaurant called “Lucky Buddha.”
We have already taken our summer students to some restaurants in the previous weeks, but I am sure that this restaurant was certainly an unforgettable experience for them. As soon as we got in, the students were amazed with the artistry of the interior of the beautiful restaurant. We knew we were in Thornwood, but it felt like our yellow school bus had transported us to another country. Tree trunk bark chandeliers hung from a tall industrial urban ceiling, accentuating the delightful ambience. The dim lights, decorations and the soothing sound of the fountain created a carefree and serene atmosphere; as we took in the peaceful setting, we enjoyed some delicious food and the friendly service. The students were especially excited to use all the useful and fancy English words they have learned; they proudly ordered their food without any hesitation or fear of making any mistakes.
When I was observing our students, I was able to see one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen in my five years working at EF: I noticed that the students had a sparkle in their eyes! They were thrilled because there was a huge Buddha statue in the middle of the restaurant and some students were so touched to see a representation of their God that some had tears in their eyes. Some started bowing down to show respect to their religions and two others were so excited that they threw some dollar bills in the fountain. It was such a great moment to see some of the students sharing their own beliefs and traditions.
What made this day even more special was that it was one of our student’s, MingKang Xu, birthday so before we left Lucky Buddha, we surprised MingKang by singing Happy Birthday to him. He was very thankful for getting so much love and warmth from his EF Academy summer family!