Submitted by Jim Haselmaier
My wife and I had careers that involved a lot of interaction with people who live outside the US. At one point, my wife was leading a team that included five employees in Mexico and one in India, and she invited them to come to Colorado, where we live, to do some strategic planning. While they were here, we invited them over for dinner. She turned the evening into a "team building activity" by having everyone prepare dinner as a group - featuring foods from Mexico and India. (Since she doesn't cook, and I was busy, I appreciated her creativity in terms of getting food on the table!)
The visitors provided a shopping list and then seemed to enjoy the opportunity to prepare and share the things they eat on a day-to-day basis. (We also collected some new recipes, and my wife and kids learned how to make great guacamole ... while singing "The Guacamole Song".) On one level, this event was "good enough" in terms of fun and a having our work provide a unique experience.
But the bonus benefit was the experience it provided for our kids who were ages 19 and 14 at the time. They were old enough to understand that they were experiencing something special culturally. And the team members themselves were relatively young, so our kids could relate to them. The visitors also did a great job of including them in the conversations and activities so they had a great time too. It was a special night.
As a parent, this is an experience I look back on very fondly. I'm glad that my kids were there. And it was my wife's career that enabled it to happen.
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