Tonight we are in Ankeny, Iowa visiting our friends Mari and Taylor Hubbard. We taught at the International Christian School in Hong Kong with them from 2003-2005. Dave and Taylor both taught in the high school and played on the ICS Orange–a staff basketball team together. Mari was an educational assistant in my classroom in the elementary school and she and I became good friends and had a regular Saturday morning coffee date in Hong Kong.
Taylor is teaching Chemistry and AP Biology at the Ankeny Highschool and is just completing the practicum portion of his degree in counseling. Mari works as an educational assistant in an Akeny elementary school.
Their son Paul, who was my student in fifth grade at ICS, is a freshman at Northwestern College in Iowa and their daughter Sarah is a junior at Ankeny High. Sarah has a part-time job at the YMCA doing child care and is busy saving money for a trip to France this summer. She is in her fourth year of studying French.
When I contacted Mari and said we’d be coming through Ankeny on our drive from Phoenix to Manitoba she immediately invited us for dinner and offered us a bed for the night. We were happy to accept. Mari is a great cook and we had often enjoyed her delicious meals in Hong Kong so we weren’t about to turn down one of her dinners. She had made a wonderful chicken dish, with rice and green beans and we had homemade cheesecake for dessert. Mmmmm!
We stayed up talking till after ten o’clock. We reminisced about our time in Hong Kong and caught up on what’s been going on in our lives since the Hubbards moved back to North America. I had seen Mari a couple of years ago when she made a short visit to Hong Kong with Paul and Sarah, but it had been six years since we had seen Taylor.
When I was interviewing former students for the history book I wrote about the school where we taught with the Hubbards, many of them mentioned Taylor as a teacher who had made a big difference in their life both because of his good teaching and his fine character. Mari served on the school’s Board of Directors and helped to formulate a special needs program for the school. She was famous in Hong Kong for her fabulous homemade cinnamon buns.
It was such a pleasure to visit with the Hubbards again. Our time in Hong Kong has given us friends all over the world. That is a gift we feel very blessed to have and one that we get to enjoy even now that we no longer live in Hong Kong.
PS. Guess what Mari made us for breakfast? Her legendary homemade cinnamon buns with icing!