CLOVERDALE -- When Jim and Jackie Dean decided last fall to host a foreign exchange student in their Cloverdale home, they expected to gain some new cultural insight.
But little did they know that they would also acquire some beautiful, traditional Chinese shirts, not only for themselves but also for their entire extended family.
Jim and Jackie Dean, their student guest, Ge Bonnie from Jinan, Shandong, China, and the Deans' daughter Cheryl, a junior at Cloverdale High School, will all be wearing shirts, in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
So will Jackie Dean's father and mother, Jim and Pat Steele, and Jackie's brother Brian and his wife Julie.
Chinese New Year will be celebrated Sunday, Jan. 22 or Monday, Jan. 23, depending on whether you are in the U.S. or China at the moment.
Using her Americanized name, Bonnie received instructions from her generous parents on how to do the needed measuring for the silk shirts, which she did, returning the measurements to her parents in China.
Shortly, 10 colorful silk shirts arrived from China and will be worn by the whole family at the Chinese New Year's Celebration Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon at the DePauw University Union Building or at a similar celebration at the Palladium Performing Arts Center in Carmel Sunday evening.
The celebration in China is known as Spring Festival. Bonnie's family in China will attempt to celebrate over Skype, which allows communication over the Internet by voice and video.
Bonnie has been an active student at Cloverdale High School, even being nominated as a candidate for fall homecoming queen, and again this winter has been nominated as a candidate for the basketball homecoming queen.
She also sings in the Women's Ensemble and anticipates visiting colleges in Boston this spring with her host mom.