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Print Another Neighborhood
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By Beth Beutler
1 I visit my friend Jordan about twice a month. He lives in a neighborhood across town from me. We do not attend the same local school, but we go to the same summer program each year. We met at summer day camp about three years ago and became loyal friends.
2 Jordan comes from an entirely different background. He has a large family; I have a small one. His family follows many ethnic traditions; mine pretty much sticks to American habits. He has two dogs; I am allergic. (Jordan's dogs bother me because they stay outside.) He is poor; we are what many people would call comfortable. I only know English; he can communicate in English and Spanish.
3 Every other Saturday, I would go to Jordan's, or he comes to my house. Our mothers get along well, but they really don't have much in common. However, they don't mind driving us to each other's homes so we can play for the afternoon.
4 I remember the first time I went to Jordan's house. At my house, we stayed at my home and yard. When I went there, we pulled out a couple of rusty bikes and begin to ride through the neighborhood. At times, I was nervous because we did things here that we did not do in my neighborhood. We stopped and got ice cream. We rode between buildings that were close together. It wasn't unusual to see a beggar on the sidewalk. In fact, Jordan always stopped to talk to him and sometimes gave him a snack. I looked at him in wonder and mentioned, "Jordan. I'm not supposed to talk to strangers."
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