This sounds like more of that Yankee / WASP enterprising spirit to me, not so much Italian, which is what Mafia connotes (mia familia).
I'm a lot Italian by the way, if we count formative years in Rome, a lot of cuss words in Trastevere dialect as I lived near the Synagogue (yeah, near St. Peters).
Here in Oregon, the exchange student mentality has also got traction, with obscure eastern Oregon horse rancher types seeing how a new kind of school could involve their skills as outdoors people.
Tending to horses is something many a Chinese youth would like to try, and not just Chinese youth. We're expecting exchange students from Ethiopia, Jamaica, Lithuania -- wherever local churches already have connections, which many do through their missionary work.
The scholarships will help with the upkeep, plus we're looking forward to those electric ATVs, Made in Mexico or wherever. That's not to say we're anti-horse though. Ronald Reagan would fill right at home on one of our Global U ranches.
I don't know how it'll pan out for this community in particular. I hear your skepticism and it may be entirely justified. However, I see the low level of xenophobia as an encouraging sign among Yankees.
They sound a lot like rural Oregonians, making plans in the high desert.
Did you know Unitarians (not to be confused with Unity) have ties to Transylvania. Some will consider it poor taste that I mention this close to Halloween, given all the stereotypes, but as you know, I'm a big believer in "time lines" and think mathematics-without-history is the vastly inferior brand and not suitable for Asians.
On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 7:45 AM, Haim <email@example.com> wrote: > If you are still in doubt as to just how disconnected is the Education Mafia from American Society, the NY Times article, below, will clear your thinking. > >> But why Millinocket... > > "Which way to Millinocket?" > http://www.islandportpress.com/bertandi/ > (audio clip is along the right side of the page) > > http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/education/27students.html?_r=1&hpw > October 26, 2010 > Needing Students, Maine School Hunts in China > By ABBY GOODNOUGH > MILLINOCKET, Me. ? Faced with dropping enrollment and revenue, the high school in this remote Maine town has fixed on an unlikely source of salvation: Chinese teenagers.