MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT: FROM WHERE I SIT
2012 was a banner year of excitement and successes for Asheville Sister Cities due to the capable leadership of past president Rick Lutovsky and the indefatigable efforts of our Mexican committees. They brought us Palenque Rojo and a visit from our friends in Valladolid. We undertook a project of complet- ing 30 fresh water wells in Osogbo, Nigeria that turned out to be a resounding success. The Osogbo project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and guided by Valeria Watson-Doost.
This year we will be continuing our efforts to add a city in Scotland to our active list of exciting collaborations. 2013 will be a year of rebuilding our finances after having such a busy year. We need your renewed memberships to help us continue our active calendar of events. We also need to concentrate on bringing our friends and neighbors to meetings to introduce them to our extraordinary international programs. New members are crucial to the future of our organization.
We are all partners in this effort and the ASCI leadership is dedicated to building on the success of the past to ensure our bright future.
STUDY TOUR IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND
Dates: July 26 ‚ August 7, 2013, 12 days / Scottish History and Heritage
Program: Arrive in Edinburgh and spend one night exploring this historic city. Then, head up to Inverness for a week of Scottish History and Heritage delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops and field trips; the following themes will be covered : the shaping of the Scottish modern history‚ the Battle of Culloden, Scottish Emigration, Highlanders and Slave Trade, The Clearances and The Life and Death of the Highland Glen: social and economic life of Highland Communities. Then the group travels to Asheville’s proposed Sister City region, Perthshire, for three days of hiking, outdoor exploration, and/or relaxation along the River Tay. The last night the group will return to Edinburgh, before departing the next day. Sign up to this exciting study tour to explore the history and heritage of the Scottish Highlands while visiting iconic castles and enjoying the stunning environment of the Highland lochs and glens.
Fee: $2600, includes: accommodation (12 nights), breakfasts, some meals, local transportation, field trips, travel insurance, workshops on history and heritage. The fee does not include: international flights, SOC 254 tuition (3 credits), or personal expenses. Add $270 to take SOC 254: Rural and Urban Sociology. Registration: $200 nonrefundable deposit by Feb 1st. Payments can be made in monthly installments.
For further information and to book please contact Ms Kelly McEnany, ABTech Community College by email [email protected] or phone 828-398-7831.
The tour is organized in collaboration with Inverness College | University of the Highlands and Islands. www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk
INTRODUCING ASCI BOARD: SHELLEY WHITE, NEW MEMBER AT LARGE
Shelley White is the Senior Executive Director for Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education at A-B Tech. She has served the college for 12 years, working primarily with continuing education and workforce training programs for the duration of her tenure. A graduate of Isothermal Community College, she went on to study at Appalachian State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and later at Western Carolina University, earning a Master of Science in Human Resources. Shelley is a graduate of Leadership Asheville and was named a TWIN (Tribute to Women of Influence) award nominee in 2009. She works closely with Asheville Sister Cities, participating in a delegation to Valladolid, Mexico, in 2011. She is working on continued partnerships and exchanges between the cities, including an educational partnership with Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Valladolid (ITSVA), a technical institute.
ASCI 2013 ANNUAL MEETING
Photos by Stephanie Smith
OSOGBO BON VOYAGE CELEBRATION
Ira B. Jones Elementary School in Asheville and Julius Hall and Regitude Day School in Osogbo have begun a pen pal program. On January 29, 2013, Wallace Bohanan and Brit Castañeda delivered letters from the students at Jones Elementary to the students at the Regitude Day School. Some of the staff and students turned out to sing greetings and receive the package of letters and small gifts. The students in Osogbo sent art work and small gifts in return. These gifts were presented to the staff of Jones Elementary at a meeting on February 11, 2013. More letters will be exchanged when members of the Osogbo/Asheville Sister Cities return to
Osogbo in May.
The Asheville/Osogbo Sister Cities Committee is currently involved in a project to upgrade a woman’s health clinic in Osogbo, Nigeria. This project is conducted in conjunction with Xiangyang, China. For more info call 828-775-5330.
ASCI’S HOLIDAY WINDOW AT 33 PAGE
This description was inadvertently omitted in January. Asheville Sister Cities participated again in the Asheville Downtown Association’s Holiday Windows contest. This year’s theme was “Silver, Bells & Snowflakes” to commemorate the Downtown Association’s 25th year of promoting and supporting quality economic, cultural and residential development of Downtown Asheville. Nearly 30 festive windows were judged as part of the contest, which coincides with the Asheville Holiday Parade and the kick off to the holiday shopping season.
ASCI’s window theme, orchestrated by Stephanie Smith, was “Sharing Asheville with the World,” which featured a winter wonderland scene complete with fresh fallen snow, a crackling campfire, live trees and a cozy setting for sharing hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows with friends from around the world.
John Shepherd of JS Structures & Designs was instrumental in the styling and construction of the window display. Special thanks go to Kevin Parks of Dave Steel for his work on building a permanent stage for future window displays.
INTRODUCING ASCI BOARD: MARJORIE McGUIRK, NEW MEMBER AT LARGE
Marjorie McGuirk first moved to Asheville 1978. She, her husband, David, and son, Brian lived in the French countryside near Geneva Switzerland from 1993-2002. There, she volunteered at the International School of Geneva and learned French. She was also a consultant to the World Meteorological Organization, where her husband was employed. That work sometimes takes them back to Geneva for visits. Now, they live in east Asheville, in an energy efficient solar house that David built. Marjorie is involved in the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, the Power of the Purse Woman’s Fund, and the Asheville HUB. She and her husband look forward to Brian’s graduation from NCSU. She is presently a climate specialist with NOAA’s National Climate Data Center in downtown Asheville. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics at Appalachian State University and also a member of the American Meteorological Society Board on Enterprise Economic Development.
THE SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS COMMITTEE
By Greg Clemons, Chair
We are again hard at work on our next project! We are collecting specific medical supplies for the Casa de la Partera, or Midwives ́House, in SCLC. We are looking for donations of 20 wristband-type blood pressure monitors and umbilical clamps. Please ask your local doctors and/or medical offices if they can consider a donation. We will need to provide each donor with a 501(c)3 letter of request and we will need their names to prepare the letter. On a related note, I am still planning my trip to San Cristóbal de las Casas May 15-26, 2013, with Mars Hill College and Asheville Sister Cities. The total price per person is $1591.00. This includes round trip airfare from Charlotte on United Airlines, one meal a day, lodging in all four hotels (including one afternoon, night and morning in the Lacandón rainforest!), the Sumidero Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of Mexico”), participation in three service projects, visits to four major Mayan archeological sites of Palenque, Toniná, Bonampak, and Yaxchilán, and the amazing city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Get in touch now with me if you want to go!
Full payment is due by mid March.
You can email me, gclemons (at) mhc.edu or text/call me at my cell, 561-927-8312.
Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 19 at 5:30pm at 33 Page, downtown Asheville. Please bring the names and addresses of doctors’ offices so we can get our requests out!
THE VALLADOLID COMMITTEE
By Karon Korp, chair
In January, we were able to send down school supplies and books to two elementary schools, Carlos Novelo and Dzitnup, thanks to donations by Gabriella Dominguez, Fania Franklin and Judith Warner. Larry White was our capable carrier, and we hope to send more supplies down later this spring.
Big News! Kate Bove, a Spanish Teacher at A-B Tech will be offering a Beginner Conversation Class in Spanish at ASCI, starting on April 4th and running for 8 weeks from 6:30 – 8:00pm (see flyer in this issue!). The class is offered free, but you must reserve your spot. Contact Kate at [email protected].
We are focusing our energies on making student exchanges and internships possible for the summer with the help of Shelley White, Kelly McEnany and Kate Bove from A-B Tech. If you know of a college student who might be interested (they could take the beginner Spanish class!), some scholarship money may be available. Email me for more information at [email protected].
Tom Jones, our Committee Chair down south, reported on a recent article in The Yucatan Times that speaks of our sister city relationship, and highlights the recent book signing by Rosa del Alba Cetina Quiñones, whom many of you met last fall, and know affectionately as Doña Chela. Read more at: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2013/02/a-taste-of-culture-in-valladolid/
Valladolid celebrates their 450th Anniversary in May, with more celebrations in June. Their new Mayor, Roger Alcocer Garcia, is very excited about our Sister Cities Partnership!
Our next Valladolid Committee meeting will be in April. Contact Karon Korp by email for more details. We welcome your involvement!
ASCI CALENDAR OF COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES
- ASCI Board Meeting: 3rd Thursday of each month – 5:30 pm, 33 Page Ave.
- San Cristóbal Committee: 3rd Tuesday of each month – 5:30pm, 33 Page Ave.
- Saumur Committee: 4th Monday of each month – Contact Committee Chair for venue.
- Karpenisi Committee: Time and Date TBA
- Valladolid Committee: Last Wednesday of the month – 5:30pm, 33 Page Ave.
- Osogbo Committee: 3rd Tuesday of each month – 6:00 pm, 33 Page Ave.
- Vladikavkaz Committee: Time and Date TBA – Contact Committee Chair.
If you have a particular interest in a committee, please email the chairperson to confirm time & place. If you have not paid your dues, please contact Marylyn Seyler at [email protected].
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
- Frank Contreras
- John Davis
- Wendy Whitson
- Werner von Hartmann
- Ed and Julia Sallin
INVITING ALL FRANCOPHONES TO SPEAK YOUR MINDS!
French speakers at all levels are invited to participate in an hour of casual conversation each Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Sister Cities offices in downtown Asheville. After meeting for five years, the conversation group recently relocated to the Sister Cities offices at 33 Page Avenue. Each participant simply wants to practice and improve their French, so members are very supportive of one another. There are no rules or expectations except that everyone speaks only French–no matter how imperfectly-during the hour. Usually a native speaker is on hand to help out when someone just can’t find the right word. Participants are welcome to bring their lunches. Formore information, contact Phyllis Stiles at 828-545-4282 or email to [email protected].