MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT: FROM WHERE I SIT
Wow! 2013 has started off in banner fashion. Read about some of the exciting things we are doing.
Greg Clemons has just completed a successful trip to San Cristóbal and while there, delivered many important supplies in support of Casa de la Partera, which is a health and education center for midwives. Thank you Greg!
Valeria Watson-Doost has been very busy working with our Sister City counterparts in Raleigh and a city in China to benefit a new health center in our sister city of Osogbo, Nigeria. Meanwhile the Events Committee, led by the ever-industrious Gwen Hughes, has created a stellar line-up of events beginning this month. Thank you Gwen! On June 2nd, the Saumur Committee, led by Jerry Plotkin, sponsored a French film showing at 33 Page.
As this newsletter is being put together, two representatives from A-B Tech, Kelly McEnany and Kate Bove are back from Valladolid setting up business internships for area college students. You’ll hear more about this in the next issue.
I welcome your ideas,
EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN THE VALLADOLID COMMITTEE!
By Karon Korp, Chair
In April, the books, student letters from Ira B. Jones Elementary School, and school supplies we sent down to Valladolid with Larry White and Heidi Kimsey were delivered to two elementary schools in conjunction with “El Dia de los Niños”, the Day of the Children. Evelin de Leon, whom many of you met last fall during the Valladolid Delegation here, organized a community event with 33 students from her school, Primaria Carlos Novelo Fernandez, 7 parents, and 5 students from Xcampepen, their instructor and families, with a visit to the Santa Rosa comisaria. It was a day filled with games, songs, and donated food from area families and Valladolid Sister Cities. As the mothers prepared the food, the children were taught local recipes and ingredients of the flavorful dishes. As the day wound down, gifts and books from Sister Cities were shared with the children, making it a truly memorable day!
Tom Jones, our Chair in Valladolid, went with Harriet Rich (also a visitor last fall) to the La Escuela Ignacio Allende to deliver donated supplies and books, shown here with Maestra Candy May. We understand the children will read the stories over and over again! These schools and children do not have the kinds of resources other schools do – Ignacio Allende does not have electricity – and they extended their deep appreciation and gratitude for our gifts, books and supplies donated. Thank you to Gabriela Dominquez, Fania Franklin, Judith Warner, Gwen Hughes, Heidi Kimsey and Larry White for making these gifts possible. And of course, to Evelin, Tom, Harriet and Francisco in Valladolid for making it happen!
Our hats are off to A-B Tech Spanish Instructor Kate Bove, who offered an eight-week beginning Spanish conversation class. It was well attended, FUN, and everyone learned new language skills. Graduates received certificates, and Kate is thinking about offering the class again in the fall. It was FREE to attendees, thanks to Sister Cities and Kate.
Speaking of A-B Tech, Kate Bove and Kelly McEnany were in Valladolid last week, setting up business internships for college students. We are very excited with the progress being made and will report on those opportunities in the next newsletter.
Many have expressed interest in a delegation trip this fall, and the committee decided the focus could be: Historic Preservation, Education, and a shared Art Project with Valladolid/Merida. Timing would be near Thanksgiving, but space will be limited, so if you have an interest, let me know.
SPANISH MOVIE NIGHT! Grab a chair and prepare to immerse yourself in Spanish cinema! Sunday , July 21st, 6:30 pm, 33 Page Avenue, $5 donation and Mexican snacks!
The next meeting of the Valladolid Committee will be Wednesday, June 26th, at 5:30 pm, 33 Page Avenue. We’d love to see you there!
ASCI COMPETED IN THE MOST OUTSTANDING SISTER CITY PROGRAM FOR 2012
ASCI came in a close second to other excellent Sister City programs around the USA. We are very proud of the achievements of all our programs, including the spectacular activities conducted in cooperation with Valladolid, San Cristóbal de las Casas, and Osogbo!
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS COMMITTEE
By Dr. Greg Clemons, Chair
The San Cristóbal de las Casas Committee returned from another successful trip to southern Mexico, visiting our sister city there! Dr. Greg Clemons led a group of 9 travelers! The group visited four Mayan archeological sites: Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, and Toniná. They spent many free days meandering the colonial streets of San Cristóbal, taking in the markets, food, sounds, and fascinating culture. The group visited the two indigenous Mayan communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán, just outside of San Cristóbal. The group was treated to a wonderful breakfast, hosted by the Rotary Breakfast Club of District 4200, and was warmly welcomed by club president Dr. Mario Gilberto Morales Bermudez. Greg Clemons presented a Rotary banner from Mars Hill Breakfast Rotary Club and from Lake Wylie Rotary Club, the home club of one of the students involved in Mars Hill College Rotaract Club. The group delivered many, many medical supplies to the Casa de la Partera, the Midwives ́ House directed by Dr. Carmelita Herrera.
The midwives were very welcoming, offering the group a nice breakfast. The travelers were able to meet the Mayor of San Cristóbal, Mr. Francisco José Martínez Pedrero who, at 33 years old, is San Cristóbal ́s youngest mayor ever! Greg Clemons presented a letter of invitation from Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy as well as gifts: a picture book about Asheville and a pewter paper weight featuring the seal of Mars Hill College. Plans are now in the making for another trip in May of 2014, so stay tuned as the San Cristóbal Committee starts planning for another wonderful adventure next May!
The group of San Cristóbal de las Casas travelers was composed of Dr. Greg Clemons, trip leader and Chair, San Cristóbal de las Casas Committee of Asheville Sister Cities; Jim Johnson, Bruce Waller, Mary Lou Griffin, Grady Griffin, Dr. Heather Hawn, Brian Hawn, Tyler Gifford, MHC student, Alton Brown, MHC student, and Lou Lieb.
The Asheville visitors took a boat ride down the Grijalva River in the Sumidero Canyon!
THE SAUMUR COMMITTEE
By Jerry Plotkin, Chair
In May, members of the Saumur Committee met at the new Metro Wine shop in order to help the new owners celebrate the arrival of wines from Saumur which are consistently excellent.
On Sunday, June 2nd, the Saumur Committee offered a French film at the 33 Page ASCI offices, Le Retour de Martin Guerre (The Return of Martin Guerre), an excellent 1982 film featuring Gérard Depardieu and Nathalie Baye. The film, based on a true story, gives a glimpse into life in 16th-century medieval France.
Timothée Avenard is a student from Saumur studying computer engineering. Jerry Plotkin made his acquaintance in January 2013 through the Saumur page on Facebook, whereupon Timothée indicated an interest in coming to Asheville for his second American stay in order to improve his English and enjoy some of our Carolinian hospitality. Timothée will be staying with two or three Asheville families during his stay, including those of Jerry Plotkin and of Marjorie McGuirk.
In August, Jérémie Lemaire, a 16-year-old student from France, will spend a month (August 5-28) with the family of Jerry Plotkin. During his stay in Asheville, Jérémie’s mother will be undergoing chemotherapy in Paris. His grandparents are long-time friends of the Plotkin family. Jerry is looking for Asheville families with a teenager who would like to host Jérémie for a day, plus improve his or her French and help Jérémie with English. Please contact Jerry at geraldplotkin(at)hotmail.com.
ASCI EVENTS COMMMITTEE PLAN FOR ACTIVITIES IN 2013
This energetic committee met and had an amazing brainstorming session to try to develop a year filled with activities that would not only raise needed funds but also promote our amazing Sister City program in our community. We have listened to membership as you have expressed interest in holding local activities to inform and entertain. Below you will find the list of activities and fund raising dinners. Please use this as your “save the date” notice. A detailed invitation/rsvp flyer will be coming out the last week of June. We urge you to RSVP early for the events of your choice as space will be limited in most activities. Fund raising is necessary to ensure that we have scholarship dollars for students and adults as well as funds to welcome incoming delegations to Asheville. Please gather your friends and come out to support ASCI – your organization!
July 14th, Bastille Day Celebration – to be held at Metro Wine on Charlotte Street, 3-6 pm, $5 donation to benefit Slow Food Movement, with added silent auction items to benefit ASCI. Full details to follow soon. Plan to RSVP and pay at the door. Finger Foods will be provided by ASCI city committees .
July 21st, Mexican Movie Night – ASCI Offices at 33 Page – 6:30 pm refreshments and overview of our two Mexican Sister Cities included in a $5 donation. Plan to RSVP and pay at the door.
August 18th, Ticketed French Dinner Evening at Bouchon – on Lexington Avenue, 6:30 pm – very limited seating. Reservations and payment will be required in advance. Details to follow.
September 16th, Ticketed Latin Dinner Evening at Havana – Latin music/dancing on the sidewalk! And celebrate Mexican Independence Day! Reservations and payment will be required in advance. Details to follow.
October 20th, Ticketed Greek Dinner Evening at the Mediterranean – on College Street, 6:30 pm – dinner with raffle… Greek music! Reservations and payment will be required in advance. Details to follow.
October is Sister City Month! Proclamation at City Hall to ASCI.
Late Nov/Dec, Holiday Wine tasting with appetizers & Evening event – Santé and ASCI at 33 Page with Holiday Bazaar! – International items for sale and consignment accepted, including handmade items and local art. Details coming soon.
If you would like to be involved with any of these events, please contact Gwen Hughes at gwengh(at)charter.net or any sister city chair. Watch for your invitation via e-mail or “snail mail” and RSVP as soon as possible.
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!
- Lisa Marie Quinlan
- Grady and Mary Lou Griffin
- Myrna Aceved
- Brian and Heather Hawn
- Gisela Green
- Pat and Steve Kutay
- John Tyler Gifford
- Bruce L. Waller
- Joan Felsen
- Ashby Brame
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 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. For more information, contact Phyllis Stiles at828-545-4282 or email to [email protected].