Thank you Brookline and to all those who helped make Brookline Sister City Week a great success!
It seems like a distant memory now but it is only 6 weeks since we hosted 5 guests from Quezalguaque for the 29th Anniversary Celebration of the Brookline Quezalguaque Sister City Project.
Our five visitors from Quezalguaque – four English teachers and the Director of Health, all returned home safely. Unlike the 16 hour trip to the U.S. due to a 3 hour wait to pass through Customs/Immigration in Miami coupled with a 30 minute interview leading them to miss the plane to Boston from Miami, the trip home went smoothly and in less than half the time.
Dr. Milagro Baldelomar and the four visiting teachers showed themselves to be wonderful ambassadors for Quezalguaque and truly curious about Brookline, Massachusetts and the U.S.
The full week for our guests from Quezalguaque included:
- meetings with the Board of Selectmen, with Town Administrator Mel Kleckner, and department heads at the Brookline Department of Health,
- -visits to classes at BHS, Driscoll and Runkle, contact with more than 200 Brookline students, and a warm welcome in Spanish from Superintendent Andrew Bott and Interim BHS Headmaster Anthony Meyer,
- -meetings about water quality with the Sister City Medical Committee and with Betsy Reilley, the MWRA Director of Environmental Quality who presented at the Coolidge Corner Science on Screen program about water quality as an issue in developing and developed countries,
- -visits to St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Paul’s Church, All Saints Parish, and to Temple Ohabei Shalom (TOS). At TOS, it was the first time that any of them had been inside a Jewish house of worship, met a Rabbi or witnessed a Jewish service.
- -Dr. Baldelomar toured some of Boston’s health institutions and made a visit to the Codman Square Health Center.
- -the teachers visited classes at Boston University and its Center for English Language & Orientation Program.
The visitors actively participated in a Celebración de Brookline e Hispanoamerican Poetry that kicked off the week and those of us fortunate enough to be in attendance not only heard from Brookline’s current and former Poet Laureates but also learned about and heard poetry by Rubén Dario.
Two of the visiting teachers (Robert Garcia and Eddy Calderon) performed Nicaragua Nicaraguita, a beautiful love song to Nicaragua and its people. Click here to see video.
All this would not have been possible without the significant support and time of many volunteers. The Sister City Project has no paid staff and receives no government funding.
Our thanks to the eight restaurants: Athan’s Bakery, El Centro, La Bottega di Capri, The Fireplace, La Morra, La Voile, Rifrullo Cafe & Vine Ripe Grill that participated in the Sister City “A Taste of Brookline,” to the 84 individual and organizational sponsors, to the five host families, to Margery Eagan of WGBH, Governor Michael Dukakis and Stephen Kinzer for their participation and to many others that made this first ever visit of Quezalguaque teachers and the newly appointed health director in Quezalguaque such a success.
Chobee Hoy, Chair-2016 Celebration Committee
Richard Segan, President-Board of Directors
Brookline Quezalguaque Sister City Project