Misty’s 2012 Youth Ambassadors

Nearly all of the 2012 Youth Ambassadors are in Phoenix and our busy hosting calendar has begun. Although we had carved out some down time for your students to rest and get prepared for our busy hosting calendar of group activities they have been filling their time visiting water parks, having pool parties, going to the movies and having a lot of fun.

Yesterday the Phoenix Sister Cities Youth & Education Chair Alisa Nakashima-Smith officially welcomed the students to Phoenix and introduced the group to Susan McCall and Mark Anthony with the Japanese Friendship Garden. We were treated to a tour of the Japanese Friendship Garden, one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. After a brief tour and experiencing some extreme Arizona heat our group enjoyed the cool air conditioning of the Irish Cultural Center. Mary Moriarty gave a tour of the Irish Cultural Center as a delightful brief history on the new library being built on site.

We spent the rest of the day getting to know one another. We played a few games to learn one another’s names and went over all of the program rules. After a western barbecue chicken lunch the student’s gave their City & Cultural presentations. We compared the similarities and differences amongst our cities/towns. When asked what do you think of Phoenix, understandably the response was “it is hot.”

Before sending the group off on their own for the rest of the day we reviewed the remainder of the hosting calendar. This evening we are celebrating “American Holidays.” All of the students will be dressing up in costumes for Halloween, making cards and cookies for Valentines and we will be having an American Birthday Party. The plan is to sing Happy Birthday in all the languages from all of our sister cities.

In the attached group photo the Youth Ambassadors had received goody bags, t-shirts and had lunch, just outside of the Irish Cultural Center new library.

Later this week we will have 3 additional students from Himeji, Japan join our group.

Rest assure all of the students are safe and doing well. They may get hot from time to time but we will do our best to keep them comfortable.

Misty R. Cisneros-Contreras
Director of Youth Ambassador Exchange & Teach Abroad Programs