Dear PTPI European family,
After an unusually hot and long summer from June to August followed by a brief rainy period we are now enjoying a much more pleasant "Indian summer." Such weather is certainly much more conducive for all kinds of activities including PTPI events on a local, regional, national and world regional basis.
As numerous members were and still are looking at pictures of Roman 2003 on our WebPages www.ptpe.org many more positive comments and high praise are reaching me. All such credit goes very well deserved to PTPI Roman! I want to add something important to my earlier comments of the European Conference. Due to the absence of Annick Debien from Angoulême-France we could not express our appreciation and honour her personally for the four years of great work she did as European Youth Coordinator. Sorry, Annick but this is only postponed to the next festive opportunity!
Now, I want to draw your attention to a few PTPI activities which could be of special interest:
- School & Classroom Program: A wonderful and educational way to connect youngsters around the world with each other. And all these pupils/students will be potential young members for your chapter! Even their parents will most likely get interested in PTPI! Doesn't your chapter need new and particularly young members?
- PTPI's News Tips!: Newsletter with lots of great information and advice on how to make the News Media work for your chapter.
A true PTPI Weekend was celebrated in Bern-Switzerland on 22 to 24 August 2003 with Mary Jean Eisenhower as guest of honour. She dined with local dignitaries and was interviewed by the main newspaper in town. She took an active part in many meetings and in the main event, the annual "PTPI Swiss Chapter Meeting" on Saturday with a record attendance of over 50 members and guests!!
Since I had called the European Executive Council (EEC) to a Board meeting for the same weekend the VIPs Bogdan Tamba, newly elected PTPE Youth Coordinator, from Roman-Romania, Reto Limacher, PTPE Treasurer from Lucerne-Switzerland and Lars Poignant, PTPI Director of European Operations, from Berlin-Germany were present in Bern as well.
The next major international events are the PTPI meetings in Washington DC, USA on 9-11 October 2003: Board of Directors, Annual Board of Trustees and special Chapter Leadership. In order to have the European perspectives adequately represented in such meetings I call on you to actively participate. If you are unable to attend then at least let me or another European participant you know have your proxy because every vote counts!
I am very pleased that Rolf Dahlberg, PTPI Stockholm-Sweden is one of only two new nominees to the PTPI Board of Directors for a two year term. If he gets elected and if I get reelected for my second term, Europe would have three voting Directors together with Peter Tage, PTP Denmark in this 16 member Board. A new and young European nominee to the Board of Trustees is Cornelia Siegenthaler, Youth Coordinator PTPI Bern and co-leader of the YG-movement. Congratulations to both young European leaders for their significant international Board nomination!
Further good news is that PTP Denmark has decided to rejoin PTP Europe according to Peter Tage and the enrollment is in process. Welcome back in our family!
Are you all aware of the great addition at our PTPI office in Berlin-Germany? Since just over three months Dr. Birgit Ammann is a new full time employee who is already quite ably assisting Lars. Her talents, knowledge and experience are very beneficial to our organization and to you as a member.
Lastly, just a reminder that the next European Conference will be held together with the Worldwide Conference in Baveno-Italy during October 2004. Start your preparations to attend now!
Keep very well and foremost do keep smiling.
PTPI Scholar Stan Alexandru in Prague
The author Stan Alexandru is a 22 year old student at the Faculty of Law at "Alexandru Ioan Cuza University" in Iasi, Romania.
The program organised by AIPES (The American Institute in Political and Economic Systems) took place for the first time in 1993 and since then has been bringing together young people from the USA, the Baltic states, the South East Europe and Central Asia. The organizers look for students that study for their BA, or that have already obtained their BA in Economics, Political Sciences, Law and other fields and may be considered as the leaders of tomorrow in their countries.
The program in Prague started with 50-60 participants and this year had more than 120 participants from 27 countries. The institute includes a close collaboration between Charles University from Prague and Georgetown University from Washington D.C.
The program has two major parts in which the participants must get involved; the first is the social share and the second is the academic share:
The academic part consisted of courses and seminars in Economics and in Politics. The Economics lectures presented macro economics, and the main points were the free markets, liberalism, free trade and the importance of the laws and institutions in a country's economy. The Politics lectures focused on the American political system and democracy and the seminars included discussions on these topics.
The program ended with final exams in Economics and Politics covering among other things material from the lectures, readings ("Dahl on Democracy" [Robert A. Dahl]), some of the "Federalist papers," some Nobel Prize lectures and a report of the World Bank about the economic evolution of the ex-communist countries.
The academic part also gave us the chance to participate in a legislative simulation. We were divided in eight groups and had to propose to the "AIPES Parliament" laws on the tax system, abortion, maximal criminal punishment and the Bill of Rights. Everybody was allowed to present his/her point of view; the professors were very open-minded and interested in every opinion, always prepared to answer and talk to the students. We were also given the opportunity to meet some officials from the Czech Republic, party leaders, bank managers, former prime ministers from Poland and Estonia.
The social part of the program had the goal to create the proper atmosphere for us to communicate and become friends. We had the possibility to participate in various social events such as pool party, country presentation party and a boat tour on the Vltava River. Our room mates were selected randomly from different countries, which offered a very good opportunity to make new friends and to learn about different cultures. I was able to make new friends, to invite some of them to Romania and be invited to visit other countries, to change my perspective on the world, to be more open-hearted to other cultures.
All in all this was a wonderful experience and I am most grateful to People to People International for their generous support, and I hope that this program will have a long, and successful existence.
You can also participate in the AIPES program next year!
PTPI members have the opportunity to attend the AIPES (Prague) or IIPES (Greece) programs in 2004. PTPI offers scholarships to cover parts of the costs to attend.
What is AIPES?
AIPES is an academic program founded 1993, sponsored by universities and designed to explore the political, economic and cultural issues of the world as it grows under democratic principles. Its aim is to introduce the foundations of democracy and free market economics to young leaders from nations that have emerged from the collapse of communism.
Students from a wide range of nationalities, religions and ethnicities gather to study the basic foundations of a free society, and are encouraged to apply these concepts to the transitions taking place in their home countries.
Who can participate?
- Priority will be given to students living and studying in Europe, and to American citizens.
- Students must be currently enrolled in a college or university.
- Courses are conducted in English; therefore, proficiency in English is required.
- Admissions decisions are based upon academic record, extracurricular achievements, leadership qualities, work experience and English language ability.
Programs for AIPES and sister program IIPES:
Early and Final Deadline
July 7–29, 2004
January 30, March 15
July 3–26, 2004
January 30, March 15
Internship in Berlin
At the beginning of April this year I started my internship at the PTPI European Office and I have since then been able to follow the daily work in the office. The office in Berlin is small and intimate with only two employees and 1-2 interns, all sitting in the same office. It is therefore impossible not to become part of the team and to participate in almost every discussion.
My assignments have included things as e-mail correspondence with chapter members, keeping meeting minutes, maintenance of our databases as well as e-mail correspondence and taking part in program development. I have assisted program participants with visa invitations, collected various sorts of information for our different programs and now during the last two weeks introduced our new intern, Lisa Poggel, to the organisation and its programs.
I ended my internship at the end of August. When thinking back I realise I have learned so much. I now have a much better idea of how an international non-governmental organisation works. I have had the opportunity to participate in planning, organising and carrying out events as well as taking part in the every day activities of an international office. What I did not expect as I applied for the position was to learn how to create and maintain websites, website maintenance turning out to be one of my continuous assignments. I also took part in producing the European Newsletter in July, writing articles and working with layout, something I very much enjoyed.
PTPI Swiss Chapter Meeting 2003
In a long standing tradition one of the chapters organizes the annual PTPI Swiss Chapter Meeting. This year the PTPI Chapter Bern, led by the chief organizer Otto Burri, prepared the event for Saturday August 23rd. Over 50 members of the 4 Swiss chapters and some guests gathered around noon to proceed in a casual walk through the old city of Bern (founded 1191) and then attended the very interesting multi-vision show near the famous bear pit.
Thanks to its well preserved medieval architecture, Bern has been listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, something only a few Swiss citizens even know.
After a short promenade along the river Aare to the Restaurant Daehlhoelzli the Apéro was served in the garden under the trees followed by a typical Swiss luncheon upstairs in this historical building. Late afternoon about half of the group took the special mountain train to the Gurten, Bern's hill top, for a magnificent view over the entire region until night fall.
Mary Eisenhower honored this year's event with her presence. At a reception on Friday evening with local personalities, selected PTPI Swiss members and guests like Brigitte and Gerhard Kasigkeit from PTPI Berlin-Germany as well as the press she received a special welcome present from Bern's Mayor. Mary was interviewed by a well prepared lady journalist from the Berner Zeitung, one of the two main papers in town. The article with a magnificent picture was published in the "PEOPLE" section!
During the luncheon on Saturday Mary presented the CEO award to Regina Wälti, President PTPI Interlaken-Switzerland for her over 10 years of great humanitarian work in Romania under the PTPI banner, for founding the Roman Chapter, for the 3 year sponsorship of young Katarina's, a beautiful and talented, Russian opera singer's education and training in Italy and her general dedication to PTPI. With a special gift Lars Poignant honored Miriam Casas-Troxler for her great PTPI work as President Chapter Lucerne-Switzerland during many years and for her decade long involvement in PTPI. Many other members were honored as well but especially Family Weber who hosted more than 30 Student Ambassadors during the last decade!
PTPI Bern Chapter President and President PTP Europe, Ernst Honegger convened a Board meeting of the European Executive Council at the same weekend. This brought the newly elected PTPE Youth Coordinator, Bogdan Tamba from Romania to Switzerland. Other VIPs in attendance, were PTPE Treasurer Reto Limacher from Lucerne-Switzerland and PTPI Director of European Operations, Lars Poignant from Berlin-Germany. All in all a great PTPI weekend with very positive people and splendid weather!!
Ernst Honegger (Chapter President)
Roman Youth Group is Back for Good
Thirteen members of PTPI Roman YG led by Charlotte Lee, United States Peace Corps volunteer, attended the Outward Bound Romania School of Experiences/Summer Youth Leadership Camp in Sovata, Romania, from 1 - 6 September 2003. Seven youths from Constanta also attended the camp with their local Peace Corps volunteer. The group took part in many diverse activities, all with the purpose of learning different objectives. Thus, each participant came to understand his colleagues better and the secret of teamwork: having open communication between members of the group.
The camp consisted of four main parts. We studied and tested our leadership skills, and then put it into practice throughout various team- and leadership-based activities. Learning how to find solutions, how to plan and create strategies, and how to put these into practice were emphasized. We participated in ecology projects and learned more about nature while being in the outdoors. English practice was also part of the agenda as well as different games and exercises such as orienteering, rock climbing (both in the mountains and on a climbing wall), rappelling, hiking, climbing on a Jacob's ladder and walking on parallel logs.
The camp represented an outstanding experience for all of us, for we learnt to know ourselves and the others better. We keep in touch with the group from Constanta, whose members became very good friends of ours.
The advice which we give to the other young people is to follow their dreams and not to give up fighting for what they want. We also wish to thank the PTPI family members who supported us and helped make this camp a reality!
Eliza Simion and Andra Precupanu
Participants: Gina Boiculese, Carmen Costin, Andreea Danca, Cristina Danca, Catalina Danca, Andreea Dobra, Roxana Ionescu, Ramona Martisca, Andra Precupanu, Eliza Simion, Ovidiu Simion, Oana Spatarescu, and Any Voinea
Wanted - Pen Pals
Wanted: Pen Pals – especially from France, Italy, Germany, UK and Spain.
Wanted - Classrooms
Also wanted: Classrooms – especially from France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Please contact Stacey Chance
Thank you Denise Maurice!
A thank you, to Denise Maurice who retired this year from all her PTPI duties after serving 33 years as President of PTPI Brussels Chapter. Through the years Denise has led the chapter, organised programs and exchanges as well as been a very good ambassador for both PTPI and its cause.
European Conference – picture gallery
From the PTPI European Conference in May in Romania there is an online photo gallery (www.ptpe.org/roman2003). Thanks to all, who sent so many nice pictures. The photos are certainly nice memories.
The PTPI European Office welcomes members as interns. Until now there have been three interns in the office. On August 29th Emma Ors worked her last day here. We thank Emma for her very nice work here. Between August and November Lisa Poggel will have her internship here. Lisa is from Berlin and has just graduated from High School.
Coming dates for internship (preliminary):
- November 3rd–January 30th
- January 15th–April 15th
- April 1st–June 30th
- June 15th–September 15th
Applications are due four weeks prior to the starting dates.
New internet address for Lars Poignant
New Program: Exploring Borders in Europe
The European Office is working on a new exciting program offering an alternative way to learn more about Europe. The program is a successor of the European Caravan that had to be cancelled. The program aims at young PTPI members and friends (18 to 25 years old) who have a good knowledge of English and geography, who are well informed and interested in European culture and show willingness to actively engage before, during and after the trip. It is meant to promote a dialogue between different chapters, recruit new members, promote intercultural learning through understanding and reflecting differences in perception as well as opinion.
Exploring Borders in Europe is planned as a two-week bus trip with around twenty participants and probably two accompanying facilitators. The tour will cover Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria – big cities as well as rural areas and unspectacular small towns.
The name and motto of the trip imply that borders can be geographical, political, ethnic and personal and that very often they are shifting. There will be a lot of dealing with contrasts such as "rich and poor," "familiar and foreign," "old and new" and discussing subjects such as "Foreign Workers in Western European Countries," "Jewish-European History and the Holocaust", "Division and Reunification of States," "The European Union," "Before and After the Fall of the Iron Curtain." There will of course also be some "regular" touristy highlights to explore in order to supply the want of participants who travel respective regions for the first time.
The costs of the trip will be held as low as possible, accommodation as well as all other offers will be modest. At this point the European Office is applying for public funds for the trip. A decision is expected early in the year of 2004.
|When?||What?||Who to contact?|
|Nov 6, 2003||Night of a Thousand Dinners||Canadian Landmine Foundation|
Visit and Homestay in Los Angeles
PTPI's Greater Los Angeles Chapter invites members to visit California.
Some PTPE members have already visited Los Angeles and stayed with the PTPI's Greater Los Angeles Chapter. For anyone interested in a nice stay in California including homestay and a great variety of places to visit:
- California Science Center: Explores science, mathematics, and technology in a social and cultural context.
- Universal Studios Movie Studio & Theme Park
- William S. Hart Ranch & Museum: Home of silent western movie star. Artefacts of Hollywood and Native Americans.
- Japanese American National Museum: Sharing the experiences of Japanese Americans.
Night of a Thousand Dinners (N1KD)
A "Night of a Thousand Dinners" is an international event organised by the Canadian Landmine Foundation that creates awareness of the global landmine crisis and raises much needed funds to support landmine removal and survivor assistance. Tens of thousands of people around the world will gather on November 6 with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to share a meal and make the world a safer place. Night of a Thousand Dinners has grown into an international phenomenon! Since its launch in 2001, nearly 2000 dinners (or gatherings) have been held in over 50 countries and over $2.3 million has been raised.
How does it work?
To participate, you organize the meal and invite the guests. Create your own favourite dishes, choose from the delectable recipes available on the website (www.1000dinners.com), or just keep it simple and order in some pizza. Instead of bringing wine, flowers or dessert, each guest is asked to make a donation to help the landmine cause.
International Education Week
In this second edition of our resource development column we would like to bring to your attention that the European Commission – one of the five institutions of the European Union - is offering a program that suits PTPI's purposes very well.
The YOUTH programme offers possibilities to young people in more than 30 countries and is relevant and applicable to all European countries with PTPI chapters (except Switzerland – sorry to the Eidgenossen).
At the relevant website of the European Commission you can get general information. Please visit http://europa.eu.int/comm/youth/program/index_en.html
The general idea of the program is to bring young people into contact with other cultures and other realities, to have them learn from each other and discover and explore similarities and differences between their cultures. Such an experience can help combat negative prejudices and stereotypes. Moreover, the effect of a youth exchange on the local population can give rise to more positive awareness of other cultures and have an impact not only on the young people themselves and their associations' activities, but also on the local communities.
The thrilling thing is that there are national agencies in the relevant countries that can be contacted if chapter officers need help with their application for funding. Exceptions are Albania, Georgia, Russia and the Ukraine: These countries have separate status but can take part in youth meetings with participants from the other countries and in cooperation with other PTPI chapters.
You can contact the national agents via the following websites:
We would really like to encourage all chapters to become active: Don't let your ideas rest in your desk – present them to the Commission! If you need assistance we will be happy to help.
The websites give you particular information in your language and the description of projects that have been granted in the past. These examples are very useful if you want to develop a certain idea. Do not hesitate to call the agencies – they are there to assist you even if your idea is not perfectly shaped yet.
Link of the day: http://www.fundersonline.org/grantseekers
This website is an initiative of the European Foundation Centre in Brussels. The Centre's mission is to promote and underpin the work of foundations and corporate funders active in Europe. In this sense the website provides a public record and a public information service on addresses that you might find relevant in the context of raising money.
Term of the day: Street Collection Permit
An organization that wishes to collect money or sell articles for charitable purposes in a public place needs to apply for such a permit. The authorities might charge fees for the permit. A document certifying public utility usually has to be at hand.
Together with the "New Age" Language Centre PTPI Estonia had invited teenagers to take part in the International Youth Summer Festival from July 21 to August 4, 2003 in Tallinn. The goal remains the same every year, "to promote friendship and mutual understanding between peers of various nationalities from different countries, to provide cultural exchange." Held in the framework of a day camp, participants engage in a variety of topics from journalism, health and resisting violence to art and dance classes. At the camp there were volunteer group leaders from Italy and Greece.
Tallinn Chapter hosted Cornelia Siegenthaler, Youth Coordinator at Bern Chapter, and Marcus Dapp for a few days in August. They have been visiting the city of Tallinn, Paldiski and the National Park of Lahemaa (and we are sure they had a great time).
Pavel Smulski from the Tallinn Chapter and Marianna Drozdova from the Tartu Chapter participated in the World Congress of the Youth, held this August 16-28 in Casablanca, Morocco. The congress was hosted by Peace Child International, a UK-registered charity (www.peacechild.org).
Ruta Pels, President of PTPI Estonia and the Tallinn Chapter participated in Estonia NGOs Summer School in Peoleo, Estonia, September 6-7.
Ruta Pels (President)
The Vikings visited The Samurais: Twenty members of PTPI Denmark have made a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they took part in a friendship tour to Japan from April 5 to April 16, 2003.
The tour had been organized by Karen Margrethe Kristensen, Chapter President of the East Zealand Chapter and Svenn Erik Kristensen, vice president of PTPI Denmark. The East Zealand chapter had visits from Fukui Prefecture in Japan for the last eight years. Each August 20 young people have had a 5-day homestay with Danish families. Many of the host families have asked for the possibility of a revisit to Japan.
We have organized that tour in cooperation with PTPI's All Japan Chapter Council and Fukui Prefecture and I am very proud to state that they did a very great job. The homestay as well as all other arrangements done for the Danish visitors were really excellent. Everybody we met in the host families did everything to make the visit a full success. A visit to Japan is really a visit to a different world. Daily living is different: You live on the floor, you use chopsticks, the food is different, and you can't read the road signs or the name of the railway stations. But these are only small things compared to experiencing Japanese unforgettable hospitality. The participants in this tour could talk hours about their experiences in the families where communication was going on with help of fingers, drawings and especially a great smile.
Toshio Kuno, President of PTPI Shiga Chapter together with his chapter members and Ruriko Nakajima, from PTPI Tachibana organised an eventful programme for all of us. Visiting temples, castles, a car factory, city-walking, training Calligraphy but also a marvelous view of the Japanese landscapes and at that time of the year: Sakura in Blossom.
All the participants are indebted to this chapter and all the host families for the great experiences in those five days.
After the visit to Shiga Chapter we all went to Fukui Prefecture. Gouvernor Kurita and his staff had made a programme for us with official reception, three nights homestay and one day with sightseeing in a part of Fukui Prefecture. It was a great experience for many in the Danish delegation to meet many friends who had been guests in Denmark. It was a great experience to see how the idea of People to People International had been developed in Fukui Prefecture. For the last 33 years they have been running an annual programme, with people from the prefecture visiting Russia, Germany, Finland and Denmark.
Well back in Denmark the entire group is looking at all the gifts, at all the pictures and reading their diaries trying to get a real impression of that great tour.
Svenn Erik Kristensen (Vice President)
The 25 years exchange programs celebration in July has been a great success. Very special guests were Charlotte Lee, Peace Corps Volunteer to the Roman Chapter in Romania and Julie Goodhart, PTPI Pen Pal Coordinator from Kansas City. There was a lot of remembering the good old times and a lot of pictures to look at, very good food and even a little television spot to watch from way back then.
Twenty five members of the Berlin Chapter got together for a chapter excursion visiting the International Horticultural Exhibition (IGA) in the town of Rostock about three hours away from Berlin by train. Most attractive and a very interesting experience was to see and walk the Nations' Gardens: Twenty two nations from four continents such as Austria, Bolivia, Finland, Greece, India, Slovakia and Poland (to name just a few) contributed to the exhibition with their own gardens. A truly international and intercultural journey within one day and a lot to talk on the train ride.
Chapter members have also been busy travelling: Hannelore and Peter Büchler had a homestay in Kansas City and elsewhere (they will be asked to report in the next issue), Brigitte and Gerhard Kasigkeit attended the Swiss chapter meeting (see Ernst Honegger's report) and really enjoyed it.
The Berlin chapter has initiated a children's books project for the benefit of a day care centre in one of the poorer parts of Berlin. The centre is located in the district of Kreuzberg that is largely inhabited by migrants – many of them from Turkey but also from other countries. The migrants' children often do have a problem with the German language. Good books help preschoolers as well as teenagers to improve their German. The financial situation of the city of Berlin is bad and therefore it is felt that there are never enough books. Chapter members have started to collect children's books among their children and grandchildren, among friends and neighbours; they buy books at garage and yard sales, flea markets and after all in stores.
The Berlin Chapter explicitly invites chapter members from around the world for homestays. Berlin is a very thrilling place and there is really a lot to see and experience.
The day we gathered the 21 founding members of PTPI Sibiu I watched each and everyone signing the constitution act. Only four of us had their faces wrinkled by the struggles of a half-century life. But the others were smooth-faced, beaming with health and youth. Surprisingly enough, I could notice on the old men's faces a juvenile enthusiasm that was the common denominator of four life experiences, now dedicated to volunteering for a new group - People to People International's Sibiu Chapter. Keeping up with the proportions, I thought about our founder, President Eisenhower. The worries for a whole allied front during the Second World War, and then his concerns with a whole nation brought up wrinkles on his face, but nevertheless, he managed to find the enthusiasm in order to found a powerful international organization - PTPI with thousands of members worldwide. Thus I realized that in the way we have chosen to follow we can be successful only if we mix together the exuberance of youth with the old people's experience.
The group of 21 members, including teachers, engineers, lawyers, journalists, technicians, and students have the chance and are proud to live in an area that they intend to make famous worldwide. A deeply-rooted area, Sibiu is situated in central Romania representing a human entity with some concerns that are proper to a multicultural community, respectful towards the German founders of our citadel who came here in the 11th century. The town is economically developed in many fields, with a many-graded educational system, a diverse architecture, and permanently concerned with harmonizing the environment. Sibiu is careful about and values the green areas and parks managing an urban ecosystem that is specific to the hilly region where the town is situated. There is a special concern with the good working of the industry, the urban and private transport aiming at a real decrease of urban pollution.
The local authorities, the schools, high-schools, and universities, together with the citizens made use of different devices of civilian society and have created a good-quality contemporary habitat that encourages the living together of different ethnic communities. They have got involved in many programs for the restoration and maintenance of the urban patrimony, but also to reactivate new infrastructures. Many institutions and private persons have set up some projects in order to preserve the great esthetic character of Sibiu, thus building up some new bridges among the different communities that live here.
All forms of cultural and sports activities are encouraged in Sibiu. Their polyvalence (theaters, museums, sport halls, the philarmonic orchestra, libraries and discos) is encouraged by bringing up new cultural devices for the development of the cultural dialogue. Many cultural calendars and programs that are specific to this area are updated each year. Thus, many thematic festivals have been organized (theater, jazz, medieval, and folk). The local radio or TV stations have broadcasted them together with some pluralist shows while the written media has promoted some aspects of the minorities' culture. The town of Sibiu is also cradle of some pacifist initiatives based on many centuries of experience of ethnical tolerance, whose aim is for peace to become a daily reality. PTPI Sibiu Chapter has joined them in order to bring a new blood flow in the cultural veins of our town, a blood that is rich in European and international vitamins. We will articulate our projects to the general program of PTP International, and thus we will be able to promote the primary values of a world based on peace and understanding, partnership and mutual respect in the Sibiu area.
Adriana Andrei (President)
At the end of June the Chester Chapter hosted 14 guests from their sister city in Lakewood, Colorado. We had been preparing all year for this visit, doing a lot of fund raising so that we could take our guests to many interesting places during the ten days that they were with us. We had an interesting trip on a renovated steamboat on Lake Coniston in the Lake District and visited the home of an English artist and philosopher there. Despite the rain, our friends found the narrow stone walled lanes quite intriguing. Believe it or not this was the only day of rain that they had during their stay. Our other main trip took us into North Wales to visit Caenarfon Castle and to the slate museum which lies at the foot of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, although by the Rocky Mountain standards it's actually below their starting level! They were given a welcome by the Town Crier with a guided tour of Chester and were also greeted by the Lord Mayor in the Town Hall. At the beginning of July our young musicians treated us to a series of concerts which our visitors were also able to enjoy this year. Last year's flute player and this year's viola player joined with one of our longtime favourite piano players to provide a memorable performance. We also visited various National Gardens and had a day at the Potteries (Wedgewood). Their final evening was July 4th. We were unable to provide fireworks so they were instead surprised by our very own Morris Dancers. If you don't know what Morris Dancing is then you'll just have to come over to England to see for yourselves.
Following this very successful event, we were very pleased to welcome Adrian Obrecht from the Zurich Chapter who decided to visit Britain the hard way - by bicycle. He took his bike as far as Edinburgh in Scotland then cycled the east coast up to Inverness then right around the west coast including a visit to the Isle of Skye, down to Glasgow, then down to us in Chester, where he took a couple of days off out of the saddle to sightsee with us, before continuing his journey South by Birmingham and the Oxford area and then on to London and the south coast to take the ferry to mainland Europe. He looked very fit when we saw him in August and I think he should be congratulated on completing such a long cycle.
Since then we have had a little rest over the remaining summer days but will be restarting PTPI activities again soon.
Heather Exell (Chairperson)
The Zurich Chapter took of course actively part in the Swiss regional meeting and very successfully keeps raising funds for its Sister Chapter Tallinn, which will visit at the end of October.
Within the framework of PTPI's Ambassador Program 29 Senior High School Students from the New York region arrived with three leaders in Bern, Switzerland, on 25th July. Their departure on July 28 was followed by the arrival of a second group of similar size the next day, this time students from the West Coast who stayed with host families as well and left on 1st August. There was a reception at the US-Embassy in Bern for both groups and the host families. Bruce Armstrong, PR-Officer, multilingual, including quite a lot of Swiss-German, welcomed and addressed the groups in a very entertaining and most interesting way. The feedback from the students and their leaders as well as from the host families was overwhelmingly positive. Many new PTPI friendships across the Atlantic have been made! Two host families became new members of PTPI Bern.
Brief tidbits from the Interlaken Chapter:
"Since we were all together in Roman, this summer has continued to be fruitful, friendly and rewarding. In Interlaken this summer we once again had a swarm of student ambassadors, this time from Florida. Thirty one students (and their advisors) came to stay with our host families in the Berner Oberland. They hiked, played and helped us remember that People to People International is about getting to know each other as individuals. All the host families brought their young people together to say good-bye before they left for their next destination (France). The hugs and tears and promises to write echoed through the hills. As the summer "heated up" we had a one day visit from a group of 30 members from Wisconsin. At the end of August, Chapter Interlaken joined the other Swiss Chapters for our annual "all Swiss Treffen (meeting)." We made a lovely tour of Bern, with stops at the Bundeshaus, and the Bärengraben before we walked to the Dählölzli Restaurant and the animal park for lunch.
The highlight of the meeting for us in Chapter Interlaken was when Mary Eisenhower announced that one of her most important reasons for coming was to award Interlaken Chapter President Regina Waelti the annual CEO Award for all of PTP International. We chapter members and guests beamed with pride."
Peter Morger, Ernst Honegger, Ronnie Blakeney
September 20, PTPI's Ravenna Chapter invited its member and students of "the English Centre" in Ravenna for a meeting. Chapter President Anna Maria Sartori, PTPI's Chapter President Valeria Magistrelli and PTPI Staff Lars Poignant presented PTPI and its programs. Especially the chapter contacts with homestay opportunities, European Conferences and of course the upcoming Worldwide Conference in Baveno were of interest. For the coming year the chapter plans to organise Italian language courses for PTPI members. It would be a two week course with close contact to the PTPI Ravenna Chapter members. The English Centre recognised after the presentation some of the in total 18 students that had successfully passed the "Michigan Proficiency Test."
Annamaria Sartori (President)