Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bridges Blog Take Two


In October 2007 I started a blog at another address. In spite of good intentions that blog has withered, dried up and disappeared. (Translation: I no longer remember how to get to it or make entries, and it seems a new beginning is in order)

So, as the Bridges of Peace and Hope Project is beginning to change and grow I believe it's time to start again with a more regular means of staying in touch with the students, teachers and friends who have helped with the project. A lot of exciting things have and are happening in many places and this blog may be a way to keep those who are interested informed.

I leave tomorrow, March 18, to travel to Bucahrest Romania and the CEESA (Cent and Eastern European Schools Association) conference. I will be doing a presentation about BOPH at the conference and will also have an exhibit table. I hope to meet teachers interested in joining the wonderful core group who are already involved in BOPH. I am bringing penpal letters from approximately 20 classrooms in the US. If we succeed in making penpal connections these may grow into active "Bridges" sites.

After leaving Bucharest I travel to Kiev and Budapest where I will spend time writing and performing songs with Bridges classes at Pechersk School International in Kiev, Ukraine, and at the American International School of Budapest in Hungary. Bridges advisory board members Michael Palmer (Pechersk, Kiev) and Joe Giulietti and Conway Chewning (AISB Budapest, Hungary) have done tremendous prep work to make these visits possible. I have done skype teleconferences with both schools in anticipation of visiting with them. We will be doing BOPH family concerts at both schools too.

While in Budapest, Joe Giulietti and a group of students from AISB will go with me to visit a Hungarian School. This visit has been arranged by the US Embassy in Budapest. This "bridge" to a non-english speaking school is a terrific opportunity to expand our connections to learn about others whose life experience and cultures are unfamiliar to us.

The new BOPH web site, being built by the Business Media Center at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee is going to be an incredible tool for connecting classrooms around the world. The design is nearly finished but we need to spend some time making adjustments and organizing content before the site goes online live, which will happen later this spring.

If any of you have not seen our daughter Katie's Peace Corp blog from Cameroon and are interested in doing so the address is www.bestdefinedbythemystery.blogspot.com/

Thanks to everyone that is helping keep this project alive and growing, especially;

Gael, Tom, Meg, Ken, Ray, and Maureen in Connecticut;
Mary Jain, Darlene, Rich C, John C, Lorraine,
Carol G and teachers at John L Edwards,
Craig, Gabby, Kofi, Colleen, Jack, Maggie,
Patrick and Ann Marie in NY;
Joe and Conway in Budapest;
Michael, Christina and Nadine in Kiev, Ukraine;
Cheryl and Jill in Brussels, Belgium;
Nancy, Dawn and teachers in Barcelona, Spain;
Carline and teachers in Haiti;
David John and Marj in South Africa,
Lesley, Tertia and teachers in Namibia;
Katie in Cameroon, Africa
Jane B. and Caroline E. in Great Britain;
Kent B. in Pennsylvania;
Kevin and Paul and team in Cookeville, Tenn
Ayesha Beg in India;
Paul M in Amsterdam, Netherlands

To those I have forgotten, please forgive me.

Hope to hear from you soon.

All the Best,



  1. Have a great trip, John! I'm wondering if you and Michael could skype us in CT at some point! Just know that we're all with you in our hearts!

  2. Hope you had, and continue to have a safe trip. The children were excited to hear their letters are in Romania! Good luck making your contacts. I hope you find pen pals for all those classes, and BOPH grows exponentially. Thanks for all you are doing for children, and thanks for asking us to be a part of the program! Take care.