I'm reaching the half way point on a 2 week trip to Eastern Europe. The first week has been a buzz of activity every day and the days have melted together. It's been a great week for the Bridges of Peace and Hope project. I brought approximately 20 packages of letters to Bucharest from students in the US in the hopes of finding pen pal classes for them. At the conference in Romania I was able to deliver all the packages. The teachers who took the letters are interested in being part of our BOPH team. The new group includes teachers from Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Lithuania, Finland, and Australia, with other possibilities too.
Flying from Bucharest to Vienna my head was swimming as I was copying down names and email addresses and thinking about all the wonderful teachers who want to help build bridges. Looking out the window at the snow covered Alps below it seemed like I was flying over an ocean of whipped cream. It was an exhilirating and fantastical sensation. I believe the project is going to grow in many directions in the coming years and feel grateful and humbled to meet and work with so many dedicated educators.
My two days in Kiev have also been productive and uplifting. I visited with all the K-5 classes and did several songwriting workshops too. BOPH board member Michael Palmer's class has done wonderful work on the "Hear My Story" storytelling project and his students have some marvelous stories to tell. We worked on getting the students ready to tell their stories for a video presentation that will eventually be on the new web site. I've been treated royally by Christina, Laura and Benjamin Taylor who have graciously made me feel right at home in their home. Many thanks!
On to Budapest tomorrow for three days of school programs and an evening family concert. Included in the Budapest schedule is a visit to a Hungarian School that was organized by the US Embassy in Budapest. I'll be going there with a delegation of students from the American International Schools. We'll be singing to the Hungarian students; they'll be singing to us; and we'll be singing together. I'm hoping that the school will agree to become a "Bridges" school and send us some writing and art for the web site.
I'm coming back to Kiev to do a family concert on Sunday and then will be very happy to head home.
Hope you're well.