Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

Ilaria, Anna and Eleonora

Anna hosted Ilaria and served as driving and travel coordinator for our two delightful guests from Belluno. 

         Ilaria and Eleonora from Belluno spent  a month in Bend experiencing and enjoying summer activities of Central Oregon. 

        Anna writes - Hosting Ilaria from August 20-September 20, 2017 was a highlight for us. She enthusiastically joined in with numerous Italian-language meetings with small groups, such as a weekly Italian conversation group. I am a twice-weekly volunteer at Ronald McDonald House and both Ilaria and Eleonora accompanied me each day to bake cookies for the guest families.

        While in Bend, Ilaria had many “firsts” as she called them; kayaking, canoeing, hiking the Misery Train to the Monkey Head formation, and her first outdoor concert and first trip to the Pacific Ocean. Of course there were “first foods” too, such as tacos, pancakes, waffles, popcorn, and hotdogs at a football game!  A first for my husband and me was learning how to play bocce!

        We spent three days in Portland, Oregon experiencing a larger, more diverse city. The three of us also drove to San Francisco, which had been on Ilaria’s wish list. While staying with my cousins, we had opportunities to explore many iconic features of the city. Ilaria stated San Francisco was one of the most beautiful cities she had ever seen.

        I cannot say enough about the close bond Ilaria and I had and how well she settled into her Bend home. She called me, “la migliore madre ospite nel mondo.” And to me she is, “la mia perfetta figlia italiana.” My husband and I will meet up with Ilaria and her family next summer in Belluno.

      Two from Belluno spend Smokey Summer in Bend

We had the opportunity  to "introduce" Ilaria and Eleonora to Bend's ultimate Italian Restaurant.  Yuri Sbandati enjoyed speaking his native tongue and preparing two authentic and wonderful dishes.  And before Ilaria and Eleonora had their first bite they wanted to take photos of the presentation.

Ilaria and Eleonora in Bend

Our communities of Bend and Belluno place a great emphasis on volunteering.  Anna shared her weekly volunteering opportunity at Bend’s Ronald McDonald House.  Guests of the home from distant parts of Eastern Oregon are offered free and safe housing, but they didn’t expect Italian Chocolate cookies baked by our guests from Belluno.  At right Eleonora meets with Dr. James Knott's of COCC music department who will study in Italy next spring

Ilaria and Eleonora enjoying "Oregon" with trip up the Columbia Gorge and a stop at the iconic Smith Rock. These individual exchanges are only possible when wonderful people of Bend open their homes and lives to host our sister city citizens.  Thanks to Anna, Sandy and Ryan, Ruthie, Lou and Lucie plus Jerry.