BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

"I experienced the bonding of two cultures happening amongst students, families and those who have promoted this incredible Bella Bend Beautiful Belluno.”    - Margo McDonald of Bend and Sacile, Italy 

In Belluno city council chambers with Bend and Belluno students in front row and in back Marco, Francesca De Biasi, Adriano, Margo and Angelo

"The Belluno Rotary provided a very welcoming celebration of America’s Independence Day.  The high school band provided music with the national anthems played for both countries and other American songs.  The exchange students presented what experiences they have had with their families and with each other thus far.  American dinner was served complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, French fries, pasta, pizza, and dessert with apple strudel and custard." 

Margo McDonald in Belluno lunching with previous Belluno exchange students.  Maria, Chiara and Eleonora.

“By embracing curiosity and exposing yourself to something different, you become more connected to the world and able to fully experience all that it has to offer.”

Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

"I was very impressed upon meeting our students and their Italian families with how well they had adapted to this new environment in such a short amount of time!  I admired how two different cultures of people can grow and learn from each other.  Listening to the students both American and Italian, share their experiences with the community, seeing their excitement and smiles on their faces, the fondness and respect they showed towards their Italian families was such a pleasure to witness.  I even had the opportunity to meet past exchange students and talk to them about their experiences spending time in beautiful Bend Oregon.  It was such a treasure to experience!" 

Margo's Amazing Day in Belluno

"This was a wonderful time to socialize with other families and enjoy each other’s company.  It was a time for me to reflect on how this exchange experience will change lives of these young people.  Traveling abroad opens your eyes to new ways of thinking and seeing the world.  How we create relationships with others from different backgrounds and cultures, we then begin to realize how we are all connected. You discover empathy and the ability to see the best in people.  This truly was a day and evening to witness the bonding of two cultures happening amongst students, families and those who have promoted this incredible “Bella Bend Beautiful Belluno” exchange experience!"

"I was so fortunate to have had the recent opportunity to travel to Belluno and meet our 2019 Bend exchange students for our American 4th of July celebration with our sister city families and organizers." 

"The grand hosts for this exchange Marco, John, Adriano and Angelo created a warm and welcoming celebration for our American exchange students.  We had a wonderful historical tour of the old piazza, learned history of the buildings, listened to who were the first settlers to the area and the influence the Romans and Venetians had in the creation of the current city.  Marco was quite the historian and I thoroughly enjoyed his tour!" 

"The stars aligned for me in 2018 when I was offered a position as a school nurse educator for Department of Defense schools overseas.  I never imagined the country I would be assigned to would be Italy and the region Fruili Giulia the northeastern most corner of the Italian Dolomitis.  With a BIG step of courage, hope, curiosity and trust in my future I quit my 19 year position with Bend-LaPine Schools as school nurse, packed up my home, said my goodbyes to my dear family and friends and landed in a strange new country, Italy. 

Reflecting on my first year living in Italy immersed in its culture and language, I have grown to love my new surroundings and the local people I have met along all my adventures.  It comes certainly with its challenges and I have been reminded that vacationing in a foreign country is very different than living the day to day life immersed in the culture of the country.  I have become wide open to the new experiences of learning a new Italian word from my neighbor or trying to communicate to the cashier at the Italian market how to use my debit card at the self-check out.  It is all the little experiences that I hold near to my heart and know that at the end of the day you can look back on these experiences, learn from them and enrich your life forever changing you as a person."

2019 Fourth of July and Sister City Celebration in Belluno, Italy