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Eighteenth Heritage Tour: July 13-27, 2015

                                      <DETAILS PENDING>




Sixteenth Heritage Tour: July 9-23, 2013

    Director Jim Bench and his wife Kay conducted the 16th Heritage tour to Slovakia this past summer. As in past years, a dinner reception in Spišská  Nová  Ves was hosted by mayor Jan Volny . During this reception, a gift of $3000 was presented to the city from the Sister Cities organization.  A good time was had by all and the tour was a great success.

     It's important to note that a unique feature of  YSC tours is that attendees are assisted with transportation and provided with interpreters when scheduling family visits. Dozens of tourists have met their Slovak relatives for the first time and now have connected with them via emails, letters and phone calls. Most of the translators are students who have gone through the Rotary International - Youngstown Sister Cities High School Exchange Program with 25 participants to-date.

  

For a link to a short video about the visit, click here:

http://www.snv.sk/index.php?tvarchiv=1&videoID=130717-1







 Below are a few pictures from this most recent tour:





A nice picture of the tour group at the bust of Josef Miroslav Hurban













A gift from the Sister Cities organization to the people of SNV











 A sample of Slovak hospitality from one of the many small villages.


 


Jim and Kay Bench having a little fun along the way!









A Good looking group!!!!




The formal reception in SNV




Anyone who travels to some of the larger cities will encounter people begging for  money.  Some will ring a bell, some play music and others may sing for a donation.  I have tried to photograph some of them  in the streets,  but most will turn their head and hide their face from view until the camera  goes away.  I have asked why  and some have said  they do not wish to be photographed because capturing their image takes some of their soul away and others turn away because of their shame.                                                                                                                                                ------Ron Garchar

    








Fifteenth Heritage Tour: July 10-24, 2012

    Director Jim Bench and his wife Kay conducted the 15th Heritage tour to Slovakia with 17 tourists attending in July 2012. Special visits were: a reception at the U. S. Embassy in Bratislava, a dinner reception in Spišská  Nová  Ves hosted by mayor Jan Volny,  performances by the Duraci School of Dance with dancers age 4 and up providing delightful entertainment, attending the street fair in Kežmarok, and the standard sites of castles, museums and river rafting.

     A unique feature of  YSC tours is that attendees are assisted with transportation and provided with interpreters when scheduling family visits. Dozens of tourists have met their Slovak relatives for the first time and now have connected with them via emails, letters and phone calls. Most of the translators are students who have gone through the Rotary International - Youngstown Sister Cities High School Exchange Program with 25 participants to-date.

    Below are a few pictures from this most recent tour:


















 


 










15th Heritage Tour Continued

The 15th Youngstown-Spišská Nová Ves Sister Cities tour to Slovakia was taken July 10-24, 2012 with Board Director Jim Bench and his wife Kay as guides. Special events included a reception at the U. S. Embassy in Bratislava, a dinner hosted by SNV mayor Jan Volny, performances at the Duraci School of Dance, Kežmarok Street Fair and many other attractions.  

On behalf of the Youngstown Sister Cities group, Jim Bench hand-carried a $3000 gift to Mayor Volny  to assist in the purchase  of an  Information  System of Civil Protection.  The SNV local indoor hockey rink uses a cooling system that contains hazardous gasses. The city must install a warning system to warn residents in the event of a chemical release. This purchase will cost the city of SNV 14,000 euros, or over 17,500 USD at the current exchange rate.



 



revised 20-Jul-2014