Boise, USA. Young Boise resident Kyle Harbacheck is trying to make the first teenage exchange program between Boise and the Basque Country a reality. The program would allow Basque teenagers to come to Boise, while giving Boise youth the opportunity to visit the Basque Country, meet their relatives, and learn about their culture and Basque language. The youngsters, boys between the ages of 15 and 17, will be in Boise from June 24-July 24, 2011. Kyle is looking for host families with someone home during the day so that the student isn’t left alone. Host families will be given $275 to help defray expenses for the month. The program also includes weekend field trips so that students can experience different aspects of Boise culture. For questions or additional information, please contact Kyle Harbacheck at 208.340.9679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the other hand, Benan Oregi, principal at Olabide Ikastola in Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the Basque Country, is trying to build a bridge between schools in Euskadi and Boise. Benan is well-known for his work with the Direction of Relations with the Basque Communities Abroad and has spent some of his time in Boise during the last year.
Oregi contacted Cathy Clarkson, teacher at Bishop Kelly, and Rich Raimondi, the high school’s principal to coordinate the first exchange of this kind. The exchange will take place between Olabide in Vitoria-Gasteiz and St. John’s and Bishop Kelly, in Boise. Four girls accompanied by a teacher will be arriving in Boise on July 20 to spend a month living with their host families. Oregi tells EuskalKultura.com he hopes to make the program an annual event, depending on the success of this year’s exchange. He is planning to host Boise students in Vitoria-Gasteiz next summer.
Olabide Ikastola is a Basque school run as a family cooperative. It was founded in 1963 to educate in, and disseminate knowledge of the Basque language and culture. It is maintained by a group of parents who, as members of the cooperative, are both customers and owners of the school while their children are enrolled there. The school took second place in the EFQM Excellence Award in 2010. More information can be found by visiting www.olabideikastola.com and www.olabide.com.