Promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation - one community, one individual at a time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Season of Thanks!





2020 brought us many obstacles due to the unprecedented pandemic that took over our lives.  We had to postpone and cancel events, exchanges, and meetings due to travel and crowd restrictions; however, in this season of thanks, we count our blessings.

 

Thankful

We are extremely thankful for the programs and fundraisers we were able to host this year: the Sister Cities Annual Young Author/Artist Competition, the 18th Annual Edward T. Houlihan Halfway to St. Patrick's Day event and silent auction, and the 8th Annual Lexington Sister Cities Golf Scramble. 

We are thankful for the new virtual programs we have instituted because of the pandemic, as well as all of our upcoming projects! We are grateful for the Lexington community for their continuous support in making this program strong. Please know that our office, volunteers, commission, and members remain dedicated to the mission of Lexington Sister Cities and we are, above all, thankful for every person that supports the program and has remained supportive during this past year. 


Cook with us!

TIPSY TURKEY

Recipe by Mary Parlanti

 

1 Turkey Breast

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon fines herbs  

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 small onion, quartered

1 large or 2 small ribs celery, cut into pieces

2 carrots, cut into chunks 

1 unpeeled orange, sliced

1 cup water

1 cup gin 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the turkey breast. Mix curry, herbs, salt and paprika in a small bowl. Rub mixture on turkey and inside the cavity. Place turkey in a roasting pan and surround with onion, celery, carrots and orange slices. Combine water and gin and pour over the turkey. Roast for 2 1/2 hours, basting frequently. 


Fast Facts

Where was the first Thanksgiving?

Colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts that is widely acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations.

What did they eat at the first Thanksgiving?

The Thanksgiving meal in Plymouth probably had little in common with today’s traditional holiday spread. Although turkeys were indigenous, there is no record of a big, roasted bird at the feast. The Native Americans brought deer and there would have been lots of local seafood (mussels, lobster, bass) plus the fruits of the first pilgrim harvest, including pumpkin.

 Our Book Recommendation                    

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang in this retelling of the beloved Thanksgiving TV special! Find a copy of the book here! 

 

 


 




Thursday, November 19, 2020

Exploring our Sister Cities - November 19, 2020

 Exploring Our Sister Cities

"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." - Gustave Flaubert

Cook with us!

Enjoy this recipe from Mary Parlanti! Mary, a long-time Lexington Sister Cities ambassador, Chair person of our County Kildare committee and chef. She has her own cookbook "From the Kitchen of Mary Parlanti, With Love" available for purchase at the Lexington Sister Cities office!


Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15-ounce can pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl; add eggs, vanilla extract and pumpkin. Mix well. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. Add alternately with water to the pumpkin mixture. Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until tests done. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cool. Makes 2 loaves. 

For Muffins: use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups for uniform size. Bake for 25 minutes. 




Fast Facts

Famed for its celebrity boardwalk, American Film Festival and multi-colored parasols, Deauville is Normandy's most chic and glamorous seaside resort.





Our Book Recommendation

Newmarket: A Year at the Home of Horseracing

Author John Carter has interviewed and shadowed 14 racing personalities throughout a year at Newmarket, the home and headquarters of British horseracing. His subjects range across the racing world, from top male jockey Frankie Dettori, who has also written the foreword, to top female jockey Hayley Turner; from leading trainer Jeremy Noseda, to the clerk of the Newmarket courses Michael Prosser to its former managing director Lisa hancock, now on maternity leave. Carter provides a fascinating glimpse into the often secret world of horseracing. 
You can find a copy of the book here



Tourist Attraction

A major tourist attraction in Shinhidaka, Japan is the Nijukken Road Cherry Blossoms. Nijukken Road has a 7 kilometer row of over 3,000 cherry blossom trees. Widely noted for its size, this Hokkaido heritage has been voted as one of the "Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites", as well as one of the "Top 10 Roads of Japan". A vast number of tourists flock here each year in may in order to glimpse the magnificent row of trees!







Friday, August 14, 2020

Exploring our Sister Cities - August 14, 2020

 Exploring Our Sister Cities


“Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”

- Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan Scholar, who was an explorer and extensively traveled the medieval world.


Cook with us!

Follow this recipe for easy to make French Crêpes, perfect for anyone to make!


Ingredients: 

1 ½ cups of milk

1 cup of flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of oil 


Directions

  1. Mix together flour, sugar, eggs, and oil until well combined. 

  2. Add the milk little by little, making sure there are no clumps as you mix. 

  3. Mix well and let the batter rest

  4. Heat up medium pan (be sure to spray non stick cooking spray on the pan between every couple crêpes)

  5. Use a ladle to pour a thin layer of the batter onto the pan, being sure to put excess batter back into the bowl. 

  6. When the crêpe has sufficiently cooked (There are no shiny or liquidy parts) flip the crêpe to cook the other side. 

  7. Fill crêpe with desired fillings (butter and sugar, nutella and strawberries, it can even be a savory crêpe)

  8. Bon appétit!


Fast Fact

County Kildare, Ireland and Deauville, France are Sister Cities with each other and Lexington. All three are major centers of Thoroughbred breeding in each of their respective countries. 


Alumni Testimonial 

Mai Takatsuji participated in the Shinhidaka student exchange in 2013, and she was a member of the Japanese delegation to Lexington in 2019 celebrating 30 years of twinning between the two cities. Currently, Mai works in the office of an international company in Japan. Read below to hear Mai’s take on what the Sister Cities program has done for her. 

“Visiting Lexington as an exchange student was my very first time to travel overseas. I was 16 at that time and I barely understood what my host family was saying to me. However my host family took care of me really nice and they kept trying to make me feel home. Even if I couldn’t understand what they were talking to me, I felt their love. And I found second home and second family. This experience completely changed my life and made my mind that I would definitely come back to my second home, Lexington to express my feelings toward my sweet host family by using my own words in English. It encouraged me to study English really hard. 3 years after the first visit of Lexington, I made a trip to Lexington by my own to visit my host family and stayed with them a whole week. Huge thanks to my host family, the visit was absolutely amazing. And again, I made my mind that I would come back to this place AGAIN. In 2019, I got an amazing opportunity to be a member of delegations for celebrating 30 years of sister city relations. I was really honored to be a part of this program for over 7 years. I’ve fallen in love with this amazing city, Lexington. And can’t thank enough to everyone who have involved this program. And I feel that I am very lucky to be able to have been part of this program and met my host family who are really special people in my life. These experiences have broadened my world. I’ve traveled 35 countries and joined 2 international volunteer works in Cambodia. I’ve met over 20 people from all over the world through the experience of being a host of Couchsurfing. I’m working at International company in Japan right now. My next dream is to move overseas and work internationally.

And in the near future, I would like to do something to contribute to the sister cities community.”



Playlist of the Week 

Follow us on Spotify to keep up with our playlists, you can find us under the username Lexington Sister Cities. This week we have a playlist dedicated to our Sister City in England, Newmarket. Check it out here.  


Friday, August 7, 2020

Exploring our Sister Cities - August 7, 2020

 Exploring Our Sister Cities


“Distance cannot matter - ours is a friendship of the heart.” 

-Mary Anne Radmacher

Mary Anne Radmacher is an artist and author who was born in Portland, Oregon. 


Our Book Recommendations

Looking for a classic coffee table book about the early years and life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel? Try Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashion, and Fame by Edmonde Charles-Roux. Buy it from Amazon here


Fast Facts

Newmarket is truly a horse town. There are over 3,000 horses in training at any time.



Alumni Spotlight

Our alumni for this week is Strohmann Breeding. Strohmann participated in the student exchange with County Kildare, Ireland in 2015. Currently he is a student at the University of Arkansas. Strohmann believed that, “The Lexington Sister Cities has allowed me to explore new places, meet new lifelong friends, and make the world a smaller and more beautiful place. I now have a lovely second family in Kildare, Ireland, and have visited them multiple times now. Having studied abroad multiple times now in college, the Sister Cities program remains the most impactful traveling I have done yet. It is SO important to learn how to travel and handle oneself independently in the global community at such a young age.”

Playlist of the Week 

Follow us on Spotify to keep up with our playlists! This week enjoy a playlist inspired by our Sister City in Shinhidaka, Japan. Find it here

Friday, July 31, 2020

Exploring our Sister Cities, July 31, 2020


Exploring our Sister Cities


“The gladdest moments, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands”

-Sir Richard Burton     

          Sir Richard Burton was a British diplomat who travelled around Europe, Asia, Africa, and the         Americas.


Our Book Recommendations

One of our four Sister Cities is located in England. Newmarket is considered to be part of the West Suffolk district. See what the Suffolk area of England has to offer when visiting Newmarket. Buy the book from Amazon here


Fast Facts

County Kildare is also a “Derby” town. They host the Irish Derby in the summer at The Curragh Racecourse.

Shinhidaka hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival each year. Nijjuken Road is a famous tourist destination, lined with beautiful cherry blossom trees.


Alumni Spotlight

Our first alum we would like to recognize is Barton Lynch. Barton participated in three of our programs. Starting with the high school Deauville exchange program. He then went on to participate in the Calvados internship program, and he eventually accepted the Deauville teaching assistant program. Currently Barton works as a communications consultant. When asked how his experiences with the Sister Cities program has impacted his life and career path, Barton responded, “My sister cities experience has provided me with the confidence to try new things. I always know that I will be able to figure out anything that's in my path.”

Playlist of the Week

Follow us on spotify to keep up with our playlists! This week, our first playlist that we will release is titled Deauville, France, in honor of our oldest sister city. (Click here to listen). Stayed tuned for the next couple weeks for our other playlists to drop.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

UPDATE FROM SARAH TEASDALE IN DEAUVILLE


     


 Hindsight is supposedly 20/20, but I have to admit that after this whirlwind of a year, looking back I still can’t fully see or comprehend everything that has happened. Between transportation strikes the first half of the year and the COVID-19 pandemic the second half, I think it’s safe to say that this year of teaching has been a little atypical. 
     However, despite the chaos, even if I could go back knowing all that I do now, I would absolutely still choose to teach in Deauville. As the cliche goes, my students have taught me just as much as I have taught them. Watching my students adapt to a new post-Covid normal while they maintain their curiosity to learn has been inspiring. Restrictions have been tough, teachers wear masks all day, classes can only interact with themselves, during recess classes are separated by barriers, and students can’t get within a meter of each other, and yet even with these restrictions the students are still able to laugh, learn, and gain some sense of normalcy, a lesson I think everyone can look to during the uncertainty of these times.
     I could go on and on about the benefits and impacts of this program, but as this blogpost and school year are coming to an end I want to finish by saying just how grateful I am. Thank you to those at Lexington Sister Cities and those in Deauville who gave me the opportunity to teach and meet so many incredible students, you have given me the chance to shape their lives, and by doing so have shaped mine as well. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Andrew's April


Hello everyone,

It seems like I'm always on vacation! The month of April was amazing for me! It started out with a school field trip with my 2nd graders. We took three days prior to the vacations to do a discovery course on water. This class took us to the Mont St.Michel, the "floating city" here in Normandy, and the channel island of Jersey where I got to speak English all day long (a welcomed treat). Leading up to this trip I taught my children directions and they were able to follow any that a guide (or myself) gave them during our time on the island. It was a proud moment seeing 50 students all understand! Upon returning to school, we promptly headed off to our last big vacation. This one Elizabeth and I had been looking forward to for months as my parents were coming to visit, and so was her boyfriend. My parents and I took a week to explore Deauville, Paris (the big sites), Geneva, and lastly to meet my host families from my exchange! Being able to see all my families in one spot, and how well they got along was more than I could ever ask for. Afterward, I took a cool down trip to the city of Rennes with a close friend, then headed back to Deauville to start back school. During this time Elizabeth and her boyfriend got to explore Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Santorini, Greece. At the return of school, I essentially continued vacation for another week as I got to go on another school trip with my 3rd graders to a discovery class on wind. I lucked out and the class was held on the sand dunes of a beach village 2h30 from Deauville. There we spent a week discovering the ins and outs of windmills, yachting, and how to make the perfect kite from plastic. We're currently full swing into the last semester of school teaching food, sports, more directions/places, families, and how to take care of chickens! 


School Trip with my 3rd Graders

My parents and me at the top of the Eiffel Tower

City Center of Rennes

Geneva in full bloom!

Elizabeth and her boyfriend in Greece