CISV Atlanta Newsletter – Summer 2005
Once you are bitten by the “CISV bug”, it’s in your system for good. Fifteen years ago, I received a letter about a CISV interchange with Sweden. I jumped at the opportunity and was lucky to have parents who could see that the interchange would be a valuable learning experience for me. After two incredible summers with my interchange partner, Hannah, I couldn’t wait for my next CISV summer. I returned to Sweden as a Junior Counselor in a Stockholm area Village and traveled to Spain for a Seminar Camp the following summer. I maintained involvement in CISV on the local and national level, but I was eventually distracted by college responsibilities and activities and lost touch with the organization.
Although my involvement with CISV tapered, its influence in my life was persistent. In college, I studied two languages, majored in international relations and traveled to Prague for a semester of study. After college, I studied human rights in The Netherlands as part of the Humanity in Action fellowship program and my law school application essay began with a CISV anecdote.
I’m thrilled to be involved with CISV once again. I’m looking forward to helping kids in Atlanta experience the magic of a CISV summer. The world never looks the same again for those who are lucky enough to experience one. A tsunami relief effort in Thailand, a terrorist bombing in Madrid, or the struggle for peace in the Middle East take on a whole new meaning with CISV because once a child has a CISV experience, she truly becomes a world citizen with a network of friends across the globe. To this day, I know that if I knocked on Hannah’s door in Sweden, Hazem’s door in Jordan or Daniela’s door in Brazil, I would be welcome in their homes. I believe the “CISV bug” stays in your system not only because of great summer memories and friendships, but because as a child you realize that you are part of something much bigger than yourself. That’s why CISV is far from your average summer program for kids and why I’m so excited to be part of helping CISV Atlanta grow.