Letter to the Editor

Overseas visitors enjoy trip to Brazil

Sunday, November 2, 2008

To the Editor:

This letter is being written mainly for those who think that Brazil does not have much to offer anybody.

I recently had visitors from Biel, Switzerland, for five days. They not only enjoyed the U.S., but they also liked Indiana and even little Brazil.

Monique had spent a year in American as an exchange student to Linden High School in Linden, Calif., in 1979-80. She was there on the AFS exchange program -- American Field Service.

She proved to be one of the outstanding foreign students over a period of its 20-year existence at that school. After a couple of trips back to California for visits, she decided to come see me here in the Midwest. I hoped that she wouldn't be disappointed after having spent a year in Central California and experiencing the excitement of Sacramento, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, etc. I wasn't disappointed.

Monique and her husband Marcel spent two weeks in the Midwest. After seeing parts of Chicago and St. Louis, they came to Brazil.

These are Monique's exact words, "What a beautiful state. Lots of farmers, and a very kind way to be they have. It was funny, they asked us on many different places, 'what are you doing here? Why do you come here?'"

The couple explored Terre Haute, Brazil, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Nashville and the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.

In Indianapolis, they were able to attend a teacher's retirement program organized by Brazil's Andy Thomas. This was held in the Capitol Building. Gov. Daniels and the judge of the Indiana Supreme Court were in attendance and the Jackson Township Band with Director Matt Huber played several numbers at the end of the program.

The band dedicated a number to our state representative Amos Thomas, and also a number to Monique and Marcel.

This was definitely a highlight for the Swiss couple.

After their trips to all of these places, they returned to Brazil and took long walks all over the town. They discovered the historical museum and visited several stores in town.

They ate at a Mexican restaurant. This was a first for Marcel. He discovered a new love, Mexican food. They enjoyed many of the simple things in life that we have to offer.

That's the way the Swiss are.

They attended a service at the First United Methodist Church, saw all three of Terre Haute's college campuses, eaten at St. Mary's Sunday brunch, etc.

Monique serenaded us at night with her guitar that she brought from Switzerland.

They kept commenting on how nice Americans are. It seemed that all their experiences on this trip were positive experiences, and they went home with warm thoughts about our Midwest. Before they left, Marcel commented that maybe they could come back and spend a winter in Brazil sometime. Imagine that -- they come from one of the most beautiful countries in the world where they enjoy those snow-covered Alps, and they would want to spend a winter here. There must be something special here.

I mention all this to make us all think about what we have here. Is Brazil such a boring place to live?

Betty Niswonger-Green,