Thought I would celebrate the seventh anniversary of the arrival of our SUSIE students, twenty-three young women and men from Central America (Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago). Most arrived on Sunday, 28 June 2009. We were all excited.
I like to think of them as future Western Hemisphere leaders.
SUSIE is an acronym for Study of the U.S. Institute for the Environment, and was funded and sponsored by the Study of the U.S. Branch in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It was a five-week summer program that dealt with water supply, water quality, water and wastewater treatment, land and coastal development issues.
Ana Maria Peralta, one of three Dominicanas, who later pursued an MBA in Spain, assembled this photograph:
The instructors are arranged along the left side and top. The picture of Mt. Hood is signifcant because on the day before we all went to Washington, DC, we took them up to a few patches of snow where they all experienced snow for the first time.
Here is a larger picture of all of us in Washington, DC, where we spent a week after five weeks in Oregon:
Each student was different, but all shared great intelligence and a desire to learn. I told them that they were going to spoil me for my fall Geology 101 class. They did!
Four years ago at this time I was traveling through Honduras and Nicaragua and saw three of the SUSIE students. I saw Julio Eguigurems (above) on 27 June 2012 in Honduras. He was working at the national forestry school in Comayagua. I then traveled to Nicaragua to see Laura Espinoza García and Natalia Raudez. Laura has since completed her Master's degree in Belgium (with a scholarship) and Natalia is married and a mommy. I unfortunately missed Lucia Paiz Medina, who had completed her Master's degree in Brussels.
Julio may be applying for a Master's degree at OSU, and Dara-Marie Raggay of Trinidad and Tobago was accepted at OSU for a Master's in Environmental Science but did not matriculate.
You don't know how much I miss you and how much you enriched my life!
"Sometimes the only difference we can make is passing our wisdom to someone else who will make the bigger difference." -- Linda B. Gray