.: Student Exchange Program

1999 - 2000

Meet Marina Balyuk, Marina Mazurenko and Leonid Romanenko: our exchange students from Smila, Ukraine for 1999-2000 school year. Our students arrived at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport Terminal yesterday, Friday, September 3, 1999. They were met by Maurice Phillips and Marvin Campbell. The airplane was about 1 1/2 hours late. The students were tired and slept for the trip to Newton, 287 miles and 4 1/2 hours. The students will register at their school Tuesday morning. Irina will assist. (They are registering on Tuesday because Monday is the Labor Day Holiday). This extra time will be needed by the student to become more familiar with their new host families.

Arrival to Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Arrival of the three Ukrainian students sponsored by OPEN

Marina Balyuk and her host family, the Griffins

Marina Balyuk and her host
family, the Griffins

Marina Mazurenko and her host family the Faidley's

Marina Mazurenko and her host family, the Faidley's

Leonid Romanenko and his host family, the Quanbecks

Leonid Romanenko and his host family, the Quanbecks

Marina Balyuk (highlighted)

Marina Balyuk (highlighted)

About Marina Balyuk:
My name is Marina Balyuk!
I am 15 years old. I live in the town of Smila, of Cherkassey Region of Ukraine. My family consists of five members. They are My Mother, Father, Sister, Grandmother and I. We have a dog and two cats. Now I study in the ninth grade. When I have free time I like to listen to modern music. Also, I can play the piano. Last year I finished the Music School. My hobby is studying foreign languages. Except English, I learn German and French. Also, my hobby is cooking. I like and can cook many tasty dishes. I want to go to America because I want to see how people live on the opposite side of the planet of Earth, to get acquainted with American people, to see their towns and countries. to see the sights of America, and to learn about the differences of studying in Ukraine from studying in the U.S.A. Also, the purpose of my trip to the U.S.A. is learning American language.
Yours, Marina.

(Marina will be living with Patrick and Debra Griffin at 4522 N. 55th Ave. W., Newton, Iowa 50208)

Marina Mazurenko (highlighted)

Marina Mazurenko (highlighted)

About Marina Mazurenko:
Hi, my dear friends!
I don't know who will read this letter, but I think that it will also be my future family. Now, I want to tell you a little about myself. My name is Marina Masurenko. I am 15 and in the 9th grade. I am from the village of Balacklaya. Now I live in a small town of Smila. I have a big house in which I live with my family. Our family consists of four members. My Father, my Mother, my Sister and I. We think we are a large and friendly family. So, we are happy to be living together and getting on all right. To begin with I want to tell you about my Dad. His name is Vladimir Oleksandrovich. He is 43. He works at the meat factory. He is the Director of this factory. He is neither old nor young. He's a great looking man, handsome, with thick dark brown hair, just beginning to gray. What I don't like about my father is that he is always busy. Very often he works overtime. He's a great bread maker in our family. He also likes to work in the garden. My Mother's name is Tatiana Nikolaevna. She is two years younger than my father. She works at the factory too. In short, she is a pleasant looking woman of about 40. She is fond of her work and spends a lot of time there. But, she has to cook the meals for all the family at home. But, I and my sister have a habit of helping her about the house. Ira is my elder sister. She is two years my senior. She is 17. She will leave school this year. She likes music and to see films. Put into a few words, we are a united and friendly family. I am fond of English. It isn't only my subject at school, it is my hobby. I am good at writing poems, cooking and swimming. I am interested in reading, music, tennis and painting. I am looking forward to summer, because I know that I will go to your country. I want to go there very much, because I will have a chance to get to know about your country, about your people, about your culture, and landmarks. I will be able to improve my English and lo have very many friends. And, most of all, I want to know more about your way of living. This is all that I wanted lo tell you. I hope that in the future we will be good friends. I am saying Good Bye for now and if it is possible to hear from you before my leaving for the U.S.A.
Your Ukrainian friend, Marina Masurenko.

(Marina will be living with Don and Dorothy Faidley at 6932 S. 52nd Ave. W., Colfax, Iowa 50054)

Leonid Romanenko

Leonid Romanenko

About Leonid:
My name is Leonid Romanenko. I am a student of the 9th Grade of Liceum. I have a big family. My Father, my Mother, my junior Brother, my senior Brother, and me. My Father is a Director of the firm. His name is Andrey Romanenko. My Father is fond of gardening and reading books. My Mother works at the Red Cross Office. Her name is Svetlana Romanenko. My mother is fond of cooking and watching TV. My Junior brother studies at school number 14 (Gymnasium). His name is Igor, and he is 8 years old. My senior brother studies at University, in the department of International Relations. His name is Andrey. He is 20 years old. He lives in Kiev and he is good at English. He is fond of playing the bass guitar. He works in the German firm of Kopp. I am fond of driving, playing the guitar, and listening to music. I am a fan of PRODIGY, Green Bay, Pink Floyd, and the Chemical Brothers. I like to spend my free time with my friend. We go to the disco, play football, basketball, or play computer games such as Hard Truck, Duke II, WaicraII, Interstate, and Armageddon I am fond of riding a bike. I have a dog and a cat. My dogs name is Ayake. It is 10. My cat's name is Bella, and it is 3. I am a joyful and friendly boy. I am going to the U.S.A. to master English. I want to see how people live in your country. I want to learn more about customs and traditions of your country. I hope to make friends. I think that my future profession will demand good knowledge of the English language. I am looking forward to seeing you.
With best wishes Leonid Romanenko.

(Leonid will be living with The Duane Quanbeck family at 2420 N. 6th Ave. E., Newton, Iowa 50208)

Our students for this school year departed for their homes in Smila, Ukraine on Monday, May 29, 2000.
Before they left a Pot Luck meal was held at the United Presbyterian Church here in Newton, Iowa. Shown as they were departing the pot luck is Marina Balyuk and her host family.

The students are shown in the following pictures with their host families prior to departure from the Newton Shopping Mall. We learned by e-mail that they returned safely at their homes in Smila, Ukraine. (One piece of luggage arrived late).

Deb, Shane and Pat Griffin with Marina Balyuk

Deb, Shane and Pat Griffin
with Marina Balyuk

Marina Balyuk, center, with her family Deb & Pat Griffin

Marina Balyuk, center, with her family
Deb & Pat Griffin

Marina Mazurenko with the host family Dorothy & Don Faidley

Marina Mazurenko with the host family
Dorothy & Don Faidley

Both students are shown at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois

Students at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois