Ikasgela Exchange has started the exchange project for 2012. They need volunteer families to host a Boise student during the months of June and July, specifically from June 24 to July 24. If you are interested in this great opportunity, please send an email to either Olatz or Angel.
Olatz Amarika is the program’s director. She runs a language school in the Basque Country and organized her first exchange program between the Basque Country and the US this past summer, when she traveled to Boise with four exchange students and her daughter.
I met Olatz during Homedale’s Annual picnic last June, where she and her exchange students spent the evening mingling with Idaho’s Basques, watching the dancing performances, and cheering on during the Txingas (weight carrying) and Soka-tira (tug-o-war) competitions.
Olatz had always wanted to organize a program like this to give her students the opportunity to experience another culture while learning a foreign language. Olatz hopes the program will also help to strengthen the bond between the communities in Boise and the Txorierri Valley (in Bizkaia) by sharing common and distinct cultural knowledge and experiences.
Now, she is getting ready to do it all over again, this time in the Basque country with students from Boise. Together, we can help Olatz have a successful program.
- Aukera: A History of the Basques in Idaho, by John Bieter