I recently had the pleasure of having breakfast with Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce intern Théo Toulat, from the University of Nantes, France. 

This polite young man is here as a result of the Crestview Sister City program's relationship with Noirmoutier, France. 

Here’s more about that relationship.

Last fall, the Sister City Program and local families hosted 21 French students — who temporarily attended Crestview High School — and many adults. All the families involved learned about our cultural similarities and differences.

But that was just one of many trips between the two areas the past 20 years.

Northwest Florida State College has developed a relationship with Noirmoutier and, as a result, we have a relationship with the University of Nantes.

A Noirmoutier area dance troupe, Grain de Sable Dance Company from Soullans, France, is coming to dance with NWF State College dancers. They arrive April 15, and will attend master classes for four days.

Dance Facets 2016 will be presented 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. Tickets will be $15 for adults and $10 for youth. 

And that’s not all.

In the fall, six French business students will attend classes at NWF State College.

Additionally, NWF State College takes their choirs to Noirmoutier to perform and interact with residents.

We will again host friends from Noirmoutier  beginning Oct. 12 as the local Sister City Program’s 20th anniversary continues.

I anticipate the celebration, as the people I have met from Noirmoutier are as friendly and loving as anyone could be; your life will be enriched by getting to know them.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.

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DID YOU KNOW?

The idea of developing friendships with those in other countries originated with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (later President Eisenhower), who felt that a citizens diplomacy initiative would let people from other countries get to personally know each other, overcoming the failure of professional diplomats to prevent World War II. He hoped these relationships would keep countries from warring with one another.

WANT TO JOIN?

Crestview Sister City Program dues cost $20 per individual, $30 per family and $2 per student.

Contact Pam Coffield, 682-8437, or Jim and Isabelle Mills, 682-8215, for more information.