When I was in school we would have "cultural exchange" programs so that we could learn about other countries — their language, food, housing, religious beliefs, clothing, traditions and sports.

As Crestview residents, we are privileged to have a first-hand opportunity to learn about French customs, their language and culture through the Sister City program we share with Noirmoutier, France.

Our friends from Noirmoutier want recognize our Crestview Centennial and celebrate with us, so, on Oct. 12, about 50 Noirmoutrins will arrive as guests of the Sister City program and stay through Oct. 24.

While here in Crestview, our guests will be staying with local host families. The host families will entertain their French guests, just as we would entertain visiting family members. There will be a variety of planned outings and activities with the entire group as well as host/guest time. For those who haven't traveled much, this is a wonderful way to share our American culture while learning about French culture, and to make new friends.

The Sister City program has a need for three more host families. We have two couples and a family with an 8-year-old that need homes in which they may stay.

If you have a sense of adventure, enjoy people and like getting to know about other cultures, then this opportunity might be a great fit for your family. Friends that have hosted families in the past are very positive about the experience. Many of our host families enjoy the experience so much, they host families every time our French friends visit.

If you travel with our Sister City program to Noirmoutier, you may get the opportunity to stay with the family you hosted, in their home.

For more information about hosting a Sister City program family, contact Brian Hughes, brian_abroad@yahoo.com, or Pam Coffield, 682-8437 or JCoffield@cox.net.

You will make lifelong friends through this program. We have groups visiting back and forth frequently, with a trip to Noirmoutier planned for September 2017.

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.