A word from President Starr Friends: As you well know, Baylor’s mission is not only “to prepare our students for worldwide leadership and service,” but to welcome others from around the globe so that we may learn from each other within the context of a “caring community.” The opportunities that the Center for International Education offers are shining examples of global outreach. Throughout the year, our faculty and students travel to more than thirty countries. This has afforded our students an extraordinary opportunity to study other cultures and learn from colleagues around the world. CIE also offers valuable services to international students who choose to study at Baylor University. This fall, Baylor welcomed 518 new and returning international students to campus - representing 71countries. They bless us by calling Baylor their second home. Our motto, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana - for Baylor and for the world - echoes the Great Commission call of Matthew’s Gospel: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” As a Christian institution of higher learning in this, the Global Century, our mission is as important as it ever has been. Our University’s commitment to global education is as strong as ever. We are grateful for the important work of the Center for International Education in fulfilling Baylor’s lofty mission. Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Winston Starr Baylor University President
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Baylor in Maastricht By Kyle Beam
Many people dream of one day going to Paris to see the Eifel Tower, London to see Big Ben, or Rome to see the Coliseum. Not many people get to see all three on the same trip. For a few lucky Baylor students every semester this dream becomes a reality. For one Baylor student, a trip to Europe was once in a lifetime. Abilene, Kan. senior, Kelsey Stevens got to live her dream with Baylor’s study abroad program in Maastricht, Netherlands.
appealed to Stevens.
In total, Stevens visited 13 countries across Europe and got to see many of the world’s famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, the statue of David, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Buckingham Palace.
Stevens said it is hard for her to pick out her favorite country or place that she visited, because she loved them all.
“It was amazing. Going to Maastricht gave me the chance to experience cultures I never thought I would be able to experience and see things I could only dream of seeing,” Stevens said. In the Maastricht program, Stevens spent the entire Fall 2011 semester abroad. She took classes for eight weeks then spent a month traveling around Europe and learning about the culture. The classes Stevens took were taught by Baylor faculty and faculty of Maastricht University.
Something that stuck out to her was visiting a friend from Germany who spent a year at her high school as a foreign exchange student.
“The Dutch professors were very culturally well-rounded, intelligent and enthusiastic about us learning. They worked with us and wanted us to succeed at everything we were “I got to see my friend Vanessa at her home doing. I learned a lot from them,” Stevens in Germany. I hadn’t seen her in three years said. and getting to catch up with her was great. I also got to eat dinner at her grandparents The classes alone were not what attracted house and have an authentic German meal Stevens to the Maastricht program. The in a German home.” time spent visiting other countries is what
In addition to experiencing true German culture Stevens, along with 13 of her fellow travelers, got to experience something many others have not got the chance to experience, a cruise of the Mediterranean that traveled to Greece and Turkey.
“The cruise was great. We got to enjoy the time on the ship and eat lots of great food without having to worry about moving our stuff around for a few days. We also got to see Greece and Turkey, which very few of the people who have gone on the trip before have gotten to do,” Stevens said.
The semester spent abroad is something Stevens says she will carry with her for the rest of her life and something she would never trade for anything. But she does advise future travelers to plan ahead. “It’s hard to plan everything. You have to know where you’re going to stay, what you’re going to do and where you’re going to eat because you are trying to do so much in such a limited time. Luckily for us I was traveling with my friend Tara and her mom had everything planned out and that lifted a huge burden off of us.” Stevens does hope to go back to Europe one day because there are many more things she wants to see that she didn’t have a chance to and things she wants to see again. But she is very thankful for the opportunities she had on the trip. “If Baylor would not have offered the chance to go Maastricht I may never have gotten to go to Europe but I’m thankful they did. I just wish it could have been longer.”
An interview with Lynae Jord
Why do you work with CIE â€œW elcome Familyâ€? programs?
an by Song Pham
I know that it can be lonely and a little frighten in student to be so far away f g for an international help provide a place where th rom family. I want to to help them in need or to sh ey can call upon someone break from the stresses ofare some fun and a academics. What does it mean to your fam ily? I think it of other cultures and people. broadens their views are all alike in many ways and h It lets them see we ave the same core wants and needs. What activities have you done with
Iâ€™ve gone on some of the international student I have lunch with my students trips provided by CIE. to my home for meals. We like and I have them come games. Apples to Apples is a to play family/group favorite. It is a very fun way for international stud ents to increase their English vocabulary. What family traditions have yo u tau
ght international students?
The Brazilian students are always amazed American breakfast of panc at their first akes, eggs, bacon, fruit, toast, biscuits & gravy.
San Antonio, NASA in Houston, Cameron Park, and shopping around Waco.
What places in Waco or the state have you taken international students?
The Brazilian students love to share dishes from their country. They love ranch dressing and are surprised by the many things you can dip in it.
What cooking you have done with students?
Yes! Facebook and email are wonderful tools for keeping in touch around the world. Do you still keep in touch with students once they leave Baylor?
Do you recommend other to be involved in the CIE â€œWelcome Familyâ€? program?
I highly recommend this program. It is meant to be a blessing to international students, to help them acclimate to the new culture and area, but in the end, it is the welcome family who will be blessed beyond measure.
Russian student strives to unite cultures By Sara Tirrito
Russian exchange student Anastasia Larchenkova doesn’t seem to have been shocked by her immersion into American culture so much as she seems to have been fulfilled.
said. “Here, I do things for which I will never have time in Russia.”
Born in Voronezh, Russia, Larchenkova had never been to America, but decided to study abroad here rather than in Europe out of a desire to experience a completely new country. Thus, she arrived at Baylor in January and found a culture she now loves.
“In general people are different in Russia… people are scared to show their emotions. They don’t smile, they don’t laugh when they walk somewhere,” Larchenkova sad. “Here, people are so open.”
“Life here is so bright,” Larchenkova said, reflecting on her first two months in Texas. From the weather to her classes to her new hobby of horseback riding, Larchenkova brims with excitement over every detail of her new life. The choices Baylor offers, she said, are the greatest thing about the university.
She has found that the people themselves are different in America, too.
Although her first week in the states “was like something in a movie,” and her experience so far has been a good one, Larchenkova has found that there are indeed struggles in American life. Having seen the poverty in Waco, she said she no longer has illusions that everyone is happy in America.
Even the freedom to choose her own classes contrasts with Russia, where students follow a set course track, she said. “You have lots…hundreds, thousands, millions of opportunities,” Larchenkova said. “You can find yourself here, you really can find yourself.” For Larchenkova, horseback riding had been a childhood dream left unfulfilled. But this semester, she rides about three times a week at a farm about half an hour from Waco. “Like Disney, ‘dreams come true,’” Larchenkova
“It shows me two [ends] of a stick,” Larchenkova said. “I like that I see two sides; not just positive, but negative too. It’s very important.” As Larchenkova learns about life in America, she is also helping other students learn about Russian culture. She has become an active member in the Russian club, which club president Liz Black said has helped make the club more credible. “Just to have a real Russian there that the students can ask culture questions or language questions to is really great for everyone,” Black said. The club took part in Baylor’s Global BU Vision singing contest Feb. 23, winning first prize in the traditional song category. Black said Larchenkova’s enthusiasm helped get the team excited. Larchenkova even donned the club’s traditional Russian folk dress for the competition. “Usually students are embarrassed to wear it because it is so traditional looking, but she was so excited to wear it so that was really fun,” Black said. Aside from participating in the Russian club, Larchenkova tutors students in Russian on campus, hoping to help them cultivate a love for the language. “When you start to understand something, you start to love it,” Larchenkova said. “I wanted students here to love Russian…If they understand it, if they are good at it, they will love it.” She said that was her experience with Spanish — her fifth language — which she is learning at Baylor.
“Anastasia has been one of the brightest pupils in my classroom this semester,” Sally Martinez, Larchenkova’s Spanish instructor, said. “She goes above and beyond the classroom work that I assign. She’s just a hard worker, and as a teacher I’m encouraged by her discipline in academics and just her enthusiasm about learning and being here.” Aside from Russian, Larchenkova speaks English and Ukrainian, and understands German. Martinez said she has noticed that Larchenkova “is very in tune with importance of appreciating other cultures.” This is evidenced by the extra work it takes for Larchenkova to learn Spanish, as she has to translate between English, Russian and Spanish during each lecture, Martinez said. “That effort alone proves to me that she is very interested in being able to communicate with other cultures and she’s willing to work very hard to do that,” Martinez said. Larchenkova hopes to eventually work in the banking industry, where she can combine the various languages she has learned with her love for economics. But for now, she is using her language skills to help bridge the Russian and American cultures at Baylor. She said she is certain Russians and Americans can be friends, and can enrich one another. “I really want people to live in peace,” Larchenkova said. “I don’t want wars.”
â€œWhen you start to understand something, you start to love it. I wanted students here to love Russianâ€ŚIf they understand it, if they are good at it, they will love it."
PAWS Partners Help Ease Transition By Brian Sanders
Each year over 500 international students enter Baylor University as exchange students. With such a large number of students from varying backgrounds and cultures entering Baylor University, and most having never been to the United States, the question arises: how could Baylor make their stay more welcoming? Baylor’s answer is Partners Around the World Sharing, or PAWS. The program was founded by Beth Walker to help international students transition into Baylor University and the United States. When an international student arrives at Baylor, they have the option to enroll in the PAWS program and request a PAWS partner. At the same time, American students at Baylor are asked to sign up to be matched with an international student. On the second week
of arriving at Baylor, international students attend a party to meet their assigned partners. Partners are chosen by many different qualifications. Rachel Hardgrave, a student worker for the center for international education, works closely with the matching process. “It’s helpful for international students if they are paired with someone their age or a few years older,” says Hardgrave. “Matching someone who is learning a language with a native speaker can be a really helpful way to practice conversation. I also look at hobbies, interests and places students have traveled.” After the initial meeting and introduction to their PAWS partner, international students can be as involved as they like when it comes to spending time together. Some partners will go to the movies or eat at surrounding restaurants. Usually, PAWS partners are left without a car to travel to surrounding areas and depend on their PAWS partners to take them shopping and to buy groceries. Haruki Kubo is an exchange student from Tokyo, Japan studying at Baylor for one year. When he arrived, Kubo struggled with communicating with American students and keeping up with conversation. He lacked confidence in his English speaking skills.
When other exchange students placed in a similar situation would retreat and try to only
interact with fellow Japanese students, Kubo “[Students] will go visit their PAWS partners began to practice his English and became more families or they’ll go together with a group of and more involved with PAWS. PAWS partners and take a trip,” says Smith. “They do a lot of that on the weekends during “PAWS has allowed me to enjoy Baylor the semester.” University more,” said Kubo. “I have met so many people that will be my friends for the rest Whether an international student spends a of my life.” semester or four years at Baylor, the PAWS program is a way to hopefully help students In the past, international students and their adjust to a new culture. PAWS partners have enjoyed traveling together. Instead of staying at Baylor during “They are always thankful that they Thanksgiving or Christmas break, participated in the program,” says Hardgrave. international students will sometimes visit “I’ve never heard any international students say their PAWS partner’s family. they regret requesting a PAWS partner.”
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Mamadou Diene’s Journey By Ben Friedman “He says seven minutes.” “Tell him not to hurry.” The secretary laughed. “We don’t tell Mamadou to hurry. He rushes everywhere.” The same way Mamadou Diene rushed to the United States, he rushed to make it to our 4 p.m. interview in the coaches office at the Ferrell Center.
University. With him, he brought Diene, one of his first and most successful recruits since arriving at Baylor. “I was REALLY excited about coming here and getting the opportunity to play ball. Going to school was always important to me. My parents always emphasized school is No. 1 for me.”
“The Mayor” was as apologetic as possible for being late, even though he was simply held up at work. If you ever saw a Baylor basketball game while Diene was playing, there was a 99.9 percent chance you would learn that earned his nickname because everyone on campus loved his friendly demeanor. Growing up in Yeumbeul, Senegal, Diene always wanted to come to the United States. Every basketball player in Africa wants to come the U.S. “It’s the mecca of basketball,” says Diene. Diene first met Scott Drew, then a coach at Valparaiso University, while Drew was recruiting one of Diene’s good friends. Years later when Diene came of age, Drew approached Diene about playing basketball for Valparaiso. During his courtship of Diene, Drew left Valparaiso after his first year as head coach in order to accept the same position at Baylor
And so he came to Baylor instead of Valparaiso. Diene flew into DFW airport and caught a ride to Waco, the first city he saw in the U.S. “In Senegal, you learn about the U.S. and the culture. But, you know, when I first came to Waco, I realized it wasn’t a big city like they show in the movies.” As enthralled and excited as Diene was to finally be in the U.S., it wasn’t all easy. It wasn’t homesickness that really got to him. “I was too busy to miss home or my family. They had me taking physicals, filling out paperwork for the NCAA, signing up for
As for Waco, Diene fell in love. Even though it wasn’t like anything he’d seen in the movies while in Senegal (New York City, Hollywood, Boston, Chicago), Waco made him feel welcome and he has paid it back as best as he can. “I was really shocked by how people welcomed me, accepted me… The way people were nice to me really helped me adjust here. I made friends quick. I didn’t think that people would be that nice.” “That’s one thing that made me really love Waco. That’s why I’m still here. It’s home away from home now.”
“The hardest part was adjusting to practice. My body wasn’t used to the physicality and the weight room six days a week. I was so sore I couldn’t even walk to class.” classes, meeting my tutors… and then we started practice. I never had the time to miss them.” The language barrier or a lack of familiarity with the culture wasn’t the hardest part. Diene had more difficulty adapting to the physical nature of practices and daily workouts. “Adjusting to the English was tough but not too bad. I did better at that than practice,” said Diene. “The hardest part was adjusting to practice. My body wasn’t used to the physicality and the weight room six days a week. I was so sore after practice, I couldn’t even walk to class.”
After graduating from Baylor, Diene stayed with the basketball program for two years as a graduate assistant, working closely with the team during their Elite Eight run in 2010. His next job landed him at Vanguard Prep, a local middle school where he taught speech and coached basketball. Even though he’s moved on, Diene still volunteers as a coach at the middle school there, staying as connected as possible. But now, Diene works as the Community Relations Coordinator for Visiting Angels in Waco, a company that provides in-home caregiving service to those who need it, mainly the sick and the elderly.
Diene’s job is to visit nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living centers to talk to them about the company and what they do, offering their services to those who may be interested. “We help them with anything they need to stay at home. Shopping, companionship, light housecleaning, cooking, whatever they need.” Mamadou Diene began his journey to Waco as a young basketball player in Senegal with big dreams of coming to the United States. Along the way, he met Coach Scott Drew and helped turn around a basketball program in shambles. He followed that act by teaching his passion to young students in Waco and then working for a company that helps those in need. Diene says he wouldn’t do anything differently. “I wouldn’t change anything. ‘Enjoy the ride.’ If I had to make the same choice, I would do it again. There is a reason I came to Waco.”
From Africa to Waco By Janette Artea
Imagine packing up and going to school in a completely different country. Weekend trips home aren’t an option and your family can’t stop in and visit at the drop of a hat.
It was during her time in California that her father found out about Baylor from a group of students on a mission trip in Nairobi at the time. Her father was impressed by what he heard about the school from the students and told Poghisio about it on a trip to see her in California.
Many Baylor students know this way of life all too well. One student, in particular, made the trek all the way from Kenya to get an education at Baylor University. “He later came to visit the campus and told me about it. I looked it up online and liked it so I Joy Cheptoo Poghisio, a freshman from decided to apply,” said Poghisio. Nairobi, Kenya, decided to take the leap and see what Baylor had to offer. Poghisio loved that Baylor was small and offered a religious component, which was Poghisio was born in Lincoln, Ill., but her something she was definitely looking for in a family moved to Nairobi when she was a baby university. The avid traveler also liked that the and she considers Africa her home. school was located in an unfamiliar area. “Technically, I’m an American citizen, but I lived in Kenya for most of my life and my family is still there, so I still consider myself a Kenyan,” said Poghisio. Her father, Samuel Poghisio, also happens to serve as a Member of Parliament, in additon to being minister of information, technology and communication in Nairobi. After finishing up with school in Kenya, Poghisio decided she wanted to go to college in the states and began attending Saddleback Community College in California. “I wanted to go to a school somewhere in the states, so I was living in California while I applied to schools,” said Poghisio.
“It was somewhere I had never been before. I’d never even heard of Waco,” said Poghisio. After two years of searching for the right school, she was excited to begin a new chapter in her life with the support of her loved ones. “My family was just relieved that I had chosen a school already because by that time I had been out of high school for almost two years,” said Poghisio. Poghisio has come a long way from Kenya. As for what the future holds, she has no problem waiting for it to unfold.
Baylor International Student Wives
By Courtney Roberts Imagine moving to another city. Or another state. Or to the other side of the world. For the Baylor International Student Wives group, this frightening thought is a reality. For Baylor graduate student Bethany Parrott, the interest in international work started with a job in Indonesia teaching English for a few years.
As the leader of the Baylor International Student Wives group, she hopes that the group will give her the experience she needs to work internationally. She says that a large part of sharing the gospel is meeting practical needs. This group serves as a place where the wives can find fellowship with one another and in their community.
The group was founded last fall when Baylor Spiritual Life saw a need to reach out to the families of international graduate students at Baylor. The group consists mostly of women whose husbands are attending Baylor for higher degrees. Whatever their reason for coming to Baylor, most of these women do not have many people to connect with. There are usually between six and eight wives, along with their families, involved at one time. These families come from countries such as India, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Nigeria, China and Romania. “It’s encouraging to watch them come together and realize that we’re not that different, though we’re from different cultures,” says Parrott. Their religious beliefs are different as well, something that one would think is a common denominator for the families of Baylor students. The Baylor International Student Wives group’s parent group is Baylor Spiritual Life, but religion is not the explicit focus of the group. The group talks about culture and faith often, but it’s, “more of a hang out,” says Parrott.
The group was designed with community in mind. The women meet weekly to visit places in Waco and enjoy their new surroundings. The group is for the wives of the international students, but they try to involve the rest of their families as much as possible. Before Easter, the women plan to bring their children to an Easter egg dying party as a way of introducing them to American culture. “I had such a great time being in this fellowship. I had a wonderful time, made new friends, and had a great time sharing and hearing the other wive’s stories. International Spiritual Wives group made me feel so welcome as we turn this place into our real home,” said Mettasari Budikartono. The feeling is mutual for Parrott, who said, “It’s been good to watch them find their community in this group. Good for me, but definitely good for them.” The Baylor International Student Wives meet Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the Quadrangle apartments on 5th street. If interested, email Bethany Parrott at Bethany_Parrott@baylor.edu for more information.
Baylor’s newest study abroad and exchange student adviser has travel experience to spare.
New adviser use to guide stud
Jimmy Ilseng, who graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in literature and linguistics, spent years traveling through Eastern Europe and Northern Africa as a member of the Peace Corps after spending time as a ski instructor in Colorado. Ilseng moved to Avon, Colo., following his graduation. He was waiting on his invitation to join the Peace Corps — a decision that could take six to 12 months. Ilseng said he packed only what he could fit into his Toyota Camry before he set off for Avon, where he had friends. He wanted to take his time making the transition from college to real life. Once there, Ilseng received a job teaching snowboarding at Beaver Creek Resort, where he lived in a four-bedroom condominium with nine other people. “It was honestly one of the better, but short periods in my life,” Ilseng said. “There was ski and outdoor gear everywhere — it was awesome.”
By Amanda Thom with the Romanian Ministry of Education to develop local and national academic competitions for secondary students, including public speaking, creative writing and thespian competitions. “All three of these competitions evolved into sustainable programs and are conducted to this day,” Ilseng said. During his sojourn, Ilseng also traveled to Morocco, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey and Lebanon. He said one of his fondest memories was arriving in Budapest, Hungary, with two other volunteers and discovering the Sziget Island on the Danube River two days before the island opened for an arts and music festival called the Sziget Festival.
“Randomness or synchronicity, I don’t know, but we ended up seeing Radiohead, Gomez, Tool, Manu Chao and more bands with 500,000 other people from across the globe,” After two ski seasons, he received his invitation Ilseng said. “Me and two fellow Peace Corps to the Peace Corps, moving to Romania in volunteers had literally arrived in Budapest 2006. with no plans and nowhere to stay and nothing to do. It was a score and a half.” In the Peace Corps, Ilseng taught comparative literature on the secondary and university After three years volunteering for the Peace level, American history and civics on the Corps, Ilseng returned to Colorado and secondary level, and English as a second was later accepted to Vanderbilt graduate language to ninth-graders. Ilseng also worked school. There, he enrolled in the International
es experience dents’ travel
mas, Baylor Lariat
Green Bay, Wis., senior Mollie Munro has been Ilseng’s student worker since he arrived at Baylor. Munro helps Ilseng prepare students for their study abroad experience and gives them advice. Munro, who is going to Africa with the Peace Corps in July, said she enjoys hearing Ilseng’s Peace Corps stories and advice.
school. There, he enrolled in the International Education Policy and Management program. Ilseng graduated from Vanderbilt in May 2011 and started work at Baylor in December. Ilseng said he decided to take the job at Baylor to be “He is helping me prepare,” Munro said. “He is closer to home. really a great resource to have.” “I have family in Austin and Dallas,” Ilseng said. “I am getting back to family and friends. It’s a full circle.” Ilseng said he believes his traveling and love of culture have helped him gain knowledge he uses to advise students. In his new position, Ilseng helps them choose where they want to study abroad and determine what they want to gain from the experience.
International student relations coordinator Melanie Smith occupies the office next to Ilseng’s. She said Ilseng fits the role of study abroad and exchange student adviser well. “He is an extraordinary person for that position because of his extensive knowledge,” Smith said. “His guidance will help the students’ experience. At Baylor, Ilseng said he plans on helping students get the best international education and experience they possibly can. “There is a place for every student,” Ilseng said. “I set up students for success.”
Breaking Barriers By Lindsey Tigert
Living in a dorm is often one of the most exciting and memorable times in a college studentâ€™s experience. Being able to live with students their own age and be in close community allows for a fostering of ideas and new changes. But how do international students adjust to living in a completely different culture in such a short amount of time? Baylor University has launched its own Global Community Living and Learning Center (GCLLC). The GC-LLC is a housing option for both international and residential students that share a love of global experiences and ideas. International students can apply online and must wait to be accepted into the residential community. Once accepted, students have the option to choose between three different
suite types. The suite types range from current world affairs, language immersion, and mission suites. Each of the three suites focus on a different aspect of the global community. The current world affairs option gives students the opportunity to discuss and learn more about current events occurring in the world around them. Language immersion suites make up the largest portion of suites. Three students interested in learning a particular language are placed and live with a native speaker of the language. This opportunity gives the three students a great way to practice and hone their speaking skills.
The last of the three suite options are mission suites. These suites will focus on students who are interested in doing mission work abroad or at home, serving the world community and global social justice issues. Accepted students will have the opportunity to rank their suite type preferences and language if desired. All students participating in the GC-LLC are required to take a class each semester. The benefits of living in the GC-LLC are enormous. Entering students will have the opportunity of living in a close-knit community and with peers that share similar global interests. By being a part of such a unique community, students are also given the opportunity to serve in different committees based on their personal interests. Committees include marketing, cuisine and special events. And as students continue to live amongst the
same group of peers, mentorship develops between the lower and upper-class students. “It’s cool for our freshmen because they’re the only freshman in the entire residence hall and all of the upperclassman want to make sure they’re successful,” said Holly Joyner, program director. “They all have the same interests so it’s exciting for them.” The unique living arrangements in the GCLLC are beneficial for both residential and international students at Baylor. Students are still able to receive the dorm-like experience while also creating and maintaining close friendships with their residential peers. Baylor University created the GC-LLC for international and residential students in an effort to foster global awareness and community. “If you’re looking for other people who are passionate about global awareness, GC-LLC is for you,” said Joyner. “It’s a really good experience for everyone involved.”
A word from our director
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A HUGE th anks to all o f the write stories. Wit rs of the w hout your in onderful t e r this magazin esting and engaging con e would not have been p tent, ossible. I am truly gr ateful to a ll of you for Thank you, your help an thank you, t d support. h ank you! I ho magazine. pe you have enjoyed the Sincerely,
Sa ra h Wat s o n 31