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Exchange brings individuals to Plattsburgh from afar

The Program for African Growth through Education, also known as PAGE Inc., is designed to enrich the experience of Francophone African youth and adults through two three-week exchanges

The Program for African Growth through Education, also known as PAGE Inc., is designed to enrich the experience of Francophone African youth and adults through two three-week exchanges

Participants stay in homes throughout Plattsburgh.

“We need hosts,” Bennett said.

The students and teachers spend two weeks with hosts, who feed them and must get them to the university, though the visitors spend 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Plattsburgh State during the week.

“Any family or household is welcome,” Bennett said.

Many of the visitors and hosts remain in contact.

Bennett said it was amazing to watch the last group of visitors. Nearly 9 out of 10 had not seen a computer, yet they were very adaptable, she said.

Many of the individuals had never been in an arcade nor seen ice.

Hosts who had teenagers of their own said they appreciated the perspective the new member of their family offered.

One individual explained that April is the hottest month and with 22 people in the small house, it was her job to pour gasoline around it to ward off snakes.

The hosts tried their hands at new experiences too, with one downloading an application that enabled her to locate the direction of Mecca, the holiest city in the religion of Islam.

Dr. Jean Ouedraogo, board president of PAGE Inc., said he and Adelman applied for the grant because “of our belief that enriching the learning and teaching experiences of communities near and far can contribute to a better understanding of Plattsburgh’s connectedness to the world out there and our region’s role in shaping it.”

For more information about hosting, contact Bennett at 564-2160.

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