We were busy with visitors this year, fortunately! After COVID shutting down the IVLP program for two years it got busy trying to play catch up.
Between the Open World program (the one where the visitors stay in homes rather than a hotel) and the IVLP (the International Visitor Leadership program) where they stay in the Courtyard Marriott, we had almost more visitors than we have had in 12 years! What a great opportunity to share Southern Arizona with the world.
Our home stay hosts, Casey Woods, Bill and Anita Jones, Tom and Thea Chester, Janet and Eric Baker and Jill Kraus Jensen and her husband the visitors had a fantastic time with gracious hosts that go out of their way to make sure the Open World visitors are where they are supposed to be, on time, and showing them a wonderful experience when they don’t have a programming day. Can’t thank them enough.
Then there are the home hosts, those that have a guest or two for dinner. Again, the members stepped up and showed the kindness and warmth of friendship leaving the visitors with a greater understanding of the USA and the people that make it wonderful.
Where have they been from? Well, there are those from the Murrow Program: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Poland, North Macedonia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.
Other programs had Mongolia, Kazakstan, Kosovo, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Burkina Faso, Ukraine, Lebanon, European leaders and Moldova. Then of course, another Murrow with similar list of countries.
As I said, busy year. We were fortunate to have Phoenix share some programs with us, that way we both get the visitor count and the visitors get a wider experience.
We are truly looking forward to 2023.