Thanks for welcoming exchange student from Kazakhstan

To the editor:

Many thanks to the awesome residents of Saranac Lake who welcomed and supported Pavel Khavlyuk, our 12th-grade foreign-exchange student from Kazakhstan this past school year.

As his host parent and a relative newcomer to the North Country, I was amazed at the great friendliness and spontaneous acceptance shown by my new neighbors for a 16-year-old boy a long way from his home, family and friends.

I’m so appreciative of everyone’s generosity, especially by several folks at the high school and the library. You made a huge contribution to his adjustment here. As Hillary Clinton says, “It takes a village …” Thank you for being Pavel’s caring “village” and helping him grow and learn among his new American family.

It was a very enriching experience for him and me and a very sad good-bye for many of us.

I hope other families will continue this cultural exchange program. You will be wonderfully supported by the generous community of Saranac Lake – a good place to live, work and display our American culture to the world, one young citizen at a time. Good job!

Celia Dash

Saranac Lake