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Americans team up to share cultural awareness
Master Sgt. Clay Gobin ties a balloon to a child’s ankle for the balloon pop game during an “American Corner” cultural event hosted by the Peace Corps and U.S. Embassy in Kant, Kyrgyzstan, July 12. Airmen from the Transit Center at Manas shared their culture with Kant children and adults by participating in games and answering questions. Gobin is the Theater Security Cooperation Humanitarian Assistance Flight superintendent. He is deployed here from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore)
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Americans team up to share cultural awareness

Posted 7/15/2011   Updated 7/15/2011 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

7/15/2011 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- Americans from the U.S. Embassy, Peace Corps and Transit Center at Manas teamed together to share their culture with residents of Kant during an "American Corner" information fair July 12.

The group spent the afternoon in the park playing typical American games like bobbing for apples and three-legged races. In addition, they were on hand to answer any questions the residents had about U.S. culture and language.

"The purpose of this fair is to advertise the American Corner and promote greater participation from the local population," said Anna Laird, Peace Corps volunteer. "American Corners are spread throughout the country."

This particular American Corner is a resource center located mere blocks away from the community park where the information fair was held. The Kant American Corner houses a library with Russian and English books, a computer lab, video club, an area to socialize and play games, and is a place where students can improve their English.

The U.S. Embassy led program also provides opportunities for Americans to visit local schools and villages, said Capt. Laila Saed, Theater Security Cooperation Office Humanitarian Assistance program manager deployed here from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

The American Corner staff also hosts community events like the information fair, three or four times a year.

"The kids love to meet new Americans, they get so excited," Laird said. "We were really only expecting students who usually come to the American Corner to be here, but there were a lot of people from the community, and people brought their kids and siblings, so it was a really good turnout."

Master Sgt. Sharon Reeder traveled from the Transit Center to participate in the information fair, and joined other Transit Center volunteers in playing games with the children.

"I decided to participate in the event because I thought it would be interesting to interact with the children and because I'm a kid at heart," said Reeder, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing law office superintendent who is deployed from Lackland AFB, Texas. "I had a lot of fun."

It turns out, not only Americans enjoyed the event.

"It was really interesting, thank you very much," said an American Corner patron to Laird as she was leaving.

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