Etcetera - 02/15/12

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Sasayama Sister City Affiliation Committee needs host families for students arriving from Sasayama, Japan, on March 24, said Robert Keatts in a release.

Eleven girls and four boys will visit Walla Walla from March 24-April 3. Host families provide room and board and transport their student to the daily drop-off and pick-up point.

An informational meeting will be announced after the student homestay profiles from Japan are received and they have the required host family commitments.

For more information, contact Robert Keatts by email; robert_wwscc@yahoo.com or phone 525-0049.

Passengers taking the Cruise West River Voyage of Discovery cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers spent a January day in Walla Walla visiting Fort Walla Walla Museum and Whitman Mission National Historic Site.

They explored the museum's numerous exhibits, according to Linda Garrison, who blogged about it at the about.com guide. "Those focusing on pioneer life and antique farm equipment are particularly interesting. The Fort Walla Walla cemetery nearby is marvelous, and some of the old tombstones have very touching epitaphs," she said.

Milton-Freewater Rotary Club hosted Pastor Kessle R. Hodgson Sr. as its guest speaker recently.

Hodgson's program covered Hispanic ministries under the activities of the Seventh-day Adventist churches in Milton-Freewater, Walla Walla and College Place. Alejandra Davis assisted in the presentation, said Robby Robbins, Rotary's reporter.

Born in Bluefields, Nicaragua, Kessle earned a bachelor's in theology from Universidad Adventista de Centro Am?©rica in Costa Rica and his master's from La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif. In the course of his 28 years in Adventist ministries, he's served as a minister, educator and missionary administrator. The Hodgsons have lived in Washington 15 years, settling in Walla Walla in 2007.

He works with the organization in Walla Walla, College Place, and Milton-Freewater to develop sports complexes for area youths. While not specifically for the Hispanic community, many members of the community don't have ready access to enough playground area for the children. Ten local soccer teams are playing in Walla Walla Valley Academy's indoor gym area.

Kessle is developing plans to add an indoor soccer pitch, possibly a swimming pool and meeting rooms to facilities adjacent to the existing churches. The budget for the program is around $500,000 and nearly one-fifth of that has already been collected.

He is planning a community event with the Team Pathfinder for March 16-25 in Walla Walla and College Place to outline the program for families and potential sponsors. For further information, contact Kessle at 509-540-4507.

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