October 13, 2016

Manana, a FLEX Student from Georgia, Brought Cheer to U.S. Seniors and Veterans


Manana Manana making certificates to honor veterans
Manana, a World Link-placed Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) student from Georgia flourished in her host community and became a local superstar. During her exchange, Manana was an excellent student, a dedicated volunteer, and a member of the S-Club, Key Club, and Anime club.
Manana performed 84 hours of community service, many devoted to a local senior living home. She organized a Hawaiian party for the residents, filled with leis, hula skirts, and colorful flowers. On Veteran’s Day she honored Veteran residents with a party and made each Veteran their own framed certificate of achievement to thank them for their service. Everyone had fun playing Wheel of Fortune and Bingo. Residents were able to express and display their gratitude during a Thanksgiving celebration and activity that Manana helped plan. Manana made their holiday season brighter by decorating the home in festive adornments. Her musical talents—singing and piano—add joy to their days. Manana’s love for life and her enthusiastic personality refreshes and invigorates the home each time she goes. The residents adore her and look forward to her next visit. 
During International Education Week, Manana gave 15 presentations, reaching 350 people! For each presentation she wore traditional dress and spoke about a wide variety of Georgian cultural norms. She included activities such as teaching traditional Georgian dance and songs. She made her American peer’s birthday extra special when she sang “Happy Birthday” to him in Georgian during one of her presentations. In her Anime club, Manana organized a mock NATO meeting where each member represented a different country to discuss whether Georgia should join NATO. Overall, one of Manana’s favorite cultural sharing activities was teaching the Georgian language. At the end of a week of lessons, she made a video of her American peers saying facts about Georgia, in Georgian! 
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