Subject: U.S. city connects with three special visitors from ET

City connects with three special visitors

written by: Adam Chodak , 9NEWS Northern Reporter

posted by: Dan Boniface , Web Producer

created: 4/14/2007 1:58:59 PM

FORT COLLINS – With electricity, food production and health care, the city is reaching out to three people from East Timor in a project called Creating Connections.

Bernardo Alberto Maia, Jose Miguel Madeira and Betty Da Silva, all in their 20s, are in town learning skills in various trades they plan to take back to their country, which has been riddled with violence since its independence from Indonesia in 2002.

Maia is a builder in the mountains of East Timor and is studying how electricity is managed in the United States. Last week, he was at Merit Electric getting a tutorial.

Madeira has been learning about food production. Last week, he and one of the project's coordinators, Nancy Marray, put together a solar food dehydrator.

Da Silva, who is interested in health care, has shadowed a nurse practitioner and spent the day in an ambulance.

The project stems from a trip back in 2005, when a group of Poudre High School students attended the PeaceJam Youth Conference.

The group met Jose Ramos Horta, who is the country's Prime Minister and recently ran for President.

Initially, a group from Fort Collins was going to visit East Timor, but civil unrest forced the trip's cancellation. The money raised was then used to bring the three East Timorese here.

The goal is not just to give them useful skills, but also to create a bridge between East Timor and Fort Collins with the hope the connection - and the knowledge traded through that connection - will benefit both sides.

(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved.) 

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