Cultures merge at Crosswinds gathering

FORT KENT, Maine — Age and cultural differences didn’t stop a group of international University of Maine at Fort Kent students and residents of Crosswinds Residential Care from bonding over food and conversation on Friday, Nov. 17.

Eight students from such places as South Africa, Jamaica and Ukraine served snacks from their countries to the residents, who were pleased to meet them.

“We find they are interesting, and we like them,” said Crosswinds resident Carlene Gagne, 84.

“They’re different from our culture.The food is very different compared to ours,” added Gagne’s friend and fellow resident Joan Roy, 67.  

Sophomore Cameika Davis, who is from Jamaica, told residents, “I like people in this town. When I first came here, I felt like I knew you guys for years.”

Patti Voisine, the assistant activities director at Crosswinds, and Theresa Biggs, adviser for the UMFK international students club, organized the visit.

“It was a really good experience for the students; they really enjoyed it,” Biggs said.

“They like to share about their cultures and also learn about the local cultures.”

Voisine said the residents were equally as happy to have met the students.

“I spoke with them afterward and they all so loved it. They just wish it would have been longer to socialize more with them on a one on one basis,” she said. “They promised to come back and I will make sure to invite them once our large activity room is finished.”

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