Airmen foster relations as ambassadors
By Staff Sgt. Lee Hoover , Air Force News Agency
/ Published March 21, 2007
LIMA, Peru (AFNEWS) -- It was smiles galore as Airmen paid a visit to a local foster home Feb. 16, while here for a joint air show with the Peruvian Air Force. More than 400 children were treated to a performance by the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest and conversation with Airmen.
The children, some of whom are orphans and some who come from destitute families, took the opportunity to ask about the American culture.
"The kids are very familiar with the American culture," said Rosa Valdivieso Montano, president of the voluntary association for the foster home. "They see it a lot on TV, and listen to the music, so it was good for them to see a little bit of it up close."
Amongst all the dancing, clapping and smiling, one Airman had the chance to take a glimpse into the future.
"I hope to adopt," said Tech. Sgt. Yvonne Sell, a boom operator from the 336th Air Refueling Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, Calif. "I love kids, and it was just an awesome experience to hug them and play with them."
For Sergeant Sell it was the best part of her trip to Peru.
"There are so many kids out there that need new homes, and not just babies," she said.
If Sergeant Sell is able to adopt a child in the future, her hope is to adopt an older child. And this experience helped to confirm her dreams.
"There were all so happy; adorable," she said. "I just wanted to take them all home."
The 90-minute visit to the foster home also included a performance from the children themselves.
The Air Force is in Peru for the joint exercise Falcon and Condor 2007, that took place this week. The joint air show will take place this weekend. A number of U.S. aircraft will perform during the air show as well as serve as static displays.
The Peruvian air show will be the first of the year for aircraft from the 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern. The joint exercise and air show directly supports U.S. Southern Command's engagement goals and furthers relations between allied nations.