Oroville students travel to Turkey for ‘trip of a lifetime’

Product Fair in Ankara. Photos by Tony Kindred

Product Fair in Ankara. Photos by Tony Kindred

OROVILLE – Five Oroville business students got the chance totravel to Turkey in April to participate in a product fair with like-mindedTurkish students.

The U.S. Embassy sponsored the entire trip, according toOroville business teacher Tony Kindred, who accompanied the Oroville students.On the trip were Luke Kindred, Taylor Sarmiento, Katie Tietje, Megan Moralesand Rienna Quick.

“We flew from Wenatchee to Seattle and then to Amsterdam andon to Turkey,” Kindred said. “We got to have three and a half days of touringthe country. They took us around on fancy tour busses… it was a real whirlwindtour.”

Kindred said part of their tour they were on a cruise of theBosphorus between Europe and Asia, stepping onto both continents.

The Oroville kids and their advisor were put up at first afirst class hotel in Ankara and got to meet the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. Theembassy even threw them a barbecue and the Oroville kids were interviewed bytelevision and print journalists, according to Kindred.

On Friday, the kids went to the product fair where theyparticipated with 200 to 250 students in five-person teams that each developeda product for the fair.

“They were all Turkish kids and us… we were the only teamfrom outside Turkey and they treated us like royalty,” Kindred said.

The Oroville student’s product was a miniature turbine thatcould be installed at the water service and in turn would generate low-voltageenergy and charge a battery when the water was turned on in the house. Sincethey had come from Oroville they were unable to bring a mock-up of theirproduct, other than on computer. However, Kindred said a team of Turkishstudents had a similar idea and had brought a mock up of their product.

“It’s interesting that the kids lived worlds apart and yetwe had basically the same idea,” Kindred said.

Although the Oroville students were there to participate,they were not judged in the competition, as the winning two teams from all theTurkish students would get to travel to Oroville in the coming school year.

Part of the trip also included attending a symposium wherethey got to hear Ken Fray, founder of the da Vinci Institute, a futurist whospoke about things that are coming, according to Kindred.

“He said rather than being blindsided by it, the future isyours to control,” Kindred said. “He also quoted Thomas Edison who said,’Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and itlooks like work.’”

Kindred said he told his students that they were pioneersgetting to participate in something very significant.

“Everyone was just so positive, motivated and excited, thewhole group was so friendly,” Kindred said. “I think the thing that was reallyoverwhelming about the trip was their acceptance of us. They have theirreligious beliefs and we have ours, but that never played into it. They alsolove tourists in Turkey.”

While the Oroville students were there they got to spendsome time with April Chapple, an Oroville graduate, who has lived in Turkey forseveral years and teaches English.

“We got to spend time with her, her husband and their littleguy… they took us to the mall,” said Kindred.

Kindred and his students hope to produce a video or aslideshow of the trip and much information and photos can be found on his blog:www.ohsturkey2011.wordpress.com/.

The student advisor said the trip was absolutely theexperience of a lifetime.

“They have done something now that gives them furtheropportunities in an international environment. Their whole career path couldchange,” Kindred said.

He added, “They are talking about a conference to build onthe relationship. It could be these students ticket on an international level.I can’t say thanks enough for this opportunity for a great group of kids.”

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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