Visitor Quotes

January 25, 2018

Urban Management


“We participated in home hospitality and enjoyed finding out about American life and telling them about our traditions… I had some ideas about Texas before the trip but seeing it was an even better experience.”

       - Ananmurat Jumakuliyev (Turkmenistan)


Change Makers: Women in Political & Social Sector


“Home hospitality was the climax of our tour in San Antonio. The family of Mr. & Mrs. Scott had lived in Kenya many years ago. They called over their friends and interactions were amazing. I got to meet people who were very warm and really interested in my country and my family and I got to learn more about their lives… I commend the place and people we got to visit and meet. I can almost see a replica of the issues tackled with those in Kenya and the milestone achieved are achievable in my country… It was my absolute pleasure visiting San Antonio. The state is beautiful, not to mention the weather. I was really encouraged by all the women organizations and groups that are struggling to get more girls and women to be seen and heard. The work being done by the charity organizations on refugees and immigrants is commendable.”

       - Jean Stell Wanja Njagi (Keyna)


“I participated in home hospitlality and enjoyed it very much. The hosts were open and engaged and invited a number of people along. There was a great sense of occasion and great conversation… I knew very little about San Antonio before my arrival and the trip opened my eyes. I had presumed that Texas was where cowboy country but I now appreciate the diverse history and population.”

       - Louise Glennon (Ireland)


Advancing Minority Rights


“I had very different ideas about Texas and San Antonio before my arrival, but they changed positively.”

       -Saba Nur Cheema (Germany)


“I participated in home hospitality and Ms. Arlis Olson and her husband were so nice. They made a great meal for us and they invited friends. Good food, good discussion, welcoming people. Thank you for this opportunity to meet them.”

     - Edlira Teferici Zepo (Albania)


The Global Economy


“The appointments met my professional objectives because they all showed how effect the measures are to developing the workforce, promoting small businesses, and supporting the city’s economic development.”

       - Rasaon Razafindrakoto Lisiniaina (Madagascar)


“The appointments met my professional objectives because I am interested in trade, trade diplomacy, and financing SMEs, as well as how to facilitate stat-ups and starting entrepreneurs. The program in San Antonio was all about this… Before I arrived, I did know that San Antonio was a warm city close to Mexico with strong Latin American influence, but I had not visited before. I liked the city very much, both the program and the atmosphere. I think the city has a bright future.”

       - Soltan Tamas Szabo (Hungary)


“I participated in home hospitality and it was fantastic to chat with a local family, they were lovely people… Thanks for all your help, it was a really fun place to visit.”

       - John Ballingall (New Zealand)


“I participated in home hospitality and met Mrs. Mary Lou and Mr. Don Wilson. For me it was an amazing, lovely, peaceful, and very touching family experience and they had a lovely home. It was one of the best events in San Antonio… Thank you for the well-organized program, I wish I could come back again.”

       - Nehal Mohamed Mounir Gamal Fouad (Egypt)


“The appointments met my professional objectives by providing ideas and serving as successful models to be taken into account in future personal projects… I enjoyed home hospitality a lot because for the first time, I had the opportunity to know directly how an American family lives, their tastes, their traditions, and their quality of life… I had some ideas about San Antonio before I arrived but now my vision is much more accurate and precise. It is a great city that combines American organization and modernity with the warmth typical of Latin America.”

       - Laura del Carmen John Rangel (Venezuela)


Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship & Higher Education in the US


“The appointments definitely met my professional objectives. It was the way Texas and San Antonio in particular, are reaching the entrepreneurial issues and how this works form high school to college and in incubators and business supporters… It is quite impressive how San Antonio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem works and the number of supports start-ups may find.”

       - Theodora Trachona (Greece)


“The appointments helped me to interact with innovation leaders across the board in business and academia. They also helped me to meet experts who link academia to business ecosystems.”

       - George Bithas (Greece)


“All the appointments were interesting to me, especially Trinity University. Furthermore, the meeting at Business Careers High School was an interesting experience to learn about a new model of creative education. And both the meetings at Trinity University and VelocityTX helped me to enrich my knowledge in the field.”

       - Naoum Mylonas (Greece)


“All of the appointments were very good and useful and met my professional objectives because we had the opportunity to see firsthand the operations of the offices and schools. The program in San Antonio was interesting and most useful.”

       - Theadoras Yagemas (Greece)


“The meetings provided me with useful information and have shown me ways and examples of promotion of entrepreneurship that could definitely be implemented in Greece, under certain circumstances and conditions.”

       - Vassilis Kostoulas (Greece)


“San Antonio was a great experience, the program was very well organized, and the visits were very interesting. The hospitality was great, thank you!”

       - Spyridon Vougrous (Greece)


“I was positively surprised by San Antonio and enjoyed the city very much.”

       - Ioanna Koutsounanou (Greece)


Community Responsiveness: Law Enforcement Leadership


“The meetings met my professional objectives and gave me an in-depth understanding of vital issues such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, policing at the grassroots level, refugee issues, and more.”

       - Anshuman Bhomia (India)


Infrastructure Development


“The program met my professional objectives because our city has a lot of real estate assets and we were exposed to a number of ideas on how to get value out of them. The small business incubator concept will also assist us in dealing with the problem of poverty and unemployment in our country and city… The home hospitality experience shared with use was invaluable.”

        - Ndumiso Ngubane (South Africa)


Women as Political & Community Leaders


“I learned a lot from the speakers’ experiences and saw many programs I could implement back home…. Before arrival, I didn’t thank San Antonio had a diverse population. I thought it would be like the ‘Wild West’. The reality is that it has a beautiful spirit that I really enjoyed, especially while walking the Riverwalk.”

       - Fatima Almarri (United Arab Emirates)


“The meetings absolutely met my professional objectives. Most of them were similar to the work I do back home, especially when talking about domestic violence and empowering women in elected positions… San Antonio is an absolutely amazing city and I have enjoyed it the most so far.”

       - Aseel Shaban (Jordan)


“The appointments were effective and met my professional objectives because in my count, we, as women, face similar challenges and I benefited from the experience and will share it with relevant people in Jordan… I heard Texas was a nice State, but when I visited it I discovered that it is nicer then what I heard. It’s a wonderful city.”

       - Abla Almarghieh (Jordan)


Coalition Building for NGOs


“All in all, it was a professionally successful program. I was able to learn about how organizations secure funding and amplify impact of their work by building coalitions with like-minded organizations. Moreover, it was great to know about their multi-pronged strategies for reaching out beneficiaries of the programs.”

       - Asshar Soomro (Pakistan)


“The appointments met our visit objectives because the meetings familiarized us with skill of fundraising, volunteerism, and knowledge about the effect of management of organizations… I am thankful for your hospitality and the meetings and appointments were very relevant. I felt much love and respect from the people of San Antonio and have love and respect for the people of the US.”

       - Muhammad Siddiq Khan (Pakistan)


“I appreciate the organizers for conducting such a great trip. I must say thank you to the SACIV team.”

       - Mehrab Ali (Pakistan)


“The appointments met my professional objectives. I learnt new ideas and best practices of NGOs and I will replicate these ideas in my area.”

       - Bushra Bibi (Pakistan)


“Thank you for your hospitality and all the arrangements you made. I have lovely and unforgettable memories of the US and learnt lessons about collaborating and networking. I now have a positive attitude of the people of the US and their values.”

       - Rana Asif Habib (Pakistan)



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