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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

New Zealander returns to county 20 years later

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Zealander Yvonne Moore talks with her old friend Doris Risk. Both women have been foreign exchange homemakers.
In 1988, Yvonne Moore arrived in Putnam County from New Zealand as part of an Indiana Home Extension Foreign Exchange program. She returned exactly 20 years to the day last Friday.

During her six-week stay in Putnam County in 1988, she traveled around to different home extension groups talking about her life in New Zealand as a sheep and cattle farmer.

Her trip culminated at Purdue University where she gave a presentation at the Indiana Extension Homemakers state meeting.

One of the people she met in 1988 was Doris Risk, Roachdale. Risk was a home extension exchange person from Indiana in 1978 when she visited Columbia, South America.

She was also instrumental in bringing Moore to Indiana.

"I was asked by our state organization to write to a group similar to our extension office in New Zealand called the Women's Division of Federated Farmers, and ask them to send us an exchange homemaker," related Risk.

Moore had been planning a re-visit for more than a year. After the death of her husband she wasn't sure about coming. Her sister decided to travel with her and visit other friends.

"We've always stayed in touch," said Moore. "I write and e-mail Doris' son because she isn't online yet," laughed Moore.

"We feel like family. Over the weekend we had a family party of the Risks house. We had hot dogs, baked beans, and Jell-O salad just like I had 20 years ago. I had never had Jell-O until then," reflected Moore.

She also went mushroom hunting on the Risk family farm, which is about 500 acres.

"They gave me a bag but nobody told me about using a stick," laughed Moore. "We had fried mushrooms for breakfast this morning," she added.

Moore did learn something from her fellow mushroom hunters, which is never to reveal where you find your mushrooms.

"I can tell you it was on the farm but that is 500 acres. Good luck hunting," she laughed.

She will spend two weeks in Indiana visiting friends in Muncie, Fountaintown and Richmond before she meets her sister and brother-in-law in Lexington, Ky.

The two homemakers talk like old friends and have many friends in common among the women who have been in the exchange program.

"We stay in touch, like family," said Moore.

Risk and her husband James spent their 50th wedding anniversary in New Zealand in 1992 visiting Risk.

"New Zealand was beautiful," said Risk. "It was so clean you could drink right out of the streams."

"It's really going to be great to spend time with Yvonne again," claimed Risk.

Moore decided to return to the United States to visit her old friends because she missed seeing them.

'It's all about the people, " she explained. "Seeing Delores brings back such memories. Seeing the people I met again is the most important part, everything else is just a bonus," she concluded.

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