St. Kitts and Nevis ‘Queen’ impressed with friendliness of Taiwan people

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, AUGUST 24TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Dubbed the “Queen” among scores of youths from around the world, St. Kitts and Nevis’ reigning National Queen, Iantavian Queeley says Taiwan is like a second home.

Nearly 250 youths from around the world who have lived in Taiwan for about two weeks gathered at the Taipei Guest House Wednesday to express their gratitude and share their experiences in Taiwan a day before returning to their home countries.

As part of the Republic of China’s centennial celebrations, Taiwan invited Iantavian and 237 other young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 from over 115 countries to participate in a homestay program to experience life and culture on the island from Aug. 12-25.

One of those participating in the two-week program was St. Kitts and Nevis resident Iantavian Queeley, who has won three beauty pageants in the Caribbean.

Queeley, who has won three beauty pageants in the Caribbean, was nicknamed “Queen” among her Taiwanese friends.

She said she has been very impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of Taiwan’s people.

“From the time I got here, everyone I’ve come in contact with has been very welcoming and very warm and genuinely hospitable,” said Queeley, who is flying back to St. Kitts and Nevis late Thursday evening and plans to come back soon.

“I feel like it’s like a second home now. I have so many friends here and feel like I have a second family, so I can come back whenever I need to take a break,” she added.

At the event Wednesday, Emile Sheng, the head of the Cabinet-level Council for Cultural Affairs, which organized the event sad he hoped their friendship with Taiwan can last forever and recalled his own homestay experience in the United States when he was a student.

The overseas visitors had their own “itineraries” specially crafted by their host families, and through various activities, both the visitors and families gained unforgettable memories, he added.

Taiwan Vice President His Excellency Vincent Siew also attended the press conference and extended his gratitude to the local host families, describing them as “friendly ambassadors.”

Betty Shen, “Queen’s” host and now one of her best friends in Taiwan, also expressed her gratitude, saying “as long as you want to, you can make many friends (via this program).”

Promising to keep in touch with her 20-30 new friends through Facebook, Shen said she would definitely visit them some time in the near future.

After the press conference, the overseas visitors had a tour of the Presidential Office, which some youths said was a rare opportunity for them as the presidential office in their country is off-limits and cannot even be approached.

A farewell party will be held Wednesday evening, with Premier Wu Den-yih and other government officials scheduled to attend.

The Republic of China International Youth Week Centennial Homestay was also organized by the ROC Centenary Foundation.

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