From John Farrell
March 2009
March 24, 2009

Greetings Friends,

As the plane touched down on the runway in Kiev Sunday we were greeted by snowflakes in the air. This long winter is hanging on into the first week of spring. Hopefully the crocuses will soon be up at and we’ll be watching the world turn green once again. It’s been a great winter if you love winter and a stubborn, long one if you don’t. I like winter but the time has come. I’m writing this newsletter in the middle of a two week trip to Europe. This is the first time I’ve done this but the comfort of my host’s home and the convenience of the laptop make it possible. I was in Bucharest, Romania for three days attending the CEESA conference. I can’t say that I saw much of Bucharest but I did meet some wonderful teachers and administrators at the conference and I hope I’ll get to return to do some sightseeing and visiting. My schedule on this trip is a tight one – 3 nights in Bucharest, 3 nights in Kiev, 3 nights in Budapest, 2 nights back in Kiev, another night in Bucharest and then Home, Sweet Home. Good thing I like to fly and hang around airports. The only difficult part is being away from home. The teachers, parents, students and schools I’m visiting all enrich my travels with their kindness and appreciation.

The “Bridges of Peace and Hope” project is making strides and reaching out to new sites. On this trip we have added about 30 teachers in more than 6 new countries. It’s very exciting. There will be detailed updates on that at the new web site before the end of the school year. Thanks to everyone helping, especially Michael Palmer and Christina Taylor in Kiev, Joe Giulietti and Conway Chewning in Budapest, and Mary Jain, Darlene, Carol, Tom, Ken, Lorraine, Gael, Ray, Maureen, Meg, Kofi, Craig and Gabby, and Ann Marie back at home.

Fundraising Offer for Next Years School Bookings

Like all of you, we are looking for ways to move forward in changing times. Thanks to Mary Jain’s hard work we continue to explore new working relationships and opportunities. In this tougher economic environment we are hoping we can help some of you raise funds for your cultural arts programming. If any of you would like to consider CD and book sales as a fundraiser we are offering a deep discount on CD’s and books. We can discount CD’s by 40% and books by 25%. Please call Mary Jain at 607-965-8983 if you’d like to discuss this.

New Songbooks Nearing Completion

Lorraine Cich has finished the sheet music for one complete songbook and has many songs done for the others we are working on. The songbook series will be called “Building Bridges.” The first book will focus on Character Education. Future books will include “Nature and Science Songs” and “Bridges Around the World.”

Two of My CD’s are now on Amazon and I Tunes

The songs on the CD’s “Oh Yeah!” and “Season of Light, Hope, and Peace” can now be downloaded at I Tunes and

Stargazer’s Alphabet and Dear Child both Nominated for Charlotte Awards

Both of my newest picture books have been nominated to receive the New York State Reading Association’s 2009 Charlotte Award. Thanks to Kent Brown, Boyd’s Mills Press and NYSRA.

Our family is well. Read Katie’s blog if you’re interested in accounts of her Peace Corps service in Cameroon. I have started a new blog to report on Bridges of Peace and Hope updates. It is Please check it out if you want to know what’s new. There is lots of news coming.

Hope you have a healthy spring filled with family, stories, music and new beginnings.

All the Best,


2008 Hope River Music
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