WILDE LAKE High School junior Suzanne Bailey is packing her bags and saying goodbye to her friends.
The Clary's Forest resident leaves tomorrow for Chile, where she will spend a semester immersed in South American language and culture.
A candidate for the National Honor Society, Suzanne plans a career in international business. And being fluent in a second language, she says, "will open more doors for me."
Last summer, Suzanne traveled to Tres Cantos, Spain, as part of the Columbia Association Sister Cities Program. She stayed with a Spanish family for over two weeks.
Later in the summer, a member of her host family visited Columbia.
"I loved it," Suzanne says. "It was really different."
Still, after five years of studying Spanish in school and last summer's trip, she felt she was not fluent in the language -- and decided to immerse herself in it.
Jeannette Stanko, a Spanish teacher at Wilde Lake, helped Suzanne find an exchange program through the American Field Service, a nonprofit agency that provides intercultural home stays for teen-agers in more than 60 countries.
Stanko has been active with the AFS since she was in high school.
Suzanne chose Chile because she had studied its history and culture in her Spanish classes. She had also talked with a Chilean student who attended Wilde Lake last year.
Suzanne will be staying with a family in Vina del Mar, a resort outside Santiago.
Since Chile is in the Southern Hemisphere, she will arrive at the beginning of the fall semester.
En route, Suzanne plans to spend two days in Miami attending American Field Service workshops on Chilean culture.
She will travel in Chile with other AFS students.
She is scheduled to return home July 31.
Gardeners offer aid
Homeowners in Columbia can volunteer to be paired with a master gardener -- who will provide free on-site advice about managing their property.
The new program, called the "Bay-Wise Landscape Management Demonstration Program," is being developed by the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.
The goal of the program is to reduce pollutants entering the Chesapeake Bay from residential properties.
"We're trying to find new ways to educate, to go out to the people," said Georgia Eacker, master gardener coordinator.
Eacker will give a presentation on the program at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Linden Hall.
Homeowners in the villages of west Columbia -- Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice, Town Center, Hickory Ridge, Dorsey's Search and River Hill -- are invited.
Eacker held a similar meeting for residents of the east Columbia villages last month.
Topics to be discussed include fertilizers, lawn mowing, erosion control, soil testing, composting and pest management.
For information, call Eacker at 313-2707.
Local art on exhibit
Paintings by eight west Columbia artists are included in a multimedia exhibit on display at the Slayton House Gallery through March 1.
The show features works by members of the Howard County Art Guild.
Wilde Lake resident Nancy Di Tullo has two watercolors on display: "Nick and Pals" and "Beefeater."
Leonard Blumberg of Dorsey's Search is showing an oil painting titled, "Old Mill."
Six Harper's Choice residents are represented. Ralph W. Blevins' oil painting, "Pike's Peak from the Garden of the Gods," and Gloria Fitelson's watercolor, "Searching" are on display.
Pam Mitchell is showing her watercolor, "Bride's Centerpiece."
Nancy Shields' "Canadian Moose," an oil painting, is also included.
Watercolor painting is a family hobby at the Morris home; Cyril Morris' "Inkpot" and Mary Morris' "Bay Terns" are in the show.
For information and gallery hours, call 730-3987.
Students play solos
Three music students at Swansfield Elementary School played violin solos during the Winter String Orchestra Concert held recently at the school.
Fourth-grader Alex Brown played Weber's "Hunter's Chorus."
Jeff Chen, a fifth-grader, performed Handel's "Bourree."
And fourth-grader Katherine Thompson played Bach's "Gavotte."
Pub Date: 2/12/97