Although I was born in Rochester, New York, I will always think of our Sister City Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, as home. It goes beyond cultural exchanges and humantarian projects. The people of Puerto Plata opened their arms and asked no questions. They knew I had chosen a husband from the capital city of Santo Domingo who talks a bit too loudly and becomes quite emotional.

I used to have the turquoise-like stone called larimar as the header image. I thought it resembled the globe and represented my desire to reach out to other cultures,  but one of my international students thought that it looked like a meteorite that would soon hit the Earth.

I suppose that, all blown up, it must have lost its charm. And at first glance, no one would know that larimar was a stone that symbolized the Dominican Republic.

So instead, visitors to the Culture Collage blog will be taken to Puerto Plata as viewed from the sea. My favorite color of turquoise is still on display, and the vastness of the water evokes peace.