Professional & cultural exchange program for social workers and youth workers

Council of International Fellowship-United States of America

Hiram Ruiz

CIF USA member Hiram Ruiz participated in the 2015 Turkey program, spending three weeks in Ankara and Istanbul. He met and shared great experiences with CIF members and visited a number of social service programs, particularly those serving refugees (Hiram's area of work).

Hiram's first hosts in Ankara were Melis Sedef Kahraman and her husband Mehmet, with whom he has become good friends. When Hiram learned that Melis was coming to the USA to participate in the CIP program in Ohio, he invited her to visit him in Miami. The two had a great reunion in Miami, of course visiting South Beach, as well as Little Havana, and other diverse Miami neighborhoods.
Melis had been introduced to Cuban food when Hiram prepared a Cuban meal for her family and friends in Ankara, and in Miami they enjoyed a number of Cuban meals, both home-cooked and in restaurants. Hiram and Melis were very glad to renew the friendship that began in Turkey and look forward to hopefully meeting up again at the 2017 CIF International Conference in Greece.

In the meantime, Hiram has also been visiting CIF Netherlands president Mieke Weeda, a close friend for more than 30 years. They are also traveling to the Blatics, where they plan to meet up with other CIF colleagues