Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Susan Monteleone

THE “UPDATED” BLIEFERNICH family includes, from the left, Matthew, Robert, Suvd Ganbold, Oyuna Myagmar and Carol (and Snickers the family cat, in the middle of it all).

New Family, New Life
For the Bliefernichs

By Susan Monteleone
HIGHLAND LAKE — November 26, 2004 – Carol and Bob Bliefernich raised three boys in their ranch home in Highland Lake and set them free to attend various colleges and to find their lives’ loves.
The house was empty, and the Bliefernichs knew it was likely to stay that way.
The Bliefernichs soon realized what was missing: daughters! But by that time, starting another family was not in the cards.
Instead, the Bliefernichs became involved in a program known as People to People. They became sponsors of two young teenage girls from Mongolia . . . and today they could not be happier.
Carol Bliefernich explained, "Our son Daniel received an invitation in his senior year of high school from People to People, and we went to the meeting and really liked it. At that time, they needed leaders to host children that come to America for studies. We were very impressed with the program, and we ended up going on the trip to Japan with the group. When we were there, we were asked to be adult sponsors. We thought about it there, and when we came home in the spring, my husband Bob and I signed up."
The Bliefernichs opened their home to Oyuna Myagmar and Suvd Ganbold from Mongolia, near the Russian border. The girls lived in apartments with their families in the capital city, Ulaan Bator.
"We never had girls, and it is great. Girls are very different from boys, and they sure do like to shop,” said Bob with a grin. “When I went with my boys, [it took] three hours and we were home in time for lunch. I go with the girls, and we are there forever.
“I have to admit that they are a real pleasure to have here, and I wouldn't trade them,” he added. “They have cooked dinners for us, and they just help out, even asking if they are our girls and wanting to be a part of our family always.”
Said Carol, "I just love being in a house with girls – it is great! We love to shop, and it is fun to have them to go with. It was great when we went for homecoming dresses, and the girls tried on many, many dresses and shoes, and I enjoyed it so much. I love the girls.”
The Bliefernichs are currently planning numerous adventures, including a trip to Minnesota.
"We want them to see as much of America as possible and to be a part of so many wonderful things such as plays, movies and just everything," stated Carol.
How do the girls feel about America and the program? Simple: they love it.
Oyuna stated, "I do miss my family and sisters, but I like it here. My family is very happy for me that I have such an opportunity. The school here is not as strict as home, and I like the food here. The students here are great, and I have many friends here. I also like all the shopping and the nature in the area. I love being here with the Bliefernichs – they are great!"
Suvd also likes it in America, although she’s fond of home too.
"My family is very supportive of me. We e-mail back and forth, and I like it here. The school here is great, and the students are friendly. The math is a lot easier here too and I like the surroundings here."
The Bliefernichs’ son, Matthew, added, "I think the People to People program is a great program, and I love the girls. They are great, and it is nice to have sisters."
Both young women would like to attend college in America and are currently seniors at Eldred High School.

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