Kids connect a community
Dozens of children from the Kamenica/Kamenice municipality rode off on bicycles to start of a day of events with U.S. Soldiers from Multinational Battle Group East, Nov. 7.
Children from three ethnic groups peddle toward the finish of their bike 20 km bike ride Saturday Nov. 6. The Civil and Military Operations office for Multinational Battle Group East and the Liaison Monitoring team for MNBG E planned the days events in coordination with the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: Children from three ethnic groups peddle toward the finish of their bike 20 km bike ride Saturday Nov. 6. The Civil and Military Operations office for Multinational Battle Group East and the Liaison M
Photo 1 of 5: Children from three ethnic groups peddle toward the finish of their bike 20 km bike ride Saturday Nov. 6. The Civil and Military Operations office for Multinational Battle Group East and the Liaison Monitoring team for MNBG E planned the days events in coordination with the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado brought two children up on stage to help him instruct the Zumba class held at the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. This was the second municipality that Rivera-Maldonado has given a Zumba class in. His Plan is to visit all of the municipalities within MNBG E area of operation.
5 photos: Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado brought two children up on stage to help him instruct the Zumba class held at the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice.
Photo 2 of 5: Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado brought two children up on stage to help him instruct the Zumba class held at the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. This was the second municipality that Rivera-Maldonado has given a Zumba class in. His Plan is to visit all of the municipalities within MNBG E area of operation. Download full-resolution version
Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza, Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk non-commissioned officer, Multinational Battle Group East, leads the pack of bike riding children throughout the municipality of Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. Halfway through the bike ride the children from Kamenica/Kamenice were met by their counterparts from Serbia to finish the ride. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza, Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk non-commissioned officer, Multinational Battle Group East, leads the pack of bike riding children throughout th
Photo 3 of 5: Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza, Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk non-commissioned officer, Multinational Battle Group East, leads the pack of bike riding children throughout the municipality of Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. Halfway through the bike ride the children from Kamenica/Kamenice were met by their counterparts from Serbia to finish the ride. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
Master Sgt. Baez-Hernandez, Caguas, Puerto Rico, assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of personnel, Multinational Battle Group East, and Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza , Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk NCO, MNBG E, go for a 20 km bike ride with children from the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. The bike ride started the day of events that brought children from Kosovo and Serbia together through fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: Master Sgt. Baez-Hernandez, Caguas, Puerto Rico, assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of personnel, Multinational Battle Group East, and Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza , Puerto Rico, t
Photo 4 of 5: Master Sgt. Baez-Hernandez, Caguas, Puerto Rico, assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of personnel, Multinational Battle Group East, and Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza , Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk NCO, MNBG E, go for a 20 km bike ride with children from the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. The bike ride started the day of events that brought children from Kosovo and Serbia together through fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
Three ethnic Albanian girls from Kamenica/Kamenice performed a traditional dance for their peers and the Multinational Battle Group East Soldiers who took part in the dayyyâÂs events Saturday Nov. 6. Directly following the ethnic dances, Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado, Coamo, Puerto Rico, personnel service clerk, Task Force Falcon, MNBG E, taught a Zumba class in for the children. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: Three ethnic Albanian girls from Kamenica/Kamenice performed a traditional dance for their peers and the Multinational Battle Group East Soldiers who took part in the dayyyâÂs events Saturday Nov. 6.
Photo 5 of 5: Three ethnic Albanian girls from Kamenica/Kamenice performed a traditional dance for their peers and the Multinational Battle Group East Soldiers who took part in the dayyyâÂs events Saturday Nov. 6. Directly following the ethnic dances, Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado, Coamo, Puerto Rico, personnel service clerk, Task Force Falcon, MNBG E, taught a Zumba class in for the children. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
Children from three ethnic groups peddle toward the finish of their bike 20 km bike ride Saturday Nov. 6. The Civil and Military Operations office for Multinational Battle Group East and the Liaison Monitoring team for MNBG E planned the days events in coordination with the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado brought two children up on stage to help him instruct the Zumba class held at the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. This was the second municipality that Rivera-Maldonado has given a Zumba class in. His Plan is to visit all of the municipalities within MNBG E area of operation.
Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza, Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk non-commissioned officer, Multinational Battle Group East, leads the pack of bike riding children throughout the municipality of Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. Halfway through the bike ride the children from Kamenica/Kamenice were met by their counterparts from Serbia to finish the ride. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
Master Sgt. Baez-Hernandez, Caguas, Puerto Rico, assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of personnel, Multinational Battle Group East, and Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza , Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk NCO, MNBG E, go for a 20 km bike ride with children from the Youth Center in Kamenica/Kamenice Saturday Nov. 6. The bike ride started the day of events that brought children from Kosovo and Serbia together through fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
Three ethnic Albanian girls from Kamenica/Kamenice performed a traditional dance for their peers and the Multinational Battle Group East Soldiers who took part in the dayyyâÂs events Saturday Nov. 6. Directly following the ethnic dances, Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado, Coamo, Puerto Rico, personnel service clerk, Task Force Falcon, MNBG E, taught a Zumba class in for the children. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sarah A. Cummings, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

KAMENICA/KAMENICE, Kosovo – Dozens of children from the Kamenica/Kamenice municipality rode off on bicycles to start of a day of events with U.S. Soldiers from Multinational Battle Group East, Nov. 7.

Two Puerto Rico National Guard Soldiers accompanied the kids on a 20-kilometer bike ride through Kamenica/Kamenice. About halfway through the course, the riders were joined by another group when they met near the Kosovo/ Serbia Administrative Boundary Line; kids from Serbia joined the ride. The multiethnic group of riders included Kosovo-Albanian, Kosovo-Serbian, Kosovo-Roma and Serbian teens and children with their U.S. hosts.

The day of activities included a Zumba class that helped in introducing different cultures into the children’s lives.

The Civil and Military Operations office worked hand and hand with the Liaison Monitory Team from the area to set up the day’s events.

“We have kids here from three different ethnic groups,” said Master Sgt. Richard Vilar-Rivera, Gurabo, Puerto Rico, CMO non-commissioned officer in charge, MNBG E, “Roma, Albanian and Serbian.”

“The activity helped them to forget about their differences for a while and help them integrate as one society,” said Staff Sgt. Otoniel Rivera-Perez, Loiza, Puerto Rico, training and operations battle desk non-commissioned officer, MNBG E.

“A few weeks ago, I was in the gym, and I heard master sergeant Vilar talking about the bike ride,” said Rivera-Perez. Rivera-Perez, an avid cyclist, brought his bicycle and riding uniform with him to Kosovo, and was pleased to participate in the event, he said.

One of the goals of the day’s activities was to improve the health and fitness of the children in Kosovo, said Rivera-Perez. The bike ride was a way for them to excersize and to have fun, and so was the Zumba® class that followed.
Spc. Emilio Rivera-Maldonado, Coamo, Puerto Rico, personnel service clerk, Task Force Falcon, MNBG E, conducted a Zumba class at the Youth Center where he encouraged everyone to have fun, dance and work out.

“I want to leave a part of me and my culture with these people,” said Rivera-Maldonado, who sees his classes as his way of giving to the communities. “They are learning music, dance, and doing exercise,” he said.

Even though at first they may not get the steps, the kids are always smiling and trying, said Rivera-Maldonado.

“We are trying to make a difference in these kids’ lives, we are trying to bring them together,” said Rivera-Maldonado. “And we are doing it a little different than previous rotations.”

“They enjoyed the activity as one big family,” said Rivera-Perez. 

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