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From Siberia to the Newport Folk Festival

Denis Shchepotin at the Newport Folk Festival
Denis at the Festival

Denis Shchepotin from Russia saved two years in hopes of getting to the Newport Folk Festival in 2007.  He first made a tentative booking at the Newport International Hostel in April, 2007, in hopes of getting a visa for the USA later in the year.  

Finally the good news came a few weeks before the big date.  Denis obtained his visa!  Success came when he told the American officials he needed the visa in order to attend the Newport Folk Festival.  One asked him who Arlo Guthrie is.  He responded by singing “This Land is Your Land” by Arlo’s father, Woody Guthrie, in Russian.

Richard Jordan helped Denis
Thanks, Richard

On arrival in Newport he had to figure out how he was going to afford the somewhat pricey tickets to the weekend event, since similar festivals in Russia are much less expensive.  Fortunately his American roommate at the Newport International Hostel, Richard Jordan, knew the festival organizers.  He arranged complimentary admission for Denis into the Friday evening opening concert and both day-long events of the festival.  Denis said the festival was everything he hoped it would be.  He especially liked the fiddlers and banjo players. Three cheers to our guest Richard Jordan for helping a most adventurous traveler from a distant shore.     

Denis left Newport after the weekend excited to discover Boston and Washington, DC, over the next couple of weeks before he had to return to his homeland. 

Denis is 25 years old, lives with his Mother and Father in Siberia, and is a State employment service officer.

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Later I found the following comments from Denis and Richard in the hostel guest book:

“Dreams come true and thanks to you and thanks to all good people I met in the USA one of my dreams came true really.  I will never forget it.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm welcome.  Thank you for everything you’ve done for me!  I wish you good luck!”  Denis Shchepotin

“Really a great adventure sharing a room with Denis Shchepotin from Siberia.  The guesthouse is just great!  Look forward to future visits and more conversations with international guests.  With many thanks!”  Richard Jordan

--Written by Merrilee Zellner, Manager

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This is the story of the visit of one of the many international guests who pass through the doors of the Newport International Hostel.  Come be our guest sometime and share in the joy! 

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