Sunday afternoon, despite the cloudy weather, the sounds of excited children and swooping kites could be heard at Palo Alto's Mitchell Park. The occasion was Kite Day: a kite-flying extravaganza sponsored by the nonprofit Neighbors Aboard.
Barbara Evans, the co-president of the organization and a 50-year Palo Alto
resident, said that the sister-city group was founded for Palo Altans "to make friendships with people in other countries."
To cultivate these friendships, Neighbors Abroad of Palo Alto maintains relations with six sister cities, running exchange programs and other activities.
The purpose of Sunday's kite-flying event, according to Evans, was two-fold.
"We don't think that enough people know what a great organization we are, and people have really reached out to our sister city in Japan, which suffered damage in the recent tsunami. This is kind of a thank you," she said.
The Neighbors Abroad organization raised $13,000 dollar to aid its sister city, Tsuchiura, in refugee assistance, with 120 families donating money.
About 30 people attended Kite Day, which was held from 1 to 5 p.m.
Ritu Das and Pardipta Ghosh brought their family out to the park to participate in the activities. They spoke as their youngsters gleefully ran around in circles brandishing a large kite.
"It is a good neighborhood activity," Das said.
"But we were hoping it would a little more windy," his wife added.
Another participant, Pam Evans, brought her two kids, who appeared to be having a great time.
Pointing to her 7-year-old, she said: "Look at him: He runs these huge laps with this broad grin on his face."
"And they (Neighbors Abroad) do such good work," she said.