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Chris and George Phillip Martin in front of Chris' new home which will be the new home of a stranger.

The Martin brothers, George Phillip and Chris, at campfire. Chris will soon be 
leaving for a long time.



Wanting new neighbours for Christmas?
Simmerville Christmas Special - part II, December 21, 2002

Are you curious to learn about other neighbourhoods? With SUN's new Family Exchange program this is possible! Two host neighbourhoods exchange Sims who develop skills and interests and then return home. Pack your stuff and leave your key at home!

Most of us used to believe that a neighbourhood is the same wherever you go. The growing member section at SUN has proven how wrong we were, and starting this Christmas SUN want to give us all a chance to live in other neighbourhoods! You can be next in line for participating to their new SUN Family Exchange program where two Sim households from different neighbourhoods switch addresses for an agreed period, and with a possibility of getting to know each other's friends as well! In addition your neighbourhood will meet a family from another neighbourhood staying in your home.

I met the SUN Core Group member who initiated this all, and who will be the co-ordinator for future exchanges, Mr George Phillip Martin.

- The idea behind the Sun Exchange program is really very simple. It is to strengthen the bonds between Sim neighborhoods. The way I see it, the program is just one of many ways to encourage a relationship between our Sim communities. Any community that wants to participate in the exchange just needs to make their intentions known by having their spokes person contacting me directly or by posting on a SUN bulletin board.

If I get this right, it will not only involve the two Sim households who moves to another neighbourhood?

- The participating neighbourhoods will be host neighbourhoods because they will be extending their hospitality to a Sim from another community. The two neighbourhoods will also grow closer as a result of the program because the two neighbourhoods will be interested in the progress of their exchange Sims. The two neighbourhoods would provide every opportunity for their exchangee to grow and develop while he/she is there. 

The Sim when he is ready to return will definitely be different than when he left because of his life in the host community. And the hope of the exchange program is that their experiences in the host neighborhoods will enrich their communities not only when they return, but through the information generated during the exchange between the host neighborhoods.

How did you come up with this idea?

- Well, Sims migrating to other communities is a well established fact in Sim history. I guess that is the basis for the Family Exchange idea, which also owes to Simbille Ballong because through our discussions I saw that to be the genesis of something entirely new. An exchange for a limited time. Sims enriched by their experience in an exchange neighborhood returning home to contribute to their home with a renewed vigor. We will be breaking new ground. It will be a first. Born of the contact between two neighborhood spokespersons for SUN. A SUN family exchange program. Where two communities can not only enrich each other thru their contact, but the whole SUN community thru their contact by their news events and reports on the exchange. Who knows what greater ideas may be contributed by future host neighborhoods.

What would you say is the greatest advantage for anyone joining the Exchange program?

- I think the greatest plus will be the contact between the host neighborhoods involved and the entire SUN community. They will gain a Sim from another community who will enrich their own neighborhood. And when their exchange period is over, they will gain a Sim enriched by all s/he has experienced in another neighborhood. The Sim in the exchange program will learn new skills and develop new interests and have a rich experience which s/he will bring home to her/his community when returning. The exchange Sim may bring home a wife and family, who knows?

I have volunteered to write a newsletter about the progress of the exchange Sims in their host neighborhoods. I know all the host neighborhoods will want to know what is going on with their friends and family while they are gone into the host neighborhood. That is a plus because it will bring the communities closer together in a common interest.

Has anyone signed up yet? If so, who are the first 2 households to 
switch homes?

- My brother Christopher Martin who lives in Simmerset is the first to sign up. We are still waiting for another host family to accept him. Whatever neighborhood he goes to, Simmerset will accept a family from that neighbourhood. That is the way the exchange will work. These host neighborhoods will be breaking new ground and starting something new in Simmish history.

If I want to switch home and neighbourhood for about 3 months, how would I apply?

- Your neighborhood spokesman will post on the SUN board or contact me directly, see the SUN main page. Your community will already have decided on a Sim to exchange, or maybe you just want more info. I believe in our new program and I am willing to facilitate any exchange. Just contact me and I will be happy to discuss any concerns and details on the exchange.

When accepted, could I influence on the progress? Such as a minimum style and size for my new home, and a certain class or interests from those moving into my cool home while I'm away?

- Your neighborhood exchange committee would accept the Sim from the neighborhood you are moving into. You will already know who will be moving into your home before you leave. It would be up to your neighborhood whether they are accepted or not. Just because they may not seem compatible to you at the time makes no difference because they will be living their own lives as an exchange Sim. They will be living in your home, building skills, reading magazines to enlarge their interests.

Could I ask them not to put up new (and probably less trendy) wallpapers in my base home? Could I risk that my old home was to be totally rebuilt while I'm gone?

- The neighborhood exchange committee will be in full charge of your 
home while you are gone. Nothing can be done to your home without 
their consent. They will oversee your home while you are away. So you will not have to fear that your home would be changed unless you gave 
your express permission to your exchange committee before you left.

Say I would like to join the Exchange, but my house mate doesn't want to. Could I still join?

- Yes, but it will be easier if the household wants to participate. 
My brother, Christopher, was hell bent on participating and he finally 
managed with the help of the community to move into a house of his own. His new home will also serve as the host home for a Sim/family while he 
is gone.

What would happen to my existing friends, will I need to rebuild my local contacts when returning back home?

- Well you know how it is. If you just stayed at home and did what 
you wanted without calling any friends your relationships would diminish. The same thing will happen to you after the exchange. You will have been gone. But when you return, neighbors will come to greet you as you will hold a special place in Sim history, and you will build your friendships back again. Because it is far easier for us remain at home with our friends and family than to risk it all and take a chance, it really takes something special inside a Sim's heart to volunteer.

In time, this may become a common event, with SUN's co-ordination not even being necessary, but now it is something totally new to the Sim community. And with all new things it might be viewed with some 
fear and trepidation.

Can you guarantee that I would be able to return to the neighbourhood that I came from? Or the opposite; if I like it very much and want to stay in my new neighbourhood, but the family I switched with want to return, how would that be solved?

- It would be an agreement between the two host neighbourhoods that you will return. If circumstances involve you in the life of your host community so much that you feel you want to stay you will need to petition your former to stay. Remember they will be hosting a Sim from your community also.

Have you visited many different neighbourhoods yourself?

- No I have not. But this becomes of increasing interest to me. The possibility of spending time in another community. Getting to learn from their customs and bringing it all back home. I imagine if this will be what I want I will need to resign as the Simmerset spokesperson and take up a growing dream. But I hope that I will get to stay for the time being and help with the SUN exchange program. Maybe after the exchange gets on its feet I may want to participate myself.

Merry Christmas, Mr Martin, and best wishes for the new year and the SUN Family Exchange program.

- Thank you, and Merry Christmas to all!