August 11, 2009
Japan Experience Day 15 - Farewell Everyone!
On our last day, everyone went to the Narita airport at different times to catch their returning flights back to their home countries.
A big thanks goes out to all the teachers and instructors who ran our cultural activities - plus thanks goes out to the volunteer instructors too since we only arranged for one instructor per activity, but it seemed there was always 2 or 3 present who wanted to volunteer their time to make sure the students had a truly once-in-a-life experience.
A big thanks goes out to the host families for opening their homes and hearts to our students. This year especially very strong friendships were made that I predict will be long-lasting for sure.
It's great to report the annual completion questionnaires filled out by the students on the last day was again glowing with positive comments about how worthwhile and special they found the program - 'a dream come true' being mentioned often - plus they provided us with some good suggestions as well.
It's amazing to think how our program relies on so much modern technology, as Seiritsu High School is not 'just up the road by car' from all the students homes. We rely on international banking for collection of fees, international insurance for traveler's insurance, and modern airlines and airports for transportion of students to Japan (not like being shipwrecked in the days of old!). Then there is also the vast high-tech network trains and subways to get us around from host family homes to school to our daily field trip locations, plus there's the international telecommunications industry including the internet to talking to those back home.
Of course there is more that this, but the point here is we can't take for granted all we have access to simply to learn things like difficult origami - anyone remember how to fold Godzilla?!
Just a thought. Here below are some final pictures...
Vincent with his first home stay family the Iwasaki's. The son Ryu had to go on a study camp for our second week, so Vincent stayed with the Hanai's. Ryu hopes to be in the annual 2-week Seiritsu home stay group that goes to Vincent school in Berlin next March.
Chelsea and Vincent hug good-bye, but plans to meet again this time in Germany seemed to already be developing, since there was a German exchange student at Chelsea & Eliza's school last year that they have promised to visit after graduation, some more friends have been made.