Editorís note: Register-Pajaronian reporter Todd Guild is traveling with the Watsonville Sister City Exchange program to Kawakami, Japan. This is his final installment.
KAWAKAMI, Japan ó It was the journey of a lifetime.
At the beginning of their nine-day trip to Japan, the 15 students and four chaperones from the Watsonville-Kawakami Sister City exchange program were apprehensive, unsure what awaited them when their plane landed.
During the journey from Tokyo to Kawakami, a small village of about 5,000 people, the students were clearly nervous, many not knowing what to expect. Would they be able to communicate? Would they find a place within the fabric of their host families?
But the nervousness was unfounded. We were warmly welcomed form the moment we arrived at Kawakami Junior High School with a school-wide ceremony and a dinner.
But even then, as we ate that first somewhat awkward communal meal at the school, the question remained: how to live in a house when we donít share a common language with our hosts?
Again, our worries were for naught. It quickly became evident that what we have in common far outweighs the dissimilarities, and more importantly that our differences can often bring together the most disparate groups of people.
For the complete article see the 05-19-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-19-2012 paper.
Share on Facebook