2013 Bloomington delegation to Izumi
Dates: Depart June 18, return July 2, 2013.
Who: 10 students and 2 chaperons have been chosen for this trip.
News from 2011 Delegation
(Pictures are posted here)
It was another hot day but gorgeous day. Today was a farewell party held at Iyoyakanosato and organized by the Izumi student delegation. It was a BBQ style lunch and the site (similar to a state park) was surrounded by mountains.
The delegates enjoyed the food and spent some relaxing time with their host families. There is a beautiful creek running through the site and lots of the delegates from both Izumi and Bloomington played and got themselves soaked.
You can see from the photos how much fun they had.
It was a really fun day today. Some student delegates from Izumi who visited Bloomington last year joined us today. The group visited their favorite anime store, strolled through the town of Namba, and sang at the Karaoke. It was a really hot day (about 100 F) and lots of walking.
Despite of the conditions, the delegates enjoyed exploring the town and did lots of shopping.
It was another busy day for the delegates with fun activities and a school visit.
In the morning, the delegation created their own Japanese stamp. They picked a favorite letter or design to engrave. They thought that it was so cool to have their own stamp.
The delegates visited Komyodai Kita Elementary School where the Mayoral delegation visited in October 2010.
The principle, Mr. Fujiwara, invited the group to his office and they had a really good conversation. He gave each delegate a Japanese fude pen (with kanji writing brushes built into the ends), and the delegate really appreciated that gift. They were divided into 3 groups and visited a 5th grade student class and ate lunch together and interacted with the students. They were treated like stars by the school and the students.
The last stop was a Taiko Drum activity. We visited a youth Taiko group there who gave a wonderful performance.
The delegates were so impressed with their performance. Later on, they had an opportunity to play Taiko with the youth members. The students thought that it was more difficult than it looked to follow the instruction and play it right. But they got better as they practiced and it made them feel so proud at the end.
The students experienced rice planting in the morning. A farmer, Mr. Okuno, showed them how to plant and it didn't take too long until they looked like real farmers. Sara Sengpanya commented, "The view was so beautiful at the rice field which was surrounded by mountains. I wish I could do this every day."
After their hard work, the group visited Yokoyama dai-ichi nursery school near by the field. They were welcomed by 11 beautiful children ages 3-5 the students and their teachers.
The children and the delegates sang and danced and had lunch together. It was one of the cutest moments when the children sat on the laps of the delegates for a group photo.
After visiting the school, the group went to Nambu Region Center to make Sushi roll. They made beautiful sushi rolls with designs in them and brought them to their host families as souvenirs.
Today the delegation visited the Satake Glass Factory, Saori Weaving and St. Andrews University.
The group has really been enjoying the art activities. They were happy to make more original hand-made gifts today for them to bring home.
The highlight of the day was to visit St. Andrew's University. The coordinator from the school arranged meetings so the delegates could spend some time with the Japanese and the international students who take a Japanese class there.
Even though it was a rainy day, the group had another wonderful day. The delegates were so happy to make new friends here and hope to keep in touch with them after they return to Bloomington.
Thursday (6/16/11), the delegation visited Ikegami Sone Yayoi Cultural Workshop and the students made their own necklaces there.
According the staff there, this is one of the very rare groups who are so talented to finish the project in such a short time with high quality.
For lunch the group went to Kaiten Sushi; sushi floats on a river by and you pick the ones you like).
After the lunch, we divided into 3 groups and visited high schools in Izumi. Most participated in the Japanese class at each school and interacted with the students there. They got back in the bus with huge smiles and told me how fun it was to talk to them and spend time together doing some activities.
The meeting with Izumi Mayor Tsuji was scheduled after the high school visits. Everybody has been introducing themselves using only Japanese; their Japanese skill has improved so much already.
Finally, Izumi hosted a very nice welcome dinner and the students from last year’s Izumi delegation were there and enjoyed reconnecting with the BSCO delegates.
It was a full first day but the students enjoyed every moment despite the jetlag! Please stop back for further updates and pictures from the delegation. (Thanks to Yukari, the chaperone for the delegation for this and future updates).
Pictures of previous trips are located here.