Before sunrise on Wednesday, 3rd August, Grant Keleher, Colin Bridgman and Star Derrington were at the airport to collect our Japanese guests from Mimasaka City comprising of Katsuta Junior High School, Mimasaka Junior High School, Ohara Junior High School and Sakuto Junior High School as well as their Education Board director.
Without their luggage (which had flown by itself to Hong Kong!), but luckily with their cameras, we visited Glenelg and walked the jetty. A quick stop to buy essentials became a maths lesson on measurement and learning to use the check-out.
At breakfast, more maths lessons were given about money (Thanks Mr Keleher) and great communication by all meant everyone was fed.
Students also bought some warmer clothing and then it was time to hold a koala at Gorge Wildlife Park. The 21 students and 5 Japanese adults also saw and learnt about other wildlife, such as the kangaroo and cassowary.
A warm welcome
On the drive home, we had lunch made by our school canteen (Thanks Terri), and they had a short nap. It was such a wonderful welcome for our guests thanks to our Parents and Friends committee, the school band, staff and especially our host families who were at the Performing Arts Centre on our return.
On Thursday and Friday they joined us for our school lessons. Thank you to Miss Townsend who integrated Japanese and English learning for our students and the Japanese students in your Agriculture lesson.
To our R-8 teachers who had extra students in the class-thank you for making them feel welcome. They a great learning experience and fun too!
On Saturday and Sunday they enjoyed time with their host families, such as sport, sand boarding, bonfires and much more before leaving again before sunrise on Monday.
We packed a lot into five days and it was because of all your help that it was a great success and they all want to come back again!
We'd like to especially thank all the Maitland families who hosted student. Special thanks to:
- Danny and Anna Allen for hosting Yuri Nishikawa and Riko Morimoto;
- Paul and Janine Burrows for hosting Sakura Tsuzuka and Lisa Haruna;
- Luke and Kate Butler for hosting Futa Norimoto and Naritada Kishimoto;
- Angus and Karen Crawford for hosting Hirokazu Iwane and Fumiya Nakao;
- Andrew and Sally Davey for hosting Takuya Sunami and Shinya Kamiura;
- Tim and Naomi Davey for hosting Kyo Takechi;
- Lloyd and Chris Geater-Johnson for hosting Sota Kobayashi and Reon Nagaya;
- Simon and Michelle Geater-Johnson for hosting Haruki Yoshida and Yuya Takimoto;
- James and Linda Heinrich for hosting Norika Fujisawa;
- Sam and Victoria Johns for hosting Ichita Toumei;
- Grant and Adele Keleher for hosting Keidai Nishimoto
- Shannon and Ali Palin for hosting Yuri Watanabe,
- Chris and Kerrie Rowe for hosting Mea Yamamoto and Miu Tanaka.
- Thanks also go to those staff who hosted the adults from the tour:
- Luke and Star Derrington for hosting Maiko Toki and Eriko Kishimoto;
- Mark and Beth Hector for hosting Koji Yamana and Satoshi Haruna,
- Steve and Helyn Southwood for hosting Naoko Urashima.
In 2017, it is our turn for our students to visit Mimasaka City. Hopefully we will have a full contingent to visit Japan and continue this invaluable cultural exchange.