In the end we came up with thirty-six buddies, (extra to cover for a field trip on Friday), that were eager to share their classes, their lunch break, and the rest of their school day with a new friend from
It's fun to watch the exchanges between the American students and the Japanese students. One girl was laughing as she and her buddy skipped in gym class, (skipping for exercise I didn't say skipped gym class, don't get any ideas.) She smiled as she skipped by and said, "This is fun." A Japanese student named Hikari showed me a bracelet that an American student had given her. The girl was a friend Hikari's host sister, and she had taken the bracelet off her own wrist to give it to Hikari as a momento. I was also touched when I watched one of the Japanese students talking to an American student in a wheelchair and then helping that girl clear her tray. Simple generosity--something that both the American students and Japanese students have shown throughout this visit.
The comments I've heard from the Japanese students are great. "Chinook is big", "lunch is big", (sensing a trend with the big thing here), and often, "students are nice".
Despite the language barrier, missed buses, and a bee sting, it’s been a good experience for both the students at Chinook and the Japanese kids.
We're grateful to the students at Chinook for sharing their school days with our Japanese students.
I'd like to hear some of your stories. How has it been to be a host buddy? What have you learned? If you could be an exchange student in any country for a week, where would you go?