Community Papers

Castlegar city council hears from students back from Japan trip

Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff receives presents from Castlegar
Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff receives presents from Castlegar's sister city Embetsu, via students (from left) Kyra Gedig, Dante Enewold-Deary, Kyle Stetsko-Kallin, Cody Sloot, and Victoria Apostoliuk who went to the Japanese city in July.
— image credit: Craig Lindsay

Five Stanley Humphries students, who recently went on a exchange to Embetsu Japan, were at Castlegar City Council on Monday reporting on their trips. The student delegation consisted of Kyra Gedig, Victoria Apostoliuk, Cody Sloot, Dante Enewold-Deary, and Kyle Stetsko-Kallin.

The students left July 11 and spent two weeks exploring Japan.  For one week they were hosted by Japanese families in Castlegar's sister city of Embetsu. In addition, the students had  a chance to visit  the fascinating cities of Sapporo, Kamakura, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Tokyo.

The five students prepared for their trip by attending special language sessions with Japanese students in Selkirk College's ESL program.  In addition, they had completed seven, two-hour orientation sessions working with Yuri Kutschera.

The students had a chance to tell about their trip at the September 17 council meeting. Kyra Gedig felt she was part of the family when staying with her host buddy. Cody Sloot commented, "You haven't tasted Japanese food until you've had Japanese food in Japan." Kyle Kailin stated, "The buildings were pretty much the same but the toilets were the coolest. The toilets had sprays, heated seats, power adjust and an armrest control panel."

All the students presented their written reports about Japan to the council. In Victoria Apostoliuk's report, she wrote about visiting the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Museum and learning about this "horrific tragedy." While Dante Enewold-Deary wrote about  learning Kendo. "Kendo was lots of fun (you get to whack people with bamboo sticks) and also a little scary (there are people hitting you with bamboo sticks)."

The students presented a gift from the town of Embetsu which was a set of beautiful Japanese cups. They expressed their thanks to the City of Castlegar for its support of the program, Mr. Shikano (who is now deceased but helped establish the exchange) as well as thanking their group leaders Maria Burton and Yuri Kutschera for taking them to Japan.

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