Five students and two adults from Summerland’s sister city of Toyokoro, Japan, got the chance to experience a beautiful Okanagan summer last week.
The visitors included students aged 14 and 15 as well as a math teacher and the assistant manager from the Toyokoro Board of Education.
They were each hosted by a Summerland family and were able to experience typical Canadian family life, exposure to English language, new food and Canadian culture.
Sister City chairperson Darlene Forsdick said, “Host families played a major role in making this visit the success it was.”
“They opened their homes and their hearts in making our visitors a part of their families.”
Residents may have noticed the visitors around town and on the beaches as they explored much of what Summerland has to offer.
Activities included a climb to the top of Giant’s Head, a tour of the new RCMP station, a round of golf at Sumac Ridge, a ride on the KVR steam train, visits to Adams Bird Sanctuary and Summerland Sweets, and a round of shopping in Summerland’s downtown.
The visit concluded with a sayonara (farewell) party at Peach Orchard Beach where the delegation honoured those present with a traditional Japanese dance.
At the farewell party, repeat host family parent Shelly Parker said, “Put us down to host again next time. This is such a great experience.”
Visits between Summerland and Toyokoro take place in alternating years with Summerland planning a visit to Japan in September of 2013.
There are already several Summerland names on the list for the next trip.
The Sister City Society is a Committee of the District of Summerland.
Anyone interested in finding out more can visit summerland.ca/residents/SisterCity.aspx.
If you’re interested in applying to host a student two years from now, contact Forsdick at 250-494-9489.