After almost two weeks of traveling with the delegates from Toyokoro, I am now back home, safe and sound.
I think one of the most shocking differences between Hokkaido and Summerland is the amount of trees that have changed colour here.
It was interesting being in my hometown with a group of tourists. I got to see and tour things I’ve never seen or ever thought I’d see, like the police station.
We arrived in Summerland on Oct. 6 and left on Oct. 10, so it was a short trip.
After the visit to Summerland, we had three days planned in Seattle.
Over the three full days in Summerland we saw many different things in the community.
We saw everything from The Summerland Farmers Market, to the My Chocolate Crush factory, to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain.
It was a jam-packed visit, but we saw so many interesting things.
One of the days we headed down to Kinsmen Park for an unveiling of a bench.
The Summerland Sister City donated a bench dedicated to Toyokoro, and the Town of Summerland donated the garden surrounding it.
It is in such a beautiful area, and all of the delegates were very touched by it.
The mayor of Toyokoro even mentioned it looked like a place where young people in love would go – a symbol of the close relationship between the sister cities.
Outside of the Dr. Andrew Pavilion Care Home, there’s a Toro Lantern.
While we were there, it was rededicated to the Japanese citizens, and the mayor of Toyokoro, along with Summerland Japanese residents planted a tree beside it.
Lastly, on our last night in Summerland, we had a huge farewell party.
We had a Thanksgiving feast. It was the first time eating turkey for most of the delegation. Citizens of Summerland provided the entertainment.
It was an amazing night, and everyone in the delegation was so happy to be there.
Seattle was a first for everyone. I had only been there a couple times, but since it was just in an airport and hotel, I couldn’t really say I’d been there.
Seattle was a very relaxed part of the trip, with very few things planned to allow people to do their own thing. But we still saw many things together – the Space Needle, Pike’s Market, Boeing Airplane Factory and quite a few other things.
My favourite day in Seattle was our last day. We had almost the whole morning and afternoon to do what we like, and in the evening we went to a cabaret dinner theatre called Teatro Zinzanni.
It was absolutely amazing. Since most of it was acrobatics and dancing everyone could enjoy it!
In two weeks we traveled across the Pacific Ocean and back, and made many great memories with the citizens of Summerland. Thank you to everyone involved – all of the host families and citizens of Summerland.
Also, a huge thanks to the Summerland Sister City and the Town of Summerland for all of the planning, and preparation.
Japanese proverb – akuin akka – Sow evil reap evil. Thanks for reading.
Anna Marshall is in Summerland’s sister city of Toyokoro, Japan as the assistant English teacher.