Our first scholarship recipients, Emily and Thea, returned from Shingu on July 26 and have been spending the past two weeks with the incoming student delegation from Japan. These were the youth from the families in Japan that hosted the girls, coming to Santa Cruz as part of an established exchange program with the Shingu subcommittee of the Sister Cities Committee. Clearly, they all became great friends during this exchange! In Santa Cruz, the Japanese students also were able to experience family life in Santa Cruz, hosted by local families (including Emily and Thea’s families), and the Shingu subcommittee members had planned a full schedule of fun experiences for them.
Tonight at the farewell party for the Japanese students, Thea and Emily made a presentation of their scholarship project, which was comparing daily life in Shingu with daily life in Santa Cruz with slideshow and a photo album project.
Emily and Thea got to visit historical shrines, beautiful landmarks, a fan festival, learn about traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and even attend high school with their Japanese friends. They raved about the Japanese food, and both agreed that the best part of the whole trip were the wonderful families that welcomed the two girls into their homes.