Yesterday we farewelled our friends  from Myojo Gakuen.   After 14 years of visits it still doesn’t get  easy to say goodbye.  We are sure that  they feel the same, back in Tokyo. What a wonderful 10 days we have enjoyed with our 23 Myojo students and 4 staff joining our Woodend community.

We had 23 fantastic host families, with many hosting for the first time. Our host families were very busy over the 10 days taking the students to many places around Adelaide and involving them in a wonderful family life. We know that our families benefit so much too.

Our teachers and classes were once again very welcoming and thoughtful in making our Japanese students feel so included.

While here at Woodend students had a number of fantastic experiences including Harmony Day, a footy and cricket lesson with Mr Hehner, a Central Market visit with the Yr 5/6 and Yr 6 classes, skipping with Mr Z, visiting a junior primary class as well as being part of a class and experiencing day to day events.

The Farewell Assembly is always a wonderful show case of the Myojo students’ talents and this year was no exception. We watched dancers, koma (spinning tops) players, skippers, kendo stars, giant origami experts and a piano player. It was a great assembly and a lovely send off.

After 10 busy days, students and staff headed back to Tokyo Thursday afternoon.  The goodbyes  are always a sad time but shows us that great friendships and bonds have been formed.

We are very grateful to all 23 host families. This year it was great to see the new families join those families who have generously taken part in previous years also. This great program could not happen without the support of all the wonderful host families. arigato~.

Thank you to everyone involved in the homestay program and we look forward to another great experience next year in 2024.