Early in the summer, Sebastopol was graced with a visitor from our sister city in Japan, Yuka Yamada from Takeo City. The Yamadas hosted a guest from Sebastopol 8 years ago as part of our middle school exchange and have been deeply involved in Takeo World Friends ever since. After that first hosting, Yuka came to Sebastopol on a private trip many years ago. This summer SWF was pleased to help her facilitate another trip, and we caught up with her at the end of her month in Sebastopol to find out what her impressions were upon returning. Her responses are translated below:
SWF: You came to Sebastopol in 2008 — what was it like for you this time? Any differences you notice?
Yuka: What struck me the most during this trip was how close we can be despite the physical distance. We live so far apart but we are such close friends!
SWF: What are some of the highlights of your trip this time?
Yuka: The highlight of the stay was a trip to Yosemite. I was moved by the magnitude of the nature that we don’t get to see in Japan. I also enjoyed ‘hanging out’ with my host families. This visit would not have been possible without everybody’s support. I appreciate your hospitality and the special connections I was able to make with people in Sebastopol. I look forward to continuing to help the program as a member of Takeo World Friends!
Thank you for coming to visit us, Yuka! We are so glad you enjoyed your time here and look forward to the next chapter.