Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Springfield Student Delegation in Town

The Springfield student group arrived last weekend and is probably running around town as I write this. Two girls are homestaying with kids from Yamabe, and I met each of them on Monday. It's nice when there are foreign visitors at school because the teachers and students both become much more interested in English. It gives everyone a chance to ask their favorite questions to new victims, like "How many people are in your family?" "Where do you live?" "What Japanese food do you like?" All of the classics that I have become so very accustomed to answering time and again.

Another nice thing about the Springfield group arrivals is we always have nice reception dinners for them at the best hotel in town, the New Miyako Hotel. We listen to lots of welcome speeches and get to eat good food. The meals are 5 or 6 courses long and pretty pricey looking.

The first course was pretty fancy, unfortunately it looked much better than it tasted. Subsequent dishes were much nicer.

It is also a nice chance to meet and chat with many of the international association and school board people that I don't see very often. A special guest at this particular event was the newly elected mayor of Ashikaga, Minoru Omamiuda. He is quite a bit younger than the previous mayor and his English is quite a bit better-he read his whole welcome address in English. Hopefully I will have more time to chat with him in the future. I am interested in city issues but the language barrier is a large one.

The mayor sang some Elvis surprisingly well.


  1. OH... the mayor. I've met him before... His son goes to my school!
    Are you going to the thing on Friday night? I'll be there!

  2. Hehe, what's the mayor's son like? Did his personality change the moment he became all powerful?

  3. I was a part of a sister city delegation when I was in college. Our sister city was an Osaka suburb. It was a great trip.