On Friday July 2nd the Kyoto Gakuen students arrived at Johansen High School in Modesto for a three week summer school program. This kicks off the new year of the exchange that will culminate in April when the Modesto students travel to Kyoto.
The great thing about his exchange program is that people continue to participate. Here are three students who went to Kyoto this past April waiting for the students they are hosting this summer.
Here is Chris Flesuras (red hat) and his daughter (peace signs) waiting for Nick Flesuras and his students to arrive. Chris started this exchange program over 20 years ago. Both of his sons went on the exchange as students and have since moved to Kyoto to teach at Kyoto Gakuen. Chris Flesuras III (his son) recently moved from Kyoto to Australia to take over the management of the Skoolaborate project. Ann Flesuras was out of the camera field also waiting anxiously for her son to arrive.
The bus arrived a little late due to all the traffic. This was the Friday before the 4th of July, and a lot of people pour out of the Bay Area and head for the hills for the long weekend.
This time the families were really getting into the spirit with welcoming signs and American flags to greet their exchange students./
Here’s Scott Kuykendall (Director, ROP, left) and Nick Flesuras (Kyoto Teacher) watching as the students get off the bus.
The students looked beat. Not only had they travelled on the long 9 hour flight to San Francisco from Osaka, and taken the train from Kyoto to Osaka, they had also spent the afternoon in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Warf. They had a lot of luggage and their host families were more than happy to help them out.
These two girls were extremely excited when they found out that the family that was hosting them just welcomed a new baby into the house (the Japanese girl on the right is looking down at the new baby that the father is holding in a carrier that is out of the picture).
All of the families took pictures with their students before heading out to take them home.
Classes start on Monday. All of the visiting students should be getting the full Fourth of July experience this weekend with their host families. One of the parents had gotten a stack of Modesto Nuts Baseball tickets and were handing them out at the bus stop to any families who wanted them. It should be fun for all. And with classes starting in the afternoon, the students can sleep in after the fireworks Sunday night.