The time is quickly approaching for our trip to Kyoto. After many challenges and delays, we are finally going to go. We were originally scheduled to go on April 5th. The US State Department lifted their travel ban on April 1st, but we needed to wait for things to settle down in Japan. We did not want to impose or be a burden on our host families. We will now be experiencing Kyoto in the Summer. No blossoms this time, and a lot of heat and humidity. It should be a whole new experience.
We only have about half of the students we started out with back before Christmas. We had a lot of seniors who already had travel plans for post-graduation life. It’s all good. With a smaller group we will be able to cover more ground, get in and out of places, and in general have an easier and more enjoyable trip. And amazingly enough, we’ve got a balanced group of male and female students, and a School Board Member and her family traveling with us. This should be a very memorable trip.
We have two weekends this year in Kyoto. The adults and my son Mark are planning on going to both Tokyo and Hiroshima on the bullet train (separate days of course).
We will post daily blog updates during the trip. We will be going to a lot of new places this time, even a flea market as one of the temples that happens every month on a certain day.
The students from Kyoto Gakuen will be following us back only four days after we return for a three week summer program in Modesto. This year in addition to their multimedia afternoon class, they will be getting a morning ESL (English as a Second Language) class. This class is the first tangible result of a partnership between CSU Stanislaus, Modesto City Schools, and Kyoto Gakuen. The class will be taught by three graduates from CSU Stanislaus, and there will be twelve grad students supporting both the morning and afternoon classes for credit in their TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program. Many positive things are to come from this partnership for all involved. This is only the beginning.