2010 delegate Miku has sent us a update~!

"Since we got here, we got to meet Mayor Cheryl Cox、visited the police station、fire station、library and more.
The days are packed^^"

Hearing those words reminded me of my delegation's experience in Chula Vista。
Ah, a picture of us in front of the fire station、


We were surprised by the number of Manga in the library!

Why did they choose the Kanji character for "congratulations" and "long life?" lol (笑)

Miku uploaded some pics for us^^

This is the fire station trip。
They got to try on real fireman's outfits it seems。
Gabe's got the right body for this one. It suits him!(笑)

Chris is wearing a bullet-proof vest。


Lookin' good, huh?

This is where they met the Chula Vista mayor CherylCox。


Young people learning to play the Japanese taiko drum。

Actually, I've never done that before。


But it looks like fun!

Seems they've had a lot of fun despite the heat(゚Д゚)

Speaking of heat, Chula Vista is in a very dry and hot part of California.
Sometimes because of that, wildfires break out around there。

Unimaginable in very humid Japan, right?

Incidentally, San Diego County, California averages about 20 degree temperatures。
It may still get a little chilly, sometimes。
Must be a very comfortable place to live, though!
I really want go there! Tomorrow, even!^^

No time nor money, though!(゚Д゚)

That was the recent reportpart1!

Sadly, the Odawara-Chula Vista Exchange is drawing nearer to the conclusion!
The final event in Japan!

We are sending off the delegates from both sides, who shared two weeks together in Odawara, to Chula Vista for two more weeks.
It's the「Sayonara Party」!(≧▽≦)♪

The Vice Mayor of Odawara, City Hall staff members, host families were there.
Others including those of us in OIFA (Odawara International Friendship Association) were also in attendance.

It's the Sayonara Party!Everyone gather 'round!★
・・・excuse me. I got a little excited...w(笑)


From Odawara city、「Sister City Friendship Ambassador Certificate」and「memento」presentation。↓


Carefully watching over the youth。↓

The very sentimental「Host Family Remarks」touched our hearts。


These past two weeks, the host families and the Chula vista delegates shared so much.

For some host families, it was their first time hosting, others showed their initial anxiety over hosting guests over 21...(((( ;°Д°))))

Those worries, however, were gradually replaced with big smiles by the time spent these past two weeks.^^♪

・・・・Such friendly Chula Vista delegates, did you feel like part of the family?

・・・・Through this exchange, sharing culture and communication, did you get a deeper understanding of each other?

Only two weeks, but memories and experiences were made here that will last a lifetime.
That much was made clear that night。。。。
The「Host Family Remarks」were so heartwarming。・°・(ノД`)・°・


Also, the Odawara delegates'「Aspiration Speeches」made me cry!!!
・・・I want to learn about Chula Vista's goodness!
・・・I want to tell of Odawara's goodness!
These sentiments overflowed!!(o^-')b


And suddenly we have「NiNin Haori Tiiiiiiime★」↑above

NiNin Haori is more difficult than it looks!!!!!
The friendship between the delegations was duly expressed!★

*☆*:;;;:*☆*:;;;:゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚ ゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚

Both delegations built trust!o(〃^▽^〃)o

With two weeks experience in Japan under your belt, do your best in Chula Vista!!


It may be my opinion as a former delegate^^
I'm so jealous because it looks like you'll have a great time!★
I was struck by your incredibly hardworking appearance!

2008 delegate LISA・M
Odawara's town center 『Maronie』Japanese culture experience!!

This day started with a Japanese cooking lesson!
We made Chirashi zushi・tempura・tonkatsu・anmitsu and more!

Mariano and Chris deep-frying shrimp


We might have overdone it・・・。We got so much fried shrimp!(whew)


Next, we have rice with vinegar mixed with other ingredients, meanwhile Chris is hard at work trying to cool it down!

Simply too much。Anyhow we had over 20 people cooking!

Delegates and veteran cooks alike worked together。。。

What a harmonious atmosphere!

Gabe beautifully dished out the final products。

To much astonishment, Gabe was able to finely slice up the cabbage

On top of that, Gabe is a chef at a fine restaurant in Chula Vista near La Jolla beach

Everyone was absolutely enthralled

Here are the various things we made↓↓↓↓

This eggplant with miso sauce was totally delicious!

The fried tofu was so good
Gabe made it

With everyone's help, we managed to start eating at exactly 12 noon

Great conversations surrounded by delicious treats

A blissful moment indeed, enjoying the fruits of our labor!!


This is Song-chan's Korean talk straight from the heart!


Afterwards a dessert。



Chef Gabe took an interest in Japanese sweets。

After lunch, Japanese Culture Experience Part2



『Nikumarekko yonihabakaru・・・。』a proverb similar to "Bad weeds grow quickly."

Next~、『The Japanese Calligraphy』

Some conflicting emotions put into characters by (Nishi)Miku


Good luck with Job Hunting!!

With that, our fun time's suddenly over。

Together with the 2007 Odawara delegation!!


Lastly、the uniform of the Young OIFA(YOIFA)☆


Seems like today, the Chula Vista delegation had quite a trip

I'll truly miss them
But, OIFA tried real hard to give them a once in a lifetime experience!
Also, we hope that the Odawara delegation, through this experience, will grow as representatives and as individuals.

All for now

(。>0<。)After the hot BBQ、we took went to the Odawara『Lantern Festival』。

After sweating like a horse all day, it's nice to put on a fresh yukata, right?


Japanese-style truly suits you, Song-chan!

Yurie・Sayaka Summer wear☆


The Matsuis keeping it cool。。。


This year's delegation with the Odawara City Mayor Ken'ichi Kato


Chula Vista, Odawara delegates!!


Everyone together☆


On the main stage, you can see the Odawara "chochin odori"。
Oh! It's 、Eiji Iida (center) from the Cultural Exchange Division!☆

Here he is with the delegates from 2008!!

And so, we all did whatever wanted to, Yo-Yo fishing, Odawara O-den 、takoyaki eating。

This year's main organizer from the Cultural Exchange Division, Mr. Fukawa

Enjoy this time together (pictured with his wife)!!
Thanks for everything


As you would expect from such an event-filled day, everyone's exhausted

Nevertheless, we're glad the Chula Vista delegates got the chance to experience and enjoy a Japanese Summer Festival。

Tomorrow we say goodbye to these delegates(。>0<。)

We already miss you but, let's fully enjoy Japan til the very end!!

The day after their arrival, we had a welcoming ceremony!

Under the leadership of the Odawara delegation,
the decorations are under way.
Wait a moment, please~~~!!


Food was gathered left and right.(the 100yen donuts from Mister Donut were delicious! haha)


With everyone's help, we got the party started on time♪

「The welcoming ceremony's starting♪」

The food is set neatly before our very eyes♪♪

Odawara delegation、Chula Vista delegation introduction、
host family introduction、description of Chula Vista and more・・・^^

And then, Kanpaaaai!
Food! Food!♪


By the way, kanpai in English is Cheers!
One theory is that when you clink the glasses together,
it's proof that there's no poison hidden in the cup nor liquid.
We aren't enemies!♪
...kind of meaning to it, I hear.(^^)

Quite charming history, isn't it?^^

After our pleasant chat, we played an uproarious game and then suddenly came to the conclusion of the ceremony.♪

It seems as though the Odawara delegation isn't used to this kind of party management just yet.

We went overtime, some nervous speeches, minor incidents happened here and there,
but in hindsight, it'll be smoother from here on out!(^^)ノ

Chula Vista delegation, today was an awesome day though, right?^^


2007 delegate Hiroaki.
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