In 1990, I was selected to participate in a 3 week Japanese cultural exchange program for Georgia teachers.
The purpose of the program was to help prepare Georgia teachers for the influx of Japanese students into their school systems.
The exchange program provided an understanding of Japan's education
system and culture through school visits, cultural activities, a home-stay visit, and exchanges with educators and students.
Teachers (sensei) are highly respected in Japan and we were treated like royalty, staying in the nicest hotels and resorts. We traveled extensively by private buses, planes, ferries, and the Shinkansen (bullet train).
My favorite part of the trip was my home-stay visit with the Yoshida family in the city of Kagoshima, on the island of Kyushu.
Although I spoke no Japanese and they spoke very little English, we became dear friends in a short time. The Yoshida's home was small, but their hearts were large and kind.
Fusako and Me