At our July 30th meeting we had the pleasure of hosting Katie Haagensen. Katie was one of the High School Students that went to Japan for three weeks via the Ross Redman Short Term Exchange Program. Katie was sponsored by our club and she (along with her mom Dawn) joined us last week to tell us about her trip. It was primarily on the island of Shikoku (mainly the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Naru), although it ended with a trip to Hiroshima.


There were visits to several temples, schools, and other sites. Stays with a host family (some who lived outside the cities in a more rural area) in each of the four prefectures of Shikoku, which allowed them to experience Japanese culture firsthand. Lots of new foods to sample and enjoy. Visits to three Rotary Club meetings (the fourth was canceled due to the Typhoon). Katie and her fellow travelers enjoyed it all. They even made it into one of the local newspapers.

The students learned a lot, savoring the many new experiences, and their enthusiasm was not diminished by having to evacuate from the threat of Typhoon Neoguri (fortunately it missed them). Katie enjoyed her trip so much she is looking forward to visiting Japan again. Katie's family will be hosting several of the Japanese students visiting the US on the reverse part of the exchange program, and we hope to have them at one of our meetings.


Katie Haagensen (center) holding a flag from the Mima Rotary Club, flanked by her mom Dawn (left) holding the Imbari flag, and June Cioppettini (club president) holding the Takamatsu flag