Arigato gozaimus, Aspen |

Arigato gozaimus, Aspen

Thank you, Aspen, for an unforgettable homestay!

When each day promises new and different experiences, 10 days sure go by fast. I know I speak for the six Japanese high school students I have chaperoned for this homestay in Aspen when I say, we don’t want to go home! For most of the girls, now in their junior year of high school, this was their first trip outside of Japan. When they weren’t white-water rafting down the Colorado, horseback riding, hiking or otherwise exploring this beautiful area, the girls were busy getting to know their host families, forming relationships that will last a lifetime.

This homestay is organized every year as part of the Friendship City relationship between Aspen and Katsuyama, Japan. Next year it’s Katsuyama’s turn to host, and we hope to plan a trip as memorable as this trip was for us. In addition to the annual homestay, the Aspen Music School also visits Katsuyama twice a year, enriching the pan-Pacific partnership.

I have many people to thank for our trip being such a success. Thanks to the Haftel, Hassig, Podolak, Schwaller, and Moriarty families for so kindly welcoming the girls and myself into your homes. Your warmth and kindness is the heart of internationalization. A special thanks to Ms. Olivia Emery (Hassig) for putting together such an amazing trip.

I would also like to thank the people of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool for the complimentary passes.

Finally, the City of Katsuyama thanks Aspen for enriching the lives of our girls, and offers a heartfelt invitation to all Aspenites to visit us in Japan.

We wish we didn’t have to leave, and hope to come back soon!

Hudson Hamilton

Coordinator for International Relations

Katsuyama, Japan

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