In addition to the musical SHOW BOAT by the Musical Club, one of the Cultural Festival's attractive displays I wanted to visit was the reports of "Kelso Heartland Homestay Program" by some students who visited the United States. Devin Kelso, born in Mount Vernon, Iowa, working for Kokugakuin Tochigi University High School as a communicative English teacher, hosted the home stay program with his family.They arranged the host families in Mount Vernon to encourage them to accept each of the participants.
About a dozen of high school and junior high students took part in this program. They spent about two weeks with the host families, learning English, and taken to cities around Mount Vernon for shopping, camping, barbecuing, and sightseeing. Every picture displayed on the boards showed that the students had been very excited to experience unknown new culture.
They brought back plenty of American items as well as American mind. They are really nice.
According to an article of a local newspaper, Devin Kelso began this program to encourage Japanese youths to have such experiences that he did when he was 15. He visited Mexico with his father and learned many things there. He found out that his Spanish he had learned at school worked well, and that the people were getting along well without English.
I thought the students were very happy to see the world of different culture when they were very young. I hope I could participate in this program some day 😉
Extra: the pictures of trains from Tochigi to Tokyo.