Up very early this morning….first in line for breakfast, I think we scared some of the hotel staff, (14 hungry teenagers and at least one hungry adult)! Out the door of the lobby and onto the first Shinkansen for the students!
Travelling to Iwakuni, a little town that has a most interesting wood bridge Kintai Bridge, saw the students having fun in the outdoors as we tried to navigate the steep curved half circles of the bridge that spans across the river. We stop to try one of he 100 different flavours of ice cream, Neena ate lotus ice cream, Avery enjoyed blueberry, Corey had japanese Ramune (lemonade flavour), Azure loved the Royal Milk Tea flavour! Everyone tried some junk food (Japanese junk food are things like grilled corn or wiener sausage on a stick, bean paste cakes, squid grilled on a stick (a whole one!) while sitting donw by the river. Neena Carter was so excited about the white snakes, actually many of the students enjoyed this quirky little snake “zoo” in the Kikkai Park.
Having spent a little extra time down by the river we attempted to make the train for Miyajima and missed it by 2 minutes. The students were really understanding and took time to view the Blogsite and relaxed as we made our way back to Hiroshima.
Touring the Peace Museum was a little distressing for a few students, it is not done in judgment of the dropping of the bomb but just with the facts leading up to that moment when the world changed irreversibly on August 6 1945 at 8.16 am. We watched videos of the survivors stories, though some were hard to see, most of our students took the time to stop, listen and learn of their suffering and more so how strong the people were and how they overcame the destruction in those first few days and then months.
Neena and Leon placed flowers in remembrance of the school children lost from the bombing, we joined in prayer and thanked our Lord for the many blessings we have.
The students also learnt about the City of Hiroshima’s constant fight for an end to the nuclear weapons. The students placed flowers at the Eternal Flame as a sign of respect and we joined in prayer and a moment of silent reflection.
What a long and sometimes confronting day but fulfilling to see our students level of respect and understanding. Hiroshima brings with it a lot of mixed emotions and sometimes a few tears. But our students left Hiroshima with a sense of how fortunate and blessed their lives are.
We are very proud of their behaviour during this visit today. And We know you are too as their parents.
We arrived back to Kyoto very late, tired but with a sense of a day well spent and the knowledge that they can sleep in tomorrow…well just for a little bit!
Regards Learna, Jessica and Cate