After a night of rain from the distant typhoon, we awoke to a beautiful bright day. The students were up early to tidy the dormitory and prepare for their big welcome ceremony.
After their initial nerves settled, our students entered into the pomp and circumstance of the event. Held in an auditorium on the fifth floor that was filled to the brim with audience members, the welcome assembly included an exceptional performance from Minokamo’s famous brass band. This band has been the national silver medal winner among Japanese high schools for fifteen years. We wish them well in their bid for this year’s gold medal!!! Genesis students sat with mouths open and agog at the band and ‘colour guard’s’ accomplished performance. Precision, skill and passion united on stage before us as the fruits of their consistent practice were demonstrated to a captive Aussie audience. Sugoi desu ne!
Our students gave an enthusiastic rendition of the popular song, ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ in Japanese and English with dance movements to match. Special thanks must go to Mr Hannah for preparing the students for their Japanese singing and dancing debut!
Samantha, Shaelee and Michael did a sterling job of delivering a Japanese speech to the packed auditorium. They should be so proud of themselves, for they took full command of their nerves and stepped right on up to the challenge.
Next on the schedule was a visit to the mayor of Minokamo. The mayor was so generous with his time and hosted a question and answer session with the team before Seiloni delivered a Japanese speech and hosted a gift exchange. The professional interpreter at the meet-and-greet was impressed with Seiloni’s aplomb and calm demeanor. So were we!
Later on, the team visited a new park grounds next to the Kiso River in which an art installation commissioned by Rotary Japan (and completed by Genesis and Minokamo students) was admired by all. This was followed by a quick stop-over at a small local theme park before the team’s return to school.
Students spent the remaining hour or so preparing themselves to meet their host families. All students approached this adventure with courage and a smile. The Genesis staff will be ready and waiting to receive them at the entrance of the school tomorrow morning, bright and early. We are looking forward to hearing their stories!