JOE 2018 Day 14 – Fri 5 Oct

Almost Goodbye…But Not Yet!

Friday marks the final full day of school at Minokamo with our newfound friends. Genesis students were already lamenting this fact as they arrived this morning, determined to enjoy their interactions today to the full! While Aimee C was sent on a spurious errand, Mrs Shimizu quickly set up a small cake, a selection of lollies and a ‘happy birthday’ banner. The students gathered together and surprised Aimee with a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ when she returned to the homeroom.

We sent our birthday greetings with her as she celebrates with her host family on her actual birthday tomorrow!

After a morning spent in class with their buddies, Mrs Matsuda taught our students how to make a traditional New Year’s dish (ozoni) and the students discovered just how smooth and elasticised mochi (rice balls) can be! Perhaps they can recreate this dish for their family when they return to Australia!

Today offered one last opportunity to participate in a formal ceremony with our Minokamo community. The students received certificates commending them for the exchange program they have completed at Minokamo from Principal Akasaki. Oriana and Lauren gave a lovely speech of thanks and the team sang a song that expressed their feelings of regret over having to leave and their heartfelt thanks for the time they had been given in Minokamo. For our final act on the stage Miss Roche explained we would sing a reworded version of the popular song ‘Heart to Heart’ with suitable lines to describe our time with them.

Mr Connolly presented a short speech of thanks for the hospitality and kindness we have been shown, as well as our hope to return in 2020. The weekend will be spent with host families before departing early Monday morning for the next part of our adventure. We are sure the students will have much to report about their weekend come Monday!


  1. 🎵🎶Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Aimee. Happy birthday to you!!!🎶
    We hope you’ve had a fabulous birthday Aimee. Sweet 16 today!!! 🎆🎎🎂
    💛💛💛Aunty Rebecca, Uncle Murray, Chloe, Olivia, Tobi & Tani.

  2. Abbie in return for Canberra I have sold your bike and spent the money on me. I am missing you.
    Love Jemma

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AIMEE! What a very different birthday you are having this year -so adventurous. I pray you have a wonderful day and a great year ahead. Much love, Granddad and Grandma. Xxx

  4. Hi Joshua. What an incredible experience you are having. Enjoy the weekend with Masehide and his parents. Have a great time.
    Dad, Mum, Luke and Finn

  5. Dear Allie, What an amazing week for you all. We are grateful we already know Kanau and look forward to hearing all about your week at school. . Hope the weekend is great with her and the family. Miss you. Love you lots,
    Love Mum & Dad, Nick, Helen, Charlie, Em, Bethany & Kim xx

  6. Dearest Aimee, how exciting that you’re having the opportunity of celebrating your birthday in Japan. What an enormous adventure!! I’m looking forward to hearing all about your adventure when you return.
    Love always, Nonna

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Aimee!!! 🎂🎁🎉🎈🇯🇵 We are so excited for you and pray you have a wonderful day today. Sweet 16! Dad and I are so proud of you and your courage and perseverance and beauty (inside and out). Have a fabulously happy day and enjoy every moment. We are thinking of you and can’t wait to celebrate when you are home.

    Lots of love,
    Mum, Dad and Jeremy
    And Jett, Thor, Dave and Mini pig!

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