Farewell to Ashoro

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It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since I arrived in Ashoro and it’s even harder to say goodbye! I haven’t been back to Canada since I left for Japan and the world has changed drastically over that time, but I’m excited to see my family and friends for the first time in quite awhile.

The past two weeks have been filled with goodbyes from students and teachers, final dinners with friends, and giving speeches to members of the community to show my appreciation for my time in Ashoro. I’ve been fortunate to do many things here that I wouldn’t have thought about doing back in Canada. Learning Japanese archery, attending the many festivals in town, and learning about Japanese culture, I was able to broaden my spectrum of the world. Thanks to my time in Ashoro, there have been many invaluable life lessons that I’ve learned over the past two years which I hope will benefit me in the future back in Canada.

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I have been very lucky to have spent my time in Japan with the people of Ashoro. Everyone was so kind and welcoming to me when I first arrived here. I’ve been able to form so many life-long connections with people around town. I would highly recommend for anyone thinking of traveling to our sister city or becoming a CIR here, to absolutely go for it! It’s interesting to see how people on the other side of the world live, and the people in Ashoro would be more than happy to share their culture with anyone.

It’s very difficult for me to express my true gratitude for this experience because it has been so unbelievable. There is a list of people a mile long that I have to thank. I’m glad that everyone in Wetaskiwin has been able to follow along with my journey and hope that you enjoyed reading about Ashoro. Thank you very much!

If these articles make you want to learn more about Japan and experience some Japanese culture, there are a few ways you can do that right in Wetaskiwin! Join the Wetaskiwin Ashoro Friendship Society (WAFS) or host some Japanese students when they visit Wetaskiwin from Ashoro in September and October 2021.

Also, there is currently an opportunity for an individual to become a CIR in Ashoro. The Wetaskiwin Ashoro Friendship Society is now accepting applications. For more information about involvement with WAFS or applying for the upcoming CIR position, visit the WAFS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WetaskiwinAshoroFriendshipSociety, or send an email to WAFS1980@gmail.com.

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