Rather than touring the Bay Area as in previous years, the 2012 Toyokawa Sister City student delegation was more Cupertino-centric with visits to such attractions as those located at De Anza College.
Since September 1979 - about nine months after the sister city was established - Toyokawa, Japan and Cupertino have hosted exchange students each year. The exception was in the spring of 2011 following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Though Toyokawa did not suffer major damages, the surrounding areas were so hard hit that it hampered travel for Cupertino student delegates.
Now back on track, Toyokawa students visited such places as Fujitsu Planetarium and the Euphrat Museum of Fine Art; lunched at Le Boulanger and Armadillo Willy’s; had a barbecue dinner and visited Memorial Park; and visited Kennedy Middle School and Monta Vista High School.
“They were there right as school was starting,” says Alysa Sakkas, communcations and marketing manager for Toyokawa Sister City. The chaperones got to witness first-hand the jam of cars in the tri-school area.
“They said, ‘Oh my goodness look at all this traffic,’” Sakkas says.
(Be sure to look through all the photos attached to this article.)
The 16 exchange students and three chaperones arrived on Sept. 27, in time for the region’s high temperatures. Other than the heat and one unavoidable interruption in planned activities—a visit to the fire station—the trip went smoothly.
“So the firemen start to give the tour, and well wouldn’t you know it they had to leave for an emergency. There was that terrible accident on Friday, 10 minutes into their tour of the fire station,” she says.
Cupertino students interested in being part of the exchange program, mark your calendars. Those interested must attend a mandatory introductory meeting on Jan. 15, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the Cupertino Union School District board room, located at 10301 Vista Drive.