Hannah and Mitchell at Meakan volcano August, 2020. Photo submitted.

Hannah and Mitchell at Meakan volcano August, 2020. Photo submitted.

Life in Ashoro

As summer has been in full swing for the past few weeks in Ashoro, everyone here has also been preparing to say goodbye to Hannah Ballhorn, the second Coordinator of International Relations in Ashoro, as she will be returning to Canada. She has been an awesome partner to work with and will be missed by many friends and students here who she has made special connections with. We are all wishing her well in her future endeavors!

This summer has been quite different compared to my first year in Ashoro—thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic—but there is still plenty to enjoy around here! Usually during this time of year there are many festivals on the weekends celebrating various holidays and allowing people in the community to connect with one another. Unfortunately, all of the summer festivals have been cancelled this year, but I have found many other ways to keep busy now that we are currently on our two-week summer break from school. Over our break from school, the board of education here puts on a mini day camp for kids where they play games, get help with their homework, and get to learn some English during fun activities that Hannah and I organize.

Although we still have to work during the student’s summer break, there is still a lot that I’ve been able to do around Ashoro. Since Ashoro is located in the heart of Hokkaido, a one-hour drive can take you to many different areas of the island. A 45-minute drive east of Ashoro will land you at Lake Onneto, host to an active volcano which Hannah and I had the pleasure to hike on a recent weekend. Hiking up the Meakan volcano gives you some amazing views of the small mountain ranges around Ashoro, and you can also get a pretty cool view inside of the volcano spewing gases from its geysers. Shout out to the Wetaskiwin Icemen (see photos), sure hope you guys can play this season.

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the Wetaskiwin Ashoro Friendship Society is looking for homestay families for the 2021 Ashoro High School student trips to Wetaskiwin. Students will be coming to Wetaskiwin for 4 days in September and 4 days in October. If you would like more information regarding the trips and being a homestay family for a few days, please email WAFS1980@gmail.com and will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. You can also connect with us through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WetaskiwinAshoroFriendshipSociety.

Mitchell Bowie

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Mitchell climbing up Meakan volcano August, 2020. Photo submitted.

Mitchell climbing up Meakan volcano August, 2020. Photo submitted.

Just Posted

Loki’s Car Club hosting its first annual holiday toy drive. File photo.
Loki’s Car Club hosting its first annual holiday toy drive

Local Wetaskiwin businesses set up as toy drive drop off locations.

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

A home on Montana First Nation was damaged by fire in the early hours on Dec. 2, 2020. (Chevi Rabbit/Submitted)
House fires on Montana Cree Nation under investigation

Two separate fires took place in the early hours of Dec. 2

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin launches Whistle-blower Program

Whistle-blower program acts as anonymous forum to hold local government accountable

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Most Read