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.