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Sweet Home, Oregon
July 18, 2012     The New Era Paper
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July 18, 2012

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1/ , r - July 18, 2012 COMMUNITY OPINION Page 5 / Josai From page 1 nice presentation from them." She said she was "impressed" at the significance the exchange program has for Josai faculty and students. "TheY send students all over Oregon, Australia and South Korra .on short-term exchanges, and have another sister school in Australia, yet it is the Sweet Home students who are the only ones who get in- vited to Japan for the two-week home stay. We have a very special relationship with our friends at Jo- sai High School." The Sweet Home students left June 9 in company of Yoshiko Tomono, a Josai exchange student who spent last year at Sweet Home High School, and chaperones Bur- ford and her husband Bob. The students in the group were Hannah Mather. Michael Tolle, Kyle Rose, Grant Kauffman, Josh Juza, Judy Alexander, Ian Wingo and Travis Petersen. During their two-week stay the eight helped teach English dur- ing their visit and spent a lot of time sightseeing as a group or with the Japanese host families they stayed with, whose children were part of the International Club at the school. "Sweet Home is a big deal to them," Mather said. "They have a bunch of things in their library about Sweet Home. They made a big deal of us being there. Walking down the hall, they were constantly saying 'Hi' to you. The eighth- grade girls loved/an." During their stay they partici- pated in a sports festival, in which the entire school was divided into teams that included the Ameri- Sweet Home High School will host two Josai students, both ure needed for both, Josai coordinator Cynde Bur- ford said. She said families must be found or the students will not come this year,  9 e We d hat to see the program discontinued because we don't have host families," she said. two families could split the school year, giving the exchange stu- dents a chance to experience life in two households, or they could stay with one family for the entire year= For information, contact Burford at (541) 367-8677. cans. that there's another culture out "It was like a huge May Day," there that they can accept and fit Mather said. in and learn new ways of doing "They had so many events things." in which you thought somebody would break something," Rose Here are some observations by said. "It was scary to watch. They. the students on their experiences: had this relay thing in which they'd run across other people's backs." The visitors competed in two events, one a four-person relay in which they won their heat, Wingo said. They also visited a grade school, where they played basket- ball with the sixth-graders. "I ran over kids," Rose said. Cynde Burford said the trip was a radically new experience for the Sweet Home students, some of whom had never been in an airport or on a plane before - let alone get- ting the red-carpet treatment. "They were treated so nicely. I don't think they expected to be these celebrities at the school," she said. "They blend in here. I think, as their adviser, just exposing them to all these brand new firsts is really exciting. They learned a lot. How to manage money, the ex- change rates." "I think the students learned Students, from left, Grant Kauffman, Michael Tolle, Kyle Rose, lan Wingo and Travis Petersen try some samurai poses in front of a statue on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. Orderliness Mather: "They" are organized. There are traditions. Everybody lines up to get on the subway. On the escalator they stand on the right. You never walk and eat at the same time. You sit down and eat." Rose: "There's no trash on the streets." Tolle: "There are no garbage cans." Mather: "Everything is really clean." Wingo: "They followed the rules a lot more. It was a private school, but they all cared a lot more about school than we do. It was more of them caring about their schooling than their parents. "They have to get to school on their own - one side of Tokyo to another. They have a lot of inde- pendence." Language Rose: "They know basic Eng- lish skills." Mather: "Everybody could at least say 'Hi.' You could tell the kids who could speak English. Some had been to Australia (where Josai also has an exchange pro- gram). They'd try to talk to you. You could definitely tell that it's like when we learn Spanish - not many people are devoted to it." Rose: "Little kids would talk to us in Japanese. They'd expect us to understand them. You have to nod and act like you understand." Privies Rose: "The toilets are insane for just a toilet. They had a four-in- one toilet of some kind, with but- tons all over the place. Wingo: "It was like a Swiss Army knife. I was never brave enough to push the buttons to find out what they did." Mather: "One was like a bi- det. Another played music." Tolle said the privy in his host home was a combo sink and toilet. Transportation The Sweet Home students said II Letters From page 4 Sweet Ride Charity Car Show for Kids. On June 30 we had another suc- cessful show, and everyone played an important part. There were no small insignificant parts! We were all part of the same wheel. When our kids tell us were do- ing a great thing there's no better reward than that. Because of your hard work and dedication, we will once again be able to help many lo- cal area children in need with the funds raised at this event. I'm so grateful t have shared this experience with all of you - it makes it all worth the sacrifice of our time and effort. We value our sponsors, vendors, and volunteers; this event could not have happen without all the support we have in place ! Congrats to all of us. Photos courtesy of Cynde Burford Ian Wingo, left center, and Michael Tolle spend time with Japanese stu- dents at Josai. they were impressed by the skills of Japanese drivers on streets that often offer only inches of clearance on each side of the car. Rose: "They are very risky drivers - how fast they go, weav- ing all night." Wingo: "One day it would be muggy and hot. The next day, a typhoon. The next day after that, sunny and nice." Mather said the clean-up after ing through cars and stuff. There's typhoons was "real quick. no speed limit in Tokyo." Wingo: "On the whole trip I only saw two cops." Also, they said, people tended not to drive very much. Mather: "They would walk to the nearest train station to where they lived. They would pretty much go to the train station close to their school." Rose: "My family didn't even have a car." Food Wingo: "There's no differ- ence between breakfast and dinner for them. We had hamburgers for breakfast one time." Mather: "'I liked the food. It was good. I loved my breakfasts. I got chicken McNuggets and other stuff for breakfast." Tolle: "Octopus - I just kind of downedit." Wingo: "I actually ate the hormonal gland from a cow on the last day I was there. It was a little gritty." Typhoons Toile: "The house was shak- They picked everything up." The return Some students on both sides knew each other from past ex- change visits by Japanese stu- dents. Wingo: "It was fun seeing kids you stayed with. The only problem was saying goodbye forever to best friends you've made." The 17-hour difference be- tween Japan and the 'vyest Coast time zones had a big impact, they said. Rose: "The jet lag sucked the first couple of days. I was going 2 to 2 at first." Wingo: "I'm nocturnal now." Tolle: "The morning I was go- ing to get my driver's license (after his return), I stayed up till 3." Community support "I wouldn't havebeen able to go without contributions from neighbors," Mather said. "The community basically helped us a lot. If it were not for the school having this program, we never would have gotten the chance." Photo by Scott Swanson Cynde Burford shows a commemorative plate presented to the Sweet Home Josai visitors, marking the 30th year of the exchange program. SH man gets 90 days for charges related to attack on mother Chris Walnum, 50, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail in con- nection to an incident in April in which he was accused of assaulting his elderly mother. He pleaded no contest to unlaw- ful use of a weapon against another person, two counts of felon in posses- sion of a firearm and three counts of menacing on June 29 in Linn County Circuit Court. A charge of second- degree assault was dismissed. He was sentenced to 30 days Susan Angland Sweet HOme in jail on each charge, with 90 days for three counts of menacing served concurrently with the 90 days for the remaining charges. He was ordered to pa3/a total of $900 in fines and fees and sentenced to 36 months probation. Walnum was arrested on April 28 after allegedly assaulting his 79-year-old mother. His mother, Joyce Ritterbush, said he suffers from mental illness and was armed with a shotgun and pistol. She told police that he had struck her in the head with one of the guns, leaving a cut on her fore- head. Deputies responded, and Wal- num had barricaded himself inside his 26-foot travel trailer in the 28400 block of Liberty Road. After a 2 1/2-hour standoff, dep- uties and officers from Linn County Sheriff's Office and Sweet Home, Lebanon and Albany police depart- ments assigned to the Linn County Regional SWAT Team gained entry into the residence and took Walnum into custody without incident.