Report from 2019 Student Exchange Committee

Hawaii BWA Federation Meeting – October 4, 2019
Submitted by Barbara Brennan

Chloe Oshiro and Katelyn Otani left for the Exchange trip to Japan on July 15, 2019. They were given a warm sendoff by their temple BWA members, mothers, Katelyn’s grandmother and Rev. Nishiyama of Pearl City Hongwanji. Lois Toyama and I were also there to see them off.

Chloe and Katelyn were scheduled to fly on Korean Air which departed late and thus there was a concern as they had a connection in Seoul to get to Osaka. Calls were made to the airlines to assist in their connection. Fortunately they made they flight to Osaka and were met on arrival and escorted by train to Kyoto.

Both Chloe and Katelyn submitted very good reports of their experiences, including photos with their host family, BWA members and visits to Hiroshima, Nara and Osaka. They were especially honored to meet with Lady Ohtani at Honzan. Reports by the students are printed in the Fall 2019 HFBWA newsletter.

Chloe and Katelyn returned to Honolulu on July 27th after 12 full days participating in the Exchange program.

This was my first opportunity to work on the Student Exchange Committee. There are some revisions and clarifications that need to be made to the application and selection process. I am grateful to Donna Higashi in revising the online application form and to the Student Exchange committee for their participation in the selection process.

The 2018-19 committee members are: Kumika Soga, co-chair; Florence Wasai, Honolulu United; Arynn Ishikawa, Oahu United; Edith Ushio, Kauai United; Sharon Nohara, Maui United; and Judith Fujiyama, Hawaii Island United. For the 2019-20 term Diane Kosaka has replaced Sharon Nohara as the Maui representative.

four girls in front of roses at Matsue Vogel Park

group photo

group photo in hotel lobby

group photo in Tokyo with lighted billboards

Future Change:
At the recent 16th World Buddhist Women’s Convention it was announced that Japan will no longer send students overseas but they will continue to host students from the US to Japan every other year. The next Student Exchange program from Hawaii to Japan will be for travel in 2021. The application process may begin by early summer 2020.