Each year Japanese home-stay students from Niigata Seiryo Junior College in the Niigata Prefecture, Japan, come to Federal Way, Washington to learn about the American culture and language. Their tour guide, Laura Campbell, informed me that the students arrived on Saturday and hit the ground running. The seven students, Mami, Kurumi, Mai, Yukina, Rika, Rina, and Haruka are guided by Campbell and their instructor from Japan, Tatsuya Nonaka (Tachi) during their time in the states.
The participants in the program stay in homes in the Federal Way area for 20 days. In Japan, the women are studying English and this adventure helps them learn and understand the language and culture. While here, each day they have English lessons and they explore local tourist locations. Today they visited Pierce County Fire District 13 at Station 77 to learn more about the fire district.
After a warm welcome from Chief McCollum the seven students asked the firefighters a series of questions. Some of the questions that were asked: How many firefighters and emergency medical staff are at this fire department? How many are women? How many emergency vehicles does the district have? And so on. The volunteer Fire Command team, which included, Mast, Smith, Rodgers, Allwine, Jividan, and Johnson answered questions alongside Assistant Chief Wassall.
After the question and answer session the tour went out to the shop bay where they got to try on the heavy jackets and sit in the fire engine and aid cars. But, this was just a short stop before the ladies got to go out to practice hitting targets with the fire hose. When asked what their favorite part of the tour was, Mai and Kurumi said they liked the hose work.
We look forward to seeing the next group of exchange students!
To learn more about the Niigata Homestay group you can visit them on Facebook.