Rotary International District 5580 - to - Rotary International District 2760


Share our Excitement & Join our Journey

Welcome to the travel blog of Rotary District 5580's Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team which will embark on an exciting five week goodwill / vocational exchange to Nagoya, Japan in November, 2009.

Here, our hybrid American-Canadian team of enthusiastic and adventurous young professionals, along with our lovely, talented and fearless team leader, will share cultural experiences and engage in unique vocational learning opportunities.

If you have come to this site, you are likely: a Rotarian, family member, friend or colleague of one of the team members, or... are just plain blog-curious. Either way, we encourage you to check our site often to learn about us, follow our progress as a team and of course, keep in touch as we explore Japan.

We thank Rotary in advance for the adventure of a life time and to all readers, we invite you to share our excitement and join our journey.


GSE Team Japan 2009








GSEチーム ジャパン 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Host Family - Week 1 (by Ben)

The first week I had the pleasure of staying with Toshiro Shimoya and his family. "Tosh" and his wife, Yuko, and daughter Mai, share a wonderful home on the site of the family business - a lumberyard and homebuilding supply company. Check it out at

Being my first week in Japan, the family had the opportunity to offer many of my "Japan Firsts" such as a sashimi restaurant featuring a non-stop conveyor of raw fish, shrimp burger at McDonalds, and my first raw egg. One evening even included a trip out for "shabu shabu" which involves cooking pork and vegetables in boiling water. Delicious!

Yuko also offered me a terrific lesson in Japanese handwriting. Considering my lack of talent with English handwriting, I figured it couldn't be any worse. According to the family, it was readable. Thus, I can officially proclaim that my Japanese handwriting is better than my English handwriting.

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