Students from Castlegar and Embetsu

Embetsu and Castlegar exchange students enjoy tour of Castlegar

Twinning arrangement with our sister city in Japan opens the world up to youth.

Fifteen year-old Yuki Sato of Japan has noticed some key differences between Canada and his home country: Canada is filled with nature and citizens here, at least in Castlegar, tend to shower in the morning.

Sato is part of a group of students from Embetsu, Japan taking part in a cultural exchange between the two twinned cities.

It was his first time in Canada and, with the assistance of translator and Embetsu participant Stanley Yeh from Vancouver, said he had already seen deer, a coyote and squirrels.

The group was met at Castlegar City Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 13 by Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, after arriving in style on two of the city’s fire trucks.

Fire Chief Gerry Rempel said they had come from a tour of the fire hall where they had suited up in full firefighting gear and taken a ride in the antique truck.

“I think this is invaluable to the youth of the community,” said Chernoff. “We’ve had this relationship for 25 years and I think it’s an incredible learning experience for these young adults. It bodes well for the future and I think ten years down the road is when the true value of the program will be realized.”

The tour also included stops at Millennium Park, Zuckerberg Island, the viewpoint on Hwy 3 east of town and the Community Complex.Castlegar’s April Gariepy, 13, said she was looking forward to making the trip to Embetsu and meeting new people and seeing the differences in daily life between the two cultures.

The students had five days in Castlegar before heading to Banff and then ultimately Calgary for the flight back to Japan.

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