The Homestay Begins...


Upon our arrival at Matsuyama station we are greeted by Sumikosan, the Matsuyama leader we hosted last year. Our omiyage luggage had been sent ahead to the local youth center where we all met for the formal introductions and homestay assignments.

Don and I thought the host family stay would be the end of the 6am wakeup calls...WRONG!!!! Don had the pleasure of waking up at 5:30am to walk the dog with Mr. Fujioka. Way to go Don!!! I, on the other hand was in heaven. Sumiko's husband Mitsuo had recently gotten INTERNET!!! YEAH!!! The 'Big Chicken' post came via the Miyazaki's internet.

Don and I spent the day sightseeing (in a nice air conditioned car) with the Miyazaki's and Mrs. Fujioka along the Mimanami Hashi (bridge) that connects Imaribashi City and Hiroshima. There are a series of 4 huge bridges that connect several islands to Hiroshima. The scenery was great despite the haze and clouds. One of the islands was our lunch stop which consisted of Tai sashimi, deep fried Tai and some sort of sea snail. The view was fantastic...

The whole time we are sightseeing, Sumiko's two daughters and four grandhildren are tailing us in their van carrying the bicycles. Didn't I mention the bicycles?? Mitsuo, Don and I cycled across the last bridge in the chain, a beautiful cable stay bridge similar in appearance to the future Oakland Bay Bridge.

After our bike ride it was time to head back to Matsuyama to meet some of the boys for sushi and bowling.

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