TOWNSEND — A teacher and some Broadwater High School Students departed for Japan on March 13th as part of the Kekehashi Project to learn about Japan in ways that connect their different cultures.
A total of 13 students got to participate in the cultural learning experience and had to apply for the opportunity.
"It was it was real a life-changing experience. It was so cool to see just another culture and to see just a whole new whole new style of just living and really just brought back a lot of, I think, life lessons about just how the world is so different," said William Lynde, a senior student at Broadwater High School.
Broadwater High School Student, Montana Hedstrom, was born in Japan, and even though she lived there for only a short period, she jumped at the opportunity to revisit her place of birth.
"I was born in Okinawa, so when we got there it was like incredible just to see like, I mean, I wasn't there for a long I was only there for like a few weeks, but everything like everyone else had said, everyone was so nice there," said Hedstrom.
The Kekehashi Project paid for the trip. Kakehashi is the Japanese word for bridge. The program promotes people-to-people exchanges between the United States and Japan. With the goal of teaching students about Japanese history, culture and politics.
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and the Japan International Cooperation Center Operate the project together.
"I'm so, so grateful to Jace and the Kekehashi Project that I was able to give this opportunity to these students because it was paid for. They didn't have to fundraise, they just really had to make sure they had their passport and their vaccinations and a suitcase," said Allie Lampman, Broadwater High School English Teacher and Japan trip chaperone.
All 13 students made it back safe with an experience they'll never forget.