Garfield County 4-H sending local to Japan | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County 4-H sending local to Japan

Whitney Chapman, Cecelia Chapman and Nanaka sit around the table for tea.
Provided

After hosting Japanese student Nanaka last the summer, Garfield County 4-H student Whitney Chapman knew exactly how she wanted to spend the next summer.

Five months from now, she will be flying across the world to spend two months in a culture that, until January, she could only dream about one day visiting.

“The first time I heard about the 4-H exchange program was at a local 4-H event,” she explained. “This summer I will be one of 17 students on the eight-week program to Japan.”

She said she has always been interested in Japanese culture and having Nanaka in her home for four weeks over the summer only made her want to see the culture firsthand.

The first four weeks of her trip will be spent in Tokyo studying the language. The next four weeks will be spent immersing herself in the Japanese culture and daily life.

The excursion program application process required several essay and short-answer questions. Chapman said she feels her answers helped her secure a spot on the eight-week program.

The program cost is $6,200, which includes transportation to and from Japan, programming, language immersion and room and board while in Japan.

She hopes to serve as an ambassador for Garfield County on her trip, as she told the Garfield County Commissioners on Monday.

“I hope to learn how to cook traditional meals from my host family and hope to learn about different wildlife in Japan,” she told the commissioners.

She also plans to bring a book about Johnny Appleseed and make a homemade apple pie for them.

Chapman, along with Carla Farrand with the Garfield County 4-H Council, requested $1,000 of the commissioners from the discretionary fund to help her participate on the trip.

She is scheduled to leave June 12 and return Aug. 8.

Since 1972, the 4-H International Exchange Program has impacted nearly 60,000 youth and their families in 31 countries on six continents.

The States’ 4-H International Program this year is also sponsoring exchanges to Costa Rica, Finland and South Korea.

azorn@citizentelegram.com