Ottawa Photographer/ Japanese exchange program

My daughter is off to Japan today for a student exchange through school so I thought it would be a great time to blog about the first part of the exchange in which we hosted two Japanese girls in our home.

It was such an amazing experience for my family, I would highly recommend it if you ever get an opportunity to host students in your home.

We were nervous but excited waiting for the girls to arrive:

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the kids (with the help of their little cousins) made some signs to welcome the girls

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the girls arrived and were full of smiles and laughter

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we spent the next day with them doing some sightseeing around Ottawa and of course had to take them to get Poutine & Beavertails

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the girls brought some treats from Japan for us to try, my favourite were the vanilla cookies in the top left corner and the lemon pocky…yum!

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April is crazy birthday month in my family so we had the whole Wagner family over to our house for dinner on Sunday to celebrate my son & husband’s birthdays.  My nephew what doing a great job keeping the girls amused :).

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the visiting Japanese students (there were a total of 83 of them) put on a Cultural event at my daughter’s high school.  It was a wonderful event! We were able to try on Kimonos, try out some Japanese games, calligraphy, a tea ceremony then watch some amazing performances.

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My son trying out the game Fukuwarai

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Sado – a ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (a powdered green tea)

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here’s my father trying out a toy called Taketombo

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playing instruments called Koto

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they were wonderful dancers

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all dressed up for a school dance

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we took the girls up to my in-laws cottage for the weekend to introduce them to Ontario cottage life.

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the weather turned out to be pretty nice and the kids had fun hanging out in the hammock

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they had never tried S’mores before so we had to fix that.  There was a fire ban going on but we managed just fine inside with the wood stove.  The treats were a hit!

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here are a few s’mores photos from my Instagram account

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A trip to Canada wouldn’t be complete without going to a sugar bush so we took the girls to Wheelers and had some of their giant pancakes with syrup…delicious!

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It was great having the girls here because it gave us a chance to explore our city and try out some activities we haven’t done in awhile like going to a trampoline park and bowling

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trying out some Suzy Q Doughnuts

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There was a Poutinefest going on downtown their last night here so we took them to it for dinner since they loved poutine so much the first time they tried it.

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It was so hard to say goodbye to them after having them in our home and caring for them as if they were my own daughters, I may have shed a few tears at the airport.  🙂  I’m looking forward to hearing all about my daughter’s trip to Japan and her being reunited with her new friends!

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