Four of the five — Jenna Stefl, Cassidy Hanson, Hayley Yasui and Alissa Pellegri — were at last week’s Breakfast Lions meeting to report on their experiences in Japan. The fifth, Kaelyn Bruno, was unable to attend.
“It was an experience of a lifetime,” Pellegri said. “I hope to visit all the people in Japan I met and also those from all over the world.”
Her worldwide acquaintances were gained during a five-day international student camp the five attended with students from many countries.
Stefl noted that her host families were especially accommodating.
“We had a busy schedule — every day there was something new — but they made sure we were well taken care of.”
Hanson said that she, like others in the group, didn’t quite know what to expect before they arrived in Japan, but they were well received, and the trip “was an unforgettable experience.”
Ken Yasui — who, with assistance of his wife, Harriet, has coordinated the Lions International Youth Exchange program for four decades — said next year’s program will be his last.
“I hope others in the club will be able to continue the program,” he said. “For nearly all the students who have taken part, it has been a life-changing experience.”