Americus hosts Japanese delegates - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus hosts Japanese delegates

For the 21st year, Japanese students are learning about south Georgia culture. (Source: WALB) For the 21st year, Japanese students are learning about south Georgia culture. (Source: WALB)
Anaya Okido (Source: WALB) Anaya Okido (Source: WALB)
Japanese Delegate Host Jeff Grimm (Source: WALB) Japanese Delegate Host Jeff Grimm (Source: WALB)
Sumter County Schools Spokesperson Tom DeTitta (Source: WALB) Sumter County Schools Spokesperson Tom DeTitta (Source: WALB)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

For the 21st year, Japanese students learned about south Georgia culture.

18 students got a special welcome on Wednesday in Americus where they will stay with local families for the next few days.

Japanese students from Americus's sister city Miyoshi received quite the greeting.

Meet 15-year-old Anaya Okido.

Okido was very excited about her trip to the United States.

And although there's a language barrier, she was optimistic.

"I don't speak English very well so I'm a little nervous but I'm going to do my very best to communicate somehow," said Okido.

Okido's parents also encouraged her to embrace the experience.

And she already had one thing she plans to try.

"A hamburger," said Okido. 

Her host family is certainly prepared to satisfy her request.

"It's been a whirlwind ever since we found out that we had this incredible opportunity to have students with us from Japan and especially two girls," said Japanese Delegate Host Jeff Grimm.

As far as the language barrier, Jeff Grimm plans to rely on a Google app to help him translate his words to the girls.

But he knew one Japanese word: konnichiwa. 

"We're in the business of facilitating, making people's world's bigger as educators and that happens in a number of ways," said Sumter County Schools Spokesperson Tom DeTitta.

Over the next four days, the delegates will visit international landmarks like Habitat for Humanity and Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving which is very beneficial to the communities.

"I just want to do some things here that I can't do in Japan," said Okido.

Sumter County school officials said the program also helps locals get a taste of Japanese culture without traveling overseas.

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