Charlie Blumer, 4-H member in Oakwood SRO 4-H Club, reports that his two month experience with the Ohio 4-H/LABO Exchange was “life changing and amazing!” Charlie’s first month in Japan was spent with a host family in Tokyo. During that month, he went to Japanese school with other 4-H delegates from the US and Canada. In these classes he studied the Japanese language and took cultural classes.
During month two, he lived with a second host family. With this family, he had three host brothers, including Haruka who Charlie hosted at his home in 2017. Having brothers was a new experience for Charlie, because he has two sisters!
During his time in Japan, Charlie went on many excursions from taking a bus tour and seeing Tokyo Tower to swimming in Lake Biwako, steering a traditional canoe, and visiting the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto. His dreams came true when he got to visit two cat cafes! One of his favorite parts about Japan is that it “combines the ancient and the traditional with innovative and futuristic. In the middle of Tokyo, a very busy city, shrines can be found.”
Ohio 4-H offers teens and young adults several opportunities to travel and to host. Here is the link for general information: https://www.states4hexchange.org/ The Ohio 4-H application can be found at: https://ohio4h.org/statewide-programs/international-program/application-forms
4-H Clubs and other groups or service organizations interested in learning more about Charlie’s experience in Japan can contact him c/o OSU Extension, Montgomery County – 4-H Educator Betty Wingerter firstname.lastname@example.org