We all gathered at the airport to say our farewells. Students who had trouble talking to each other because of the language barrier and embarrassment, spent the hour and a half before the flight taking nonstop. Then, there were hugs and handshakes just before the Koryo students departure.
We hope that the lessons of peace through understanding each other will continue to be a part of our students education from this day forward.
Today was a significant day for both Tinian and Hiroshima. On this day in 1945 the Enola Gay took off from Tinian and dropped the first atomic bomb to be used on a human population on Hiroshima.
All of the students taking part in this exchange have a strong desire to make sure that such a tragedy is never repeated. Therefore, in the morning we gathered for at moment of silence at the time of the bombing, 9:15 Tinian time.
The rest of day the was spent relaxing, until 6 pm when we gathered at Tinian Junior and Senior High School to discuss peace, and then have our farewell party because the Koryo students would be leaving the next morning for Saipan and then Hiroshima. During the discussion the students had trouble expressing themselves.
But there was a candle light service after that, when a flame was pass from one student to the other and they made one statement about peace in their own words. This is a picture of the discussion, the candle light service was too dark.
Then everyone enjoyed a potluck party prepared by the Tinian students and their parents.
The Koryo students did a little dance they practiced for the Tinian students, who then jumped up on stage, and the dance party began.
Several of the teachers and students expressed that peace comes from transcending differences in gender, color or culture through mutual understanding. This trip proved that pockets of peace can be created between groups from cultures that were once bend on destroying on another.
We spent the morning and early noon exploring each other’s culture. At first our students learned some traditional island dance steps. Each move carries a significant meaning from the myths of the islands.
This was followed by a short lesson in how to weave coconut fronds together to create a fish. It was much more difficult than it looked
but we were satisfied with the finished product.
While we were busy making our fish, the students of Tinian were equally busy folding paper cranes, well-known as a symbol of peace throughout the world. We joined them together to create six long chains of cranes that would later be displayed in the Tinian Junior and Senior High School Library.
Today was spent blowing off steam in under the tropical sun.
We started off with scuba diving in the crystal waters of Tinian. Everyone was impressed with just how beautiful it was. We felt like we had entered an aquarium.
The rest of the day was was spent playing on the beach, playing games with the Tinian students, generally goofing off and devouring the delicious lunch the Tinian students prepared. When we got to hot, we jumped back into the water for a bit of a cool down.
Everyone was also drawn to the banana boat, which the operators thrashed about behind their speedboat to see who could hang on. Everyone went down at least once.
It was a long day indeed, twelve full hours topped off with some s’mores warmed up over a beach campfire.
When our students split up to go to their separate home stay families yesterday evening, they were all nervous and unsure of their ability to get along, especially in English.
However, they all reported and enjoyable evening and a good night’s sleep when they gathered for this morning’s tour of Tinian Island.
The first place we went to was the American Memorial. This area was previously as shrine built for the Emperor of Japan during WWII. The Japanese people living on the island at that time would gather here and face toward Japan to pray and pledge allegiance to the Emperor and success of Imperial Japan.
We then went to Runway Able. This is where the Enola Gay took off carrying Little Boy, the first atomic bomb to be used on a human population.
Nearby we stopped at the bomb pit were Little Boy was loaded onto the Enola Gay for that historic flight.
The next major stop of the tour was Suicide Cliff. This is where many Japanese people jumped to their deaths rather than be captured as prisoners of war.
The tour was not only sites related to war. We stopped at the famous Tinian blow hole.
And we ended our tour at the historic Taga House. The remains of what is supposed to be the dwelling Chief Taga, who ruled over the islands in ancient times.
Overall it was a good day, despite the heat, everyone became closer, learning about each other as much as about the island.
Today, we took the jump to Tinian. This involved splitting into three groups of 5 and taking a ten-minute Cessna ride from Saipan to Tinian.
We received a warm welcome from the entire Japan Club of Tinian JSHS.
One of our students gave our official greeting in English.
After eating lunch together, we all went outside to take a group photo to commemorate the event.
This year 15 students and 2 teachers have made the trip to the beautiful island of Tinian to visit our sister school, Tinian Junior and Senior High School.
We had a one nigh layover in Saipan.
Everyone was a bit tired from the trip, but we enjoy dinner together.
Then we took a walk to a nearby street fair.
And we ended the evening back in the lobby of our hotel, where several students joined in the dance party taking place in the lobby.
In the spirit of better late than never.
We had an English camp on July 14 and 15.
The main purpose is to get our students for the Koryo Delegation to our sister school, Tinian Junior and Senior High School, ready for the trip.
Other students are welcome to join and we usually get about 25 participants a year. This year, 2013, we had 26 student, 15 of whom were part of the Tinian delegation, the other 11 just wanted to enjoy an English weekend.
The most exciting events were the scavenger hunt (see above),
and the Skype session with Tinian, where each student had a bit of time to talk directly with a group of Tinian students.