All of Sayaka Takahashi’s Ashcroft-Cache Creek homestay families gathered in the Dairy Queen last week to say good bye. Takahashi is in the back row

All of Sayaka Takahashi’s Ashcroft-Cache Creek homestay families gathered in the Dairy Queen last week to say good bye. Takahashi is in the back row

Ashcroft connection helps Bifuka adventurer

Family of Bifuka visitor contacts their friend in Ashcroft to help arrange home stays.

Sayaka Takahashi came to Canada to improve her English, but the 23 year old native of Bifuka, Japan – Ashcroft’s sister city – learned much more about Canadians during her two and a half month stay.

Takahashi said her goodbyes last week to her new families and friends before travelling to San Francisco to visit family friends, but she will return for a short visit in April.

Ashcroft artist Jo Petty helped to arrange her stay here. Petty says she met Takahashi’s grandmother, Misako Noraki, “in Bifuka probably the first time I went there” in 1997.

When Takahashi decided that she wanted to visit Canada, Noraki asked her old friend to help arrange it.

“I put on Facebook I was looking for home stays for her,” said Petty. “It took a little while, but I managed to get about six different homestay families. Each home had a unique experience for her.”

“Little windows and doors would open up for her,” Petty said. “She got to do so many cool things,” like go backstage with Anne McKague during My Fair Lady to help out with hair, makeup and other things; no surprise that she did a lot of physical activities while staying with the Trills and wants to see  and work in Banff; and the Howards took her to Vancouver to see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

“The little kids loved her,” said Petty. “She has a special spark or something. As soon as you meet her you instantly like her.”

Takahashi stayed with the Pettys for a few days and she and Jo “played in the studio. She was incredibly creative,” Petty said. “She’s an expressionist right now, exploring everything.”

Takahashi took a year’s leave from her job, dealing with the public in one of Japan’s large airports. This was only her first stop.

Petty said last week she left for San Francisco where she will be working in a Japanese bakery owned by family friends for three weeks. All of her homestay families and friends gathered at the Dairy Queen in Cache Creek to say goodbye.

“She was absolutely delightful,” said Petty. “We all had a hard time saying goodbye to her. She’s missed already.”

Takahashi will be back in April for two weeks and will no doubt bring her new extended family members up to speed on all of her adventures in Canada since leaving them in December.

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

Fireworks are among the things now banned throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, as the weather heats up and a dry summer looms. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
Category 2 and 3 open fires, fireworks now banned in Kamloops Fire Centre

Ban on certain types of fires and fire activities in place until Oct. 15

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read