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International freshman exchange

The rain shadow met the rising sun for the annual Sequim and Shiso City Sister City exchange.

This year, 14 ninth-grade students from Japan visited Oct. 2-7, taking in peninsula offerings.

Host families and the Japanese students met at Sequim City Hall before visiting sites such as Hurricane Ridge and Dungeness Spit and going to Mariner's baseball games.

"The key part was having students interact with their host families," said Annette Hanson, trip co-coordinator.

Before meeting their temporary families, the Japanese students spent some time with Sequim elementary students at the Boys & Girls Club.

Both American and Japanese students seemed in awe of one another as the Shiso City students snapped hundreds of photos of posing and grinning children.

The Shiso City students wrote club students' names in English and phonetically in Japanese.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, Sequim sends 11 ninth-graders as ambassadors to Shiso City area. They are: Emma Barrell, Emily Giammalva, Haleigh Harrison, Columbia Haupt, Brendon Hudson, Ian Jones, Annika Lawrence, Justine Roads, Elisa Sallee, Andrea Tjemsland and Tristan Tosland.

Chaperones are Hanson, Glen Giammalva and Mary Norton.

The students will stay with the Shiso City students' families and visit the local schools, museums, mall and fish market. They will participate in the local cultural festival.

Sequim's students will perform a skit and individuals will put their talents center stage by playing the trumpet, performing tribal dancing and more.

The Sequim-Shiso Student Ambassador exchange began in 1995 and is sponsored by the Sequim-Shiso Sister City Association with cooperation from the Sequim Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and Sequim School District.

The Sequim representatives return Oct. 24.

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