We had a great time with our new "daughters" Saeri and Suzuka, they were so sweet and spoke English enough that we could talk and get to know each other. They called us mom and dad, and I really felt like we were. They helped me fix dinner for a small dinner party with the neighbors, it was wonderful having extra hands, and they took lots of pictures while we chopped and stirred. (It was darn good too, I tossed linguine in melted butter and fresh parmesan and threw in asparagus and cherry tomatoes).
Their orchestra is the Tamana Girls High School Band, they are consumate professionals at just 17 years of age. I took some video of their performance, but still trying to figure out how to add one. In the meantime, I have still photos. The statue is in my front yard (all dry from our current Iowa dust bowl climate) with my daughters. Saeri is the one wearing glasses, Suzuka (you put the accent on the KA) is on the left. Next is at Betty's Dream coffee shop (you can just see Betty in the back making the lattes--she is the best cook, we went there 3 times for lunch and ordered a cherry pie for the week), then just before we sent them off home, notice the red eyes all around, we had lots of tears at goodbye. Suzuka's mother, Miyumi posed with my girls too. The next photo of the girl in the pink shirt is a nice story. The Tamana girls live in southern Japan, so did not have the tsunami, but this girl is from the north, her town was destroyed. They had a wonderful video at the concert showing the devastation, then a year later, the town rebuilt, such a testament to the hard work and determination of the Japanese. She is a trumpet player and the Glenn Miller society sent new instruments for students who had lost everything. The Tamana girls sent the instruments on, they got to talk to each other on Skype when she got her new trumpet, then she joined the band in Clarinda to play with them this year--lots of tears at that too!
We got to see the Glenn Miller orchestra also, they were outstanding. We stopped to get cds signed from the singer and band leader and Saeri had them sign her book bag. The singer had these diamond looking shoes that my girls were ooohing and ahhing over, she told them "Jimmy Choos, honey, you've got good taste", she was funny.
I have lots more pictures on the way!