I think every meeting is inevitable.

When I was 6 years old, a girl named Maria who was a high school student from Shelbyville IN stayed with my family in Japan. This was my first time for me to meet a foreigner. Her group gathered together in the culture center every morning. The day that they were to leave for Shelbyville, I met Lynn Thomas who is my host mother now. When I saw her for the first time, I thought she was so beautiful. And I also thought she looked like Princes Diana, and I told my father about it. And then he told her “My daughter says you look like Princes Diana.” She was so happy. My father took a photo of Lynn, my younger brother and me. It was 16 years ago but I remember it very well.


Seven years later, we hosted a girl named Christal Wagner. At the welcome party, I found a man who wore the name card “Mark Thomas”. I remembered the name “Thomas” And I thought that he might be Lynn’s husband or her relative. And I asked him “Do you know Lynn Thomas?” and he said “Yes, she is my wife.” I was so happy. I was supposed to visit Shelbyville during the summer vacation. So I told him about that. And then he told me that they could host me.

We didn’t exchange each other’s contact information, but 7 years later we met again. Now I work in Shelbyville’s City Hall as an intern staying with my host family. I can’t believe that we have known each other for 16 years. If I had not told my father that she looks like Princes Diana and he had not told her about it, my life would have become totally different. Keeping the great relationship between sister cities, we connect still now. In my host family’s house, the picture which was taken 16 years ago is displayed proudly.

I would be glad if a lot of people have good experiences and memories through this sister city relationship. I’d like to contribute to the wonderful relationship between Shelbyville and Shizuoka city. I hope it will continue for many years to come.

This Sunday, a group from Shelbyville will leave for Japan. They will have many new experiences and make new friends. I hope their visit will be a precious experience for them.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Momoco. ^_^

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