Local Rotary participates in international student exchange

Carol CrewsSpecial to the J-C
Local Rotary participates in international student exchange

This past week, Pawhuska Rotary recently welcomed Mr. Chihiro Matsura, the Wings of Rotary team leader and his 11 students from Japan.

As part of a Rotary International exchange program the Japanese teens were selected by Japan’s Rotary District 2520 from the different Provinces of Japan to spent two weeks in Oklahoma. The two boys and nine girls did not know each other until they were selected for the trip to the United States. Although they had taken English in school for two to four years they said the Americans speak much faster than they were taught, plus the “Okie dialect.”

On Saint Patrick’s Day after eating lunch with the Ponca City Rotary they arrived in Pawhuska to experience the ranch life with Mike Justesen manager of Sooner Ranch and Cattle.

Mike let them ride a ranch horse, a four-wheeler, and he explained the cattle operation from gathering the steers, weighting them, and then sorting them. Mr. Chihiro Matsura translated in detail for them, but their question were always in English and very polite.

The Pawhuska Rotarians, Steve Tolson (President), Mike Justesen, Fredrick Drummond, Ben West and Carol Crews helped with the many questions about ranching, schools, the vast open lands and Pawhuska. At the end of the afternoon, Pawhuska Rotary provided cold water and dozens of cookies for the trip back to Ponca City.

The second week they will travel to Oklahoma City and surrounding Rotary clubs to experience what Oklahoma has to offer from city life to farm life.