Pierce family hosts exchange student from Tokyo

Denise Mundy

Sun Correspondent

The Pierce family of Eagle Roost hosted a young Japanese boy this summer through the McMullen Valley 4-H Program. The Pierces lived in Salome before moving to Aguila. Ivan Pierce raised and showed Peking Ducks last season which was his first year in 4-H.  Due to their participation in the local 4-H they received an email late May from States’ 4-H International Exchange Program asking for Host Families for delegates from Japan for a 30-day stay in the United States.  As a family, they discussed hosting a foreign exchange student and this opportunity seemed like a great way for their family to see how they would all get along.  

Ivan is 12 and would be in the seventh grade this year. The family was very excited when they received their packet on the child they would host. They were able to read about and contact Nagi, a 13-year-old boy from Tokyo, Japan. They sent a lot of emails back and forth until Nagi’s arrival, getting to know each other.

The program on the Japan side is called Labo International Exchange Foundation. The Arizona delegates from Japan arrived on July 22, approximately 13 delegates.

On July 23, the host families all met at a hotel in Tempe for a get to know them luncheon and orientation. Nagi then went home with the Pierces.

The first two - three days were spent acclimating to the time zone. Nagi runs track at home and wanted to run here.Unfortunately, he had to learn about Arizona summers.

The goal of the program is for the delegate to experience living with and experiencing regular American family life. The program did not want hosts to take long vacations with delegates; they wanted them to see daily life.

The Pierces took Nagi to the Phoenix Zoo as he wrote to them that he loved animals. The Pierces have two Great Danes, a Husky-Chow Mix, a Savanna, a grey tabby and four guinea pigs. He got his fill of animals in their home. They also took Nagi camping in Williams and to the Grand Canyon, because when visiting Arizona all the way from Japan, one must go to the Grand Canyon.

Ivan started the school year on Aug. 7, and the school welcomed Nagi to spend a full day with them.

Nagi was a very polite, sweet young man said the Pierce family. They really enjoyed their time with him and they hope to have established a lifelong connection with him. Nagi took pictures of dinner every night and also cooked them an authentic Japanese meal. They are definitely looking forwarding to being a Host Family again.

The Aguila Volunteer Fire Department was the recipient of the MSA’s 2019 Globe Gear Giveaway Grant.  This grant is awarded to help volunteer fire departments with needed equipment.  AVFD received 4 new sets of Turn-Out Gear & four new Cairns Helmets.

The Aguila Volunteer Fire Department is still accepting toys for the Christmas giveaway.  They can be dropped off at the fire house any day between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.  The office phone is (928) 685-3469 for any questions about the toy giveaway.

Path to Wellness free health screening program starts on Saturday Oct. 12 at the Aguila Volunteer Fire Department in Aguila. The street address is 51321 W. Ray St., Aguila, AZ 85320. Those who are interested must call and register prior to this date. For help call Aguila Public Library (928)685-2214. Register Online: www.azkidney.org/PathToWellness.

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