PUHI — Hikari Fukutomi said she doesn’t want to go home Wednesday during the International and Club Day hosted by the Student Activities Council at Kauai Community College.
Fukutomi is one of 18 students and two teacher chaperones wrapping up a two-week exchange student program from the Okinawa Christian University.
“I’m one of the Early Childhood students,” Fukutomi said. “I really enjoyed doing my field trip to the Lihue Hongwanji Preschool. The kids are so exciting. They’re cute, and they are powerful. I don’t want to go home.”
Brian Yamamoto, KCC faculty, said the nine Early Childhood Students were so moved by working with the Kauai keiki, several cried when they had to leave.
“The kids all came out to say goodbye,” Yamamoto said. “They gave them hugs, and that got to the Okinawa students.”
The students got to meet Polina Goudkova of Russia via Canada who was at the heart of the One Billion Rising flash mob Saturday at the Kauai Community Market.
Music was provided by Cruz Control and Goudkova and Genta Minei broke down the barriers by breaking into dance. Goudkova was also invited to join the Okinawa group for photographs by the students.
“I’m here with a part of a musical, Goddess Chant, which will play in May,” Goudkova said. “We rehearse every Wednesday night. But I do more than sing so I came to the college to offer and help. Canadians are allowed to stay here for six months, so I leave in June, right after the musical ends.”