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Bishop Luers students learn more about Japanese culture

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 12:06 pm

Bishop Luers High School students are hosting 20 students from Fort Wayne's sister city of Takaoka, Japan.

The high school has participated in the program for the last 20 years. The students arrived Friday and will be leaving early Thursday morning for sightseeing in New York City. Tuesday evening the students, their host families and Bishop Luers students learned more about Japanese culture from their guests. Students tried their hand at origami and Japanese calligraphy, tried on kimonos, and played several Japanese games.

The Hellinger family is hosting Tomohivo Eida, 17. Mark David Hellinger, 17, said his guest has proved to be a natural at playing pool. The family has had him doing many things including learning how to drive a tractor, collect eggs and sample the coney dogs at Coney Island. Karen Hellinger, Mark's mother, said they have three older girls who have since graduated from high school and she wishes the family had started doing the exchanges sooner.

Karen Marciano, a Spanish teacher at Bishop Luers, has run the exchange program for the last 20 years. Marciano said in the summer of 2014 they plan on taking a large group of students from Bishop Luers to visit Takaoka.

Wednesday the whole student body will be treated to a performance from the Japanese students. Wednesday evening there will be a farewell party for the group.