Cowichan Lake people asked to open their homes to Japanese visitors

Lake Cowichan council will soon be searching for “home-stay” families willing to take in visitors from Japan come October.

Lake Cowichan council will soon be searching for “home-stay” families willing to take in visitors from Japan come October.

At the Ohtaki Twinning Committee meeting held last Tuesday at city hall, council stated a delegation of approximately 30 students and staff will be arriving from the town’s sister village in Japan.

The visitors will arrive in town on Oct. 3 and be here a week and Mayor Ross Forrest is keen to put the word out as soon as possible.

“We should be prepared and hopefully we can fill all of their needs,” said the mayor. “They’re here for a week and last time it was only four days.”

The delegation coming from Japan this time around is bigger than last time around.

Councillor Tim McGonigle believes the committee needs to have “an alternate plan” in place just in case not enough willing home-stay families come forward to lodge the forthcoming Ohtaki delegation.

“If there is 30 in the delegation and we only get six home-stay families, where are they all going to go? We don’t want to house them in hotels in Duncan. A great start would be to talk to the previous delegation (that travelled to Ohtaki from Lake Cowichan last year),” he said.

Of the approximately 30 coming from Ohtaki, 19 of them are confirmed to be students.

“My daughter’s friends have children who are too young to go now but they want to go in the future so they might be interested in making that connection,” said Forrest.

Committee member Laurie Johnson travelled to Ohtaki last summer alongside various Lake students, Councillor Jayne Ingram and Forrest.

“I feel as though I can sell it better now I’ve been. It’s time to get the hype up,” she said.