By any measurement, the greatest casualty of the COVID global outbreak has been the very sudden and restrictive regulation of international travel.
Families have been separated from each other, logistics have been disrupted and the generation of unlimited tourism and unfettered continent-hopping has evaporated into a virtual manifestation only.
One of our region’s great friendships that have been tested recently proves that relationships build on sound principles and fundamental cultural respect can endure whatever the planet throws at it.
The people of Ichinoseki, Iwate Precinct Japan and the Central Highlands shared a virtual multicultural meeting to remind each of our communities of the important principles we want to share with our youth and why we want to provide them with the experience of travelling to a different place in the world so that they understand other culture and be confident that despite different languages and different geography, we share the same values. Of family, of friendship and country.
Familiar faces looked at each other across the virtual world with one sweltering in the summer heat and one wrapped in winter snow reminiscing about their visits and the many activities, festivals and functions that they participated in.
There was lots of laughter, lots of smiling and lots of memories.
Lots of things that good friends do. Made stronger by separation but in the knowledge that we will get together again.