Saturday, August 11, 2012


The Sanvino team arrived safely in Japan.  The group that connected through Seattle made it all the way to Arao as scheduled.  The group that connected through Chicago had to spend an extra night in Tokyo because their luggage did not make it onto the flight.  Hiro Nishimura, our friend in Arao and World Campus coordinator, relayed the team's thanks for a wonderful exchange.

We hope to see a picture of Riki and his monkey at home in Arao!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Our dear Sanvino family has left for Japan.  There were many tears, but we say "until we meet again."  Our homes will always be open to these wonderful friends.  We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Many of us waited until the team got through security and went underground to catch the train to their gates.  As of now, the flights to Chicago and Seattle have landed and the first leg of the trip is over.  Good luck and safe travels, Sanvino.

Host family final photo

Power food!

Goodbye Friends

Waiting to wave goodbye.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 9 - Last Full Day

Story and pictures in progress . . .  Check back later.

Newspaper Article

Check out the article by Kim Turner and published in Wednesday's Colorado Hometown News:

Day 8 - Garden of the Gods & US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs

Sanvino got a little extra sleep this morning.  We scheduled a 9am departure time to avoid traffic in Denver as we passed through on our way to Colorado Springs.  Our first stop was Garden of the Gods.  The park is a registered National Natural Landmark.  It has 300ft (91m) sandstone rock formations.  Although it was very hot when we arrived we made our way to the visitors center and took some great pictures with the rocks in the background.   Then we hiked around the formations and were even able to see some rockclimbers high up on the rocks.

After lunch, we were off to the US Olympic Training Center.  We had a tour around the grounds, saw many training areas and watched wrestling practice.  There were many photo opportunities.


We finished the day with dinner at a "Mexican" restaurant.  It's more like a funhouse for kids with a kitschy (some might say tacky) Mexican theme.  It has cliffdivers and amusement games. The kids sure liked the prizes.

Onamae wa nan desu ka?

Day 7 - Host Family Dinners

After cooking and eating in the open air, Host Families treated Sanvino to a wholly different affair.  Host family dinners were all held in family homes.  Most everyone combined with other families to create another big (aka American) affair.  I was priviledged to attend the traditional Thanksgiving meal hosted by the Turcotte family.  Every November, Americans celebrateThanksgiving in millions of homes across the country.  The centerpiece of the meal is a whole baked turkey.  It is often accompanied by mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, cranberry sauce and gravy.  As the story is told, Native Americans helped the new arrivals to the country by providing the food.  For us, all families contributed dishes.  And our interpreters even brought some rice balls to round out the meal!

Days 6 & 7 -CAMP PHOTOS

 Home, Sweet Home
 Uh, which way do we go?

Row, row, row your boat. . .

Catch any dinner?


Monday, August 6, 2012

Days 6 & 7 - Camping and Host Family Dinners

Camping went off without a hitch.  We have host parent Dan Grieser (Nao, Shuto, Hiroto) and his Scout Venture Crew to thank for this incredible event.  Camp Tahosa is a boy scout camp about one hour from home.  It is called a "high adventure camp".  Kids come from all over the country to backpack, camp, boat and train at 9000ft (2750m) above sea level.  They even camp in the winter!

For us, the summer weather was PERFECT.  We had 70F (21C) in the daytime and 50F (10C) at night.  Upon arriving at camp, we had some free time as the crew put together lunch.  After lunch we pitched tents and passed out sleeping bags and ground pads.  The Sanvino boys worked with a venture crew member to get the job done.  We even ended up with one extra tent!

Because the weather cooperated (low winds, no rain), we were able to get everyone out on the lake. All boaters (and anyone near the lake or on the dock) had to listen to a safety talk and then be fitted for a personal flotation device (PFD).   There were three kinds of boats that we launched:  rowboats that were the safety boats, canoes which carried three, and kayaks (both two and one man).  Each boat carried one experienced person at all times.  Once we all launched, there were 26 boats on the lake. The activity was a big hit.

After boating there was some free time.  Not long after came the cries of "HUNGRY".  When dinner was announced, Sanvino devoured hamburgers, sausages, salad, macaroni & cheese, and fruit galore.  Then host mom Laurie Dieter (Mona, Mirei, Ikegami-san) organized a game of baseball.  What fun!  The game only ended because it getting dark and was time to start the campfire.  Everyone gathered around the fire for singing, skits and s'mores (typical campfire food of graham crackers with roasted marshmallows and chocolate inside).  In preparation for cold night air, the Trebol girls handed out knit caps in Sanvino colors.  Both kids and parents donned their caps to keeps warm.  As a few Sanvino players fell asleep in their chairs, the evening came to an end (mostly).  We could hear raucous laughter and joy coming from the Sanvino players for quite awhile longer.  We were so happy they were enjoying the trip.

The morning started early as the first Sanvino tent came alive not long after 6am.  We were starting to serve breakfast before 7am.  We had omelets boiled in a bag.  Each diner took a ziploc bag and wrote their name on it (in Romaji). Then they cracked two eggs into the bag and added milk.  After mixing the eggs, the diner could choose to add ham, bacon, onions, mushrooms, green and yellow peppers, and cheese.  The bags were then boiled.   While waiting for the eggs to cook, they ate yogurt with granola, dried cranberries and raisins, and fresh strawberries.  Then, within 10 minutes, the omelet was ready.  It could be eaten with a fork or put into a tortilla for a breakfast burrito.  Many had orange juice and hot cocoa.

After breakfast, we broke camp (rolled up sleeping bags and pads & took down tents).  Then the entire group (55 campers in all) took a hike around the lake.  We posed for some pictures along the way, too.  By the time we got back to camp there were cries again for food, so the lunch preparations got under way.  For lunch, the fare was chili cheese dogs, ramen noodles, fruit and lemonade.  After final cleanup we headed back to Boulder.  Luckily we learned from a pickup driver that a main road had been closed due to a rock slide.  We took an alternative route and all ended up safely at home.

Tonight, we'll report on host family dinners and fill in with some pictures.  Check back soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


DRMF held its first International 6 v 6 Soccer Tournament featuring the Sanvino U11 boys soccer team from Arao, Japan, competing against four local teams including three Trebol Soccer Club teams from Lafayette, Colorado and one team from Broomfield.  The Sanvino A team went undefeated 3-0 in group play.  In the championship game, Sanvino A beat the Broomfield team in the first 5 minute sudden death overtime.  The Sanvino B team came in 3rd, beating the Trebol U11 boys team 3-2 in a penalty kick shootout.

After the tournament it was time to relax and enjoy some ice cream.  But not just any old ice cream would do, we had sundaes from heaven.  That's right.  Ice cream bowls, spoons, scoops of ice cream, and toppings were all dropped from above.  Each person who wanted ice cream had to catch it themselves.  It made quite a mess, and lots of smiles too.  In the end our Japanese guests took the time to thank us for the unique experience.

The day was capped off with a Colorado Rapids game against Real Salt Lake.  At the game, we all got a chance to be entertained by one of the mascots.  The bald eagle was happy to take pictures and let the kids try to fit in his beak. They'll all have a good night sleep after a long and fruitful day.
Photos coming soon . . .

Day 4 - Rocky Mtn National Park & Boulder County Fair

Today we had an early start.  The kids were at the bus by 7:30am to depart to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The bus ride gave the kids a chance to sleep a bit more; they are all very tired, but unwilling to admit it.  They arrived at the Alpine Visitor's Center by 11am.  It was cool and windy, but beautiful.  What a sight from above the treeline.
Rocky Mountain National Park
View from the Alpine Visitor's Center


After lunch and shopping the town of Estes Park, there was another long busride (i.e. nap time) back into Boulder for the county fair.  The fair had farm animals, food stalls and carnival rides.

The night ended at the rodeo; bullriding was fun to watch, but the clown getting upended was a close second.  Now to home, bath and bed.  Soccer tournament tomorrow.  Yata!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 3 - Rapids Stadium Tour, Denver Zoo, Rockies Game

The Sanvino U12 boys team started the morning at the Colorado Rapids practice session.  After, every players was kind enough to stop, chat and sign autographs.  Then the team headed to the Denver Zoo. They were amazed by the elephants, gorillas, bears and the many other animals living at the zoo.  They finished the day at a Colorado Rockies baseball game.  The Rockies won the game 6-2!  At the end of such a full day, the team was in high spirits and certainly enjoyed the cool night air and the Rockies win.

Father and son . . . soccer rules

Thanks, Keeper!

Who is prettier?  Ikegami-san, most certainly

The three wise men.

HOT DOGS!!!  Take me out to the ballgame.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 2 - PM Formal Welcome Party

There was a theme to today.  In my mind it was friendship.  So many friends came together to make this exchange possible.  And, for me, so many came together to make tonight's party a smashing success. Friends travelled across half the world; other across the county.  We lent grills, carpooled kids, prepared food, moved tables, gave time & energy, smiles & joy. 

Our spirits were not dampened when the rain made an appearance late in the afternoon.  And the sun started shining right on time.  With the weather cooperating, the kids enjoyed many outdoor activities:  soccer (of course), jump roping, badminton, sno-cones and ice cream, water balloons, corn on the cob, shish kebabs, watermelon (to name a few).  But the biggest hit of the party came in the form of our four legged neighbors, Shiloh and Bear.  Their appearance rounded out a Colorado day, on Colorado Day.

At first, the Sanvino players were hesitant to approach the horses.  But with the help of a little alfalfa, everyone warmed up.

Then, once the coaches decided to mount up, the kids were on board, too.

The evening concluded with a group picture.

Oyasuminasai!  Mata ashta.

Day 2 - Western attire

I know that it seems as though Day 2 should be over.  Nevertheless, we're only about halfway there.  The next stop was Murdoch's for western wear.  The kids tried on hats, boots and clothing.  Finally all the kids had their button down shirts picked out. 

Yamada-san looks pretty good, too!
Everyone loved the store.  It's very big, like everything American.  We're trying to dispel the notion, but the country isn't cooperating.

Day 2 - Downtown in Boulder

The ladies all spent the morning away from the soccer field.  We ate, shopped, and horsed around on Pearl Street.  The tourist and game shops were a real hit.  Candy came in a very close second.  You'll get a feel for the morning here:
Happy Happy Happy

Day 2 - AM Soccer Practice

Both teams, Trebol and Sanvino, held a joint morning practice in the Colorado heat.  We had fun doing combined drills and scrimmages.  Although the heat slowed us down, both teams had a great time on the field.  We finished with a boxed lunch in the shade including popsicles and corny jokes.  Now back home to clean up and then onto Murdochs to buy Western wear shirts for all the Sanvino kids.  Check back to see photos of the Japanese on horseback at the Welcome Party tonight.

The Dahlia & Rosa Marcia Foundation (DRMF) welcomes Sanvino to Colorado

After 24 hours of travel from Arao, Japan, all 26 Sanvino players, parents and coaches have arrived safely to Colorado.  Their luggage arrived, too.  Amazingly, everyone was happy and smiling.  After a small welcome gathering at Coach's home in Broomfield, the group went home with their host families by 11pm.  Here are some photos from the welcome gathering.

Our favorite returning host son, Shigeru, with Julie

Irina brings peace

The team washes up before the evening (morning) meal

Wake up call tomorrow is 7:30 am.  Oyasuminasai!