Our Time With Mana

Meet our exchange student from Odawarra, Japan. Her name is Mana Seito and she's the fourth such visitor we've hosted since coming to Oz. But what a difference this visit seems! Firstly, Mana is 18 years old, and more mature than the previous girls. But so also is our Madelyne, who is now in year #4 of her Japanese studies. For the first time, Susan & I are seeing our daughter actively conversing in Japanese with another person! It's pretty cool to observe. For my part, I'm using "Google Translate" on my mobile phone to get quick phrases in Japanese–but can't come close to the kind of dialogue that Maddie enjoys with Mana. Later this year, the two girls will re-unite in Japan when Maddie travels to Mana's city of Odawarra to spend time with her family. Cultural exchange is alive & well with the Smith family this year!

3 thoughts on “Our Time With Mana

  1. My daughter is dying to learn Japanese! This is a great idea… I’m going to look into doing this. What program is it? We have an extra bedroom just for such an opportunity!


    • Remember Cyndi, we are in Australia so I’m not sure what is available in the states. Madelyne is one of 20 students chosen from a large group of applicants to represent our Northern Beaches Council in their Odawara Sister City program. The program has been ongoing for 27 years.
      Madelyne was chosen last year but due to her contracting glandular fever, she was not able to go to Japan but we DID host 2 of their students last winter.
      Do they offer Japanese in Campbell’s school? I would look into County opportunities…maybe they have a program? Or perhaps the Japanese embassy to see what’s available where you are. Good luck!
      Madelyne hopes to live in Japan and teach English when her schooling is completed.


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