Jap volunteers complete assignment, return home

By Mike Puia

Ms Yoshiko Teratani and Mr Hirofuni Masui outside the JICA office in Honiara on Tuesday

TWO more Japanese volunteers will begin their journey home today after two memorable years in the country.

Ms Yoshiko Teratani and Mr Hirofuni Masui, who have completed their assignments this month, arrived in the country in 2016 under the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteer programme.

Teratani, a physical therapist, was posted to the Western Province to help in the Gizo hospital while Masui, who has a passion in supporting youth education, was posted to Buala in Isabel Province to help the Isabel Provincial Education Authority.

In their final meeting with members of the local media yesterday, both said their overall experience working and living in the country has been a great one.

Teratani said at first she was afraid of the people and was not comfortable getting to know people because of her inability to speak pijin.

But, she said as times goes on she started to get use to meeting and knowing people.

“The smile people gave me every time makes me don’t want to leave this country. People are so kind and full of smile,” Teratani said.

At Gizo hospital, she help provide therapy sessions to patients and also travel to communities in the province’s six zones, by powered canoe, rolling out the community base rehabilitation programme.

She conducted home exercise, teaches mothers on how to get their kids breath properly and many more.

For young Masui, he will miss Solomon Islands’ simple island life.

“This country is just beautiful, quiet and green with kind people,” Masui said.

He said former volunteers who visited this country encourages him to come to the Solomon Islands which he did.

Masui had visited most provinces as part of the work he’s doing here.

“I am so happy to have visited most part of this country. I love the people here. Sure, I’ll miss the people here a lot,” Masui said.

He added he count himself as “half Isabel” and he hopes to return to the country someday when there’s an opportunity.

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