Quesnsel’s loss is Whistler’s gain

Japanese volunteer is heading to Whistler to spend the winter snowboarding

Jun Ito honed his boarding skills in Quesnel.

Jonas Gagnon

Observer Reporter

Arriving here in June, just in time to take part in a wonderful Cariboo summer, Jun Ito has now left Quesnel and the Shiraoi House, just in time to avoid a Cariboo winter.

But it’s not to avoid winter that Ito is going south, though Cariboo winter’s are hard on Japanese who are used to much milder temperatures. Instead Ito is going to Whistler where he’ll be able to snowboard on a world class mountain.

He will not, however, forget Quesnel and his first taste of Canadian life.

“I like Canadian life,” Ito said.

“It moves much more slowly here.”

In this slow pace, Ito has found friends at the skatepark and enjoyed time spent ranging around the outskirts of the city in its beautiful backyard.

Looking back on his short time here, approximately three months, both Billy Barker Days and a trip to see the waterfall at Deep Creek, stick out in his mind.

That is beside the hours spent in Shiraoi House teaching and learning.

Ito came to Canada with simple, high school English and a need to learn how to speak so he could get a job in Whistler for the winter.

“It was helpful to speak with native speakers,” he said.

In fact, if you’ve stepped into the Shiraoi House over the summer you’ve probably seen Ito, neck bent over reams of English homework. He was there five days a week and when there wasn’t someone to teach Japanese language and culture, that’s what he was doing.

Not only did he learn more about English, to a point where he is much easier in conversations than when he arrived, but he learned how difficult his own language is for the people he taught. Explaining some concepts of Japanese grammar had him at a loss how to clarify differences that are nearly untranslatable.

Ito is looking forward to snowboarding in Whistler. Though he has been skateboarding all summer it has been simply a stand in for his real passion – snowboarding. He used to spend his winter’s on hills in Japan, snowboarding professionally and looks forward to spending copious amounts of time on the slopes once again.

After winter is over and the fresh powder is gone from the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb, Ito plans to come back north to canoe the Bowron Lakes with some of his Quesnel friends.

But until then, he’ll be studying his English and hitting the slopes down south.

Just Posted

Emperor’s Challenge conquered by Quesnel queens

Group of nine local women ran up and down Babcock Mountain on Saturday

Some roads in Cariboo region closed due to evacuation orders

The Ministry of Transportation has provided a list of road closures in the Cariboo

Local woman set for trial in Alberta as animal cruelty investigation continues in B.C.

Karin Adams was discovered with eight dogs in Alberta weeks after having 16 dogs seized in Quesnel

Ice Demons returning to CIHL for 2018-2019 season

Central Interior Hockey League will return with five teams after shrinking last season

83 active wildfires and 9 fires-of-note in Cariboo Fire Centre Aug. 15

Up-to-date information about wildfires, evacuation orders and alerts in the Cariboo Fire Centre.

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Most Read