Phillip Fontaine participates in Rotary Youth Exchange Program

Phillip Takeo Fontaine has returned from taking part in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program for 2012-2013. Sponsored by the Rotary Kihei Wailea Club on Maui, he was selected to exchange with a Rotary Club in Japan.

Fontaine departed in mid-August 2012 to be with his host Rotary Club in Katsuura.

The Rotary Youth Exchange program sends approximately 8,000 students each year and is supported by Rotarians around the world.

Fontaine was selected because of his qualifications in both academics and personal conduct.

In Japan, he discovered that a suit had to be worn to school. “Uniformed” with dress shirt and jacket every day was one of many requirements.

Fontaine studied writing and speaking in Japanese. He won awards in Japanese calligraphy, a highlight of his stay he cherishes.

A music enthusiast, Fontaine took his clarinet, oboe and baritone to Japan to play music for his new friends.

On July 28, Fontaine returned home. Classmates greeted him with favorite grinds of POG juice, li hing mui seeds, mochi crunch and more.

Fontaine gifted his dad and mom, George and Paige Fontaine of Wailea, with kimonos.

Sixteen-year-old Fontaine returned just in time to resume classes at St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School last week.