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International Exchange Progam Highlight

Japanese boy marvels at Cattaraugus County Fair

By RICK MILLER Olean Times Herald

LITTLE VALLEY — Shinnosuke Wakasa, a 15-year-old Japanese boy from the Toyko suburbs, is one of the last people you’d expect to meet at the Cattaraugus County Fair in rural Western New York.

Yet, there Shinnosuke was early Monday afternoon, showing a goat that belonged to his 4-H host family, the Ubertys from Farmersville.

The New York 4-H requested host families, Holly Uberty said. “We applied and were accepted.” Shinnosuke is part of a 4-H equivalent organization and came for a 3 1/2-week visit on July 23.

“It’s an immersion program,” Uberty, a mother of five, explained. “He’s part of our daily life — chores included.”

Shinnosuke speaks a minimal amount of English. Uberty said they have been using Google translate to communicate.

“There’s a little language barrier,” she said. More so for her than her children. “Their culture is a little different. He’s not glued to his phone and he’s will