American spreads joy in Shenzhen
2012-April-27 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Bonnie Horibata

arrived in Shenzhen in August last year. But her life in the city is already as abundant as back home in Hawaii, the United States.

As the director of the admissions center of Shenzhen American International School, Horibata, 54, has set up a children’s choir, Voice of China International Choir, with her family in the city.

“I was teaching children to sing back in Hawaii. When I came here, I had the idea of setting up a choir for both expatriate and local children, letting local children have a similar experience to foreign children,” said Horibata.

Horibata was encouraged by her husband, Wallace Horibata, and her 15-year-old son Trevor-James Horibata, who also helps her teach the choir.

“It is going surprisingly well. We have already held several performances at the Futian Shangri-La Hotel and we will have one in May at Sea World in Nanshan District,” she said.

At present, there are about 25 children in the choir that includes seven expatriate children.

“Chinese students like it very much because they can learn English while singing,” she said.

Horibata came to Shenzhen as her son wanted to live with his father, a Donghai Airlines pilot who lives in Shenzhen, and go to high school in China.

Donghai Airlines is a Shenzhen-based cargo airline and China’s first private regional airline.

“Our family love children and always love to do something positive for society,” said Horibata.

To make life more interesting, the family set up an American football team in Shekou with Wallace Horibata and Trevor-James Horibata as coaches.

More than 50 children are competing for a place in the team. Most of the children are from other countries and only six to eight were born-and-raised in Shenzhen.

“It is so cute to see the children interact, and the parents appreciate them having the opportunity,” said Horibata.

In Horibata’s opinion, activities that involve parents spending time with children are very important. “Children can teach parents how to share and enjoy life and that’s important,” she said.

“I really enjoy our life in the city and we plan to stay here for a long time. I think my son made a good decision in moving here to study. We feel happy that we can do something for the community. Meanwhile, with so many friends from around the world and so many interesting activities, he will become a better global citizen when he grows up,” she said.

Editor: Olivia
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