As the Honorary Vice Chairwoman for Sister Cities International, Second Lady Karen Pence participated in a meeting and cultural presentation of the Youth Ambassador Exchange, a program through the Houston, Texas-Chiba Sister City Relationship. Mrs. Pence met with the Mayor of Chiba-city, Toshihito Kumagai, five middle school students from last year’s Youth Ambassador Exchange program, and the teacher who served as the chaperone for the exchange program.
The annual Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassador Program is considered to be one of the most important elements of the sister city relationship. In alternating years, middle school students, along with a chaperone, visit their counterpart’s city. The meeting opened with Mayor Kumagai offering greetings from Chiba-city, Japan and Mrs. Pence offering greetings from the United States.
The meeting included a presentation by the five Japanese students who participated in the Youth Ambassador Exchange program. Mrs. Pence learned about the students’ visit to Houston last year where they met with city officials, attended classes at a Houston middle school, and toured local sights. Through the stories shared, Mrs. Pence gained an understanding of what it is was like for the students to experience home and school life in a culture different from their own.
“The Houston, Texas-Chiba Sister City relationship is a 45-year relationship, bringing together cities and people to experience each other’s culture,” said Mrs. Karen Pence. “It was an honor and pleasure to visit with the Mayor, students, and their chaperone. This was a great opportunity to represent the United States and continue the cultural relationship between our country and Japan.”
After participation in the sister city presentation, Mrs. Pence visted the Hama-rikyu Gardens in Tokyo. She was joined by Mrs. Chikako Aso, wife of Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso. Together, they enjoyed the beautiful views of the gardens. Following the tour, the Second Lady met with Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On Thursday, Mrs. Pence will visit the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Yokota Air Base where she will meet with military spouses.
To stay updated on Mrs. Pence’s events, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.
About Houston-Chiba Sister City Relationship
The Houston, Texas—Chiba City, Japan sister city relationship was established in 1972. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) invited to Japan a Houston delegation. The delegation approached the Japan Municipal League for International Friendship to ask about partnering with a Japanese city. Houston and Chiba City identified a number of shared interests and characteristics, for example, both are important port cities with strong industrial bases. After consideration and their respective municipal approvals, on October 24, 1972, the cities executed a sister-city agreement.
Houston-Tampico Sister City Association, our fellow Sister City association:
You are cordially invited to the presentation of the first historical photographic calendar on the oil industry in Mexico. We will make the presentation during Houston City Council to the Mayor of the city, led by Mexico’s Consul General Oscar Rodriguez:
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Time: 9:30 in the morning Place: Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002
There is metered parking on the streets. Or you can park underneath Tranquility Park (flat rate). Please arrive early because we are at the beginning of City Council agenda.
German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) South – Houston celebrates its anniversary year.
GACC South – Houston turns 40 and they will celebrate 10 years Houston office. To start the festivities, they will gather in the elegant atmosphere of the Forest Club to network and mingle, and to welcome in the New Year. Consul General Thomas H. Meister will be in attendance and there will be a silent auction. More information to follow.
On Saturday, January 20, 2018, the Houston Saengerbund will present its 3rd Annual German Vocal Competition, The Saengerbund Awards. The final concert is a Liederabend featuring eight national finalists who will compete for $7500 in prize money. Each performer will perform two German selections from opera, operetta, Lieder, or folk songs. The judging panel will rank the finalists, and the cash prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the evening. There is also an opportunity for the audience to participate by voting for the Audience Favorite Award.
This year’s final judging panel includes professional singers and musicians from Houston Grand Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Opera in the Heights, and the University of Houston. Former winners of the Saengerbund Awards have gone on to important engagements at Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, and the Seattle Opera, as well as appearances with the Dallas Symphony, the Minneapolis Symphony and the Quasthoff Vocal Awards in Heidelberg, Germany.
The event is free to the public and will include a reception following the competition. The Saengerbund Awards will commence at 7:30 pm at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman, Houston, TX, 77004.