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      Breaking language barriers and building friendships

      In the 70â??s one woman and her husband moved from Japan to America in hopes to learn English. They attended Escanabaâ??s Bay College dreaming of opening a school back home. Their dream come true and the school is still open today.

      Now, Setsuko Kusaka is back in the U.P. visiting her international friends and reminiscing about the great times they shared.

      After a short stay in the dorms in the 70â??s at Bay College, Setsuko and her now late husband, Hirato, quickly learned they were unable to afford living in America.

      Thanks to the generosity of the late Louis J. Louis, they were able to stay in Gladstone, for much less.

      The 73-year-old Louis enjoyed the company, and showing the couple our great outdoors. Setsuko fondly remembers camping and fishing with Louie.

      â??He even took my husband for hunting," said Satsuko. "We still keep the horn on the wall in my living room.â??

      This couple was not the only one benefiting from this friendship.

      â??It was a relief in case he got sick," said Louis's daughter Judy LaCombe. "They did the cleaning, the cooking, she did so many things and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to him.â??

      While Louis taught Setsuko about organic produce, she taught him about her culture through food.

      â??He really liked my cookies and baking and he even tried Japanese food,â?? Setsuko said.

      Although there are no set plans for their next trip, Setsuko and her children plan on continuing to stay in touch with their Escanaba friends for a very long time.