Wolfhounds Welcome Japanese Orphans

Abigail Payne
Abigail Payne
Katie Payne
Katie Payne

WAHIAWA (KHNL) - It's a big trip to Hawaii for some kids from Japan.

Four orphans from Holy Family Home in Osaka arrived on Oahu Friday.

Local, military families are hosting them for a week.

This year is particularly special as the Wolfhounds of Schofield Barracks mark their 50th year of bringing Japanese orphans to Hawaii.

The orphans are staying with six different military families, including Katie Payne and her four daughters.

"We thought it would be a good opportunity for the girls to realize that there's a lot more than people who are just like us and talk like us," said Payne.

"Like where they live and stuff and where they came from," said Abigail Payne, Katie's daughter.

This cultural exchange started back in 1949. The Wolfhounds were sent to Osaka and visited Holy Family Home. Later they collected donations and helped kids move into a better facility. And for the past 50 years, the Wolfhounds have provided funds to bring kids from the orphanage to Oahu for week-long vacations.

Even though there may be a language barrier, the families hope to teach them a lot as well.

"I hope they take away the sense of family from being around our children, and the just enjoy their time," said Payne.

During their vacation here, the Japanese kids will get a slice of island life.

They'll visit everything from the Waikiki Aquarium, to the Polynesian Cultural Center.