Rutland High students return home after typhoon strikes Japan

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Some Rutland High students returned home safe after a class trip to Japan turned scary. A typhoon ripped through the country over the weekend.

Tonight, the students with the International Studies Club at Rutland High returned with all smiles.

“Their city is totally different from Macon,” senior Eujin Pyon said. “It was such a great experience.”

Towards the end of the trip, the typhoon struck.

The typhoon

“They would constantly tell us if we had to evacuate, prepare our things,” recalls senior Tyler Howard. “Don’t be afraid to leave things behind. It was just like, oh no.”

The students left October 3 to visit schools and explore cities.

They were supposed to return on October 12. But a typhoon came through, not letting the students return until Tuesday.

“I saw a tree go down,” Pyon said. “We would go out in the hallways and the emergency lights would sway and the outdoor exit you can hear the rain hitting hard on the door.”

“The building just started swaying,” sophomore Taylor Hary said. “We would be sitting there and you could really feel the building moving. Windows were shaking. If you look on the wall, your stuff would be moving.”

Howard says they were in the hotel when the typhoon hit and instantly became worried.
“I just felt my body start to move and am I that tired?” Howard asked. “Do I need to go to bed? I couldn’t believe it.”

Due to the typhoon, program coordinators sent the students to Disneyland in Tokyo. Students say the experience won’t stop them from visiting the friends they made in Japan.

Students returned on Tuesday and were in school on Wednesday to take their PSAT exams.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.