They were impressed with what little Japanese I could speak, and my strength as I lifted kids while they held onto my upper arm. It was fun.
Video about how I was feeling about my last week in Japan.
Although I’ve already done these giving back activities in the weeks passed, my intention was to talk about them all in one post as they are not very extensive.
In our first week we were invited to an English class at Doshisha University. The students were really excited to meet us and had many questions such as why we chose to learn Japanese, and what are favorite foods, and hobbies are. Every time I told someone I enjoy playing Japanese Mahjong I got looks of surprise. I mean normally Mahjong is a gambling game, so I guess their first thought is that I gamble, but then I explain that I am in a Mahjong club at my school where we just use the point sticks.
That same week I met with my language partner Araki Kanae (è’æœ¨ ã‹ãªãˆ). She lives in Kyoto and commutes to study at Doshisha University as a Global Communication major. Her current hobbies and interests are music, traveling, and learning languages. She knows both English and German. So jealous. I want to learn German, but I’ll go over the maximum amount of credits I am allowed to take at RIT. She has studied abroad, and lived with a homestay family for a year in Canada. We usually just talked about what we enjoy doing and what we prefer the most out of a group, like our favorite fast food restaurants. I like Wendy’s, but she likes Burger King more.
In our third week, we traveled to Takamatsu city, Kagawa Prefecture in Honshu. In addition to visiting a bonsai farm, we were invited to an elementary school for the afternoon. There we took part in a 4th grade calligraphy class with the principle who is a calligraphy master. I wrote the character was “sora” (ç©º), sky. I also attended a 5th grade English class. A majority of students knew enough English to introduce themselves, and talk about what they like, if they know the words in English. Next was lunch, and some free time. It was very interesting that everyone, students and staff, participate in cleaning their class and area of the school. I am pretty sure it was very exciting for them to have met a person of color. They were impressed with what little Japanese I could speak, and my strength as I lifted kids while they held onto my upper arm. It was fun. I just wish I knew more vocabulary so I could actually know what they’re saying. We then gave a presentation in the gym on the city of Rochester where are school is located close to the end of the school day.
Next week, we all went to a homestay for the week. I was the farthest away from the school living in Osaka. I was so glad it was for only one week, because the train fare there and back was expensive. There was a mother, father, son, and his cousin. His sister is attending high school in Texas, so I did not get to meet her. The son, Hrioshi, is also a student at Doshisha University studying Computer Science/Engineering. He has shown me around some cool places in Osaka like the American Village with a much smaller version of the statue of liberty. His mom and cousin are really good cooks. I really enjoyed the home cooked meals. There was also a nice ramen shop nearby the station I get off of in Osaka. The owner/chef had AMAZING tonkutsu ramen. No soft-boiled egg though. Oh well.
All in all, I kind of get teary-eyed cause I have to leave. I am so happy I was able to come to Japan. This will be one of those moments ill cherish forever.