Sat 28 Jun 2008
After spending four weeks here, I can honestly say that I love Japan. I love the food; I love the history; I love the land itself. I love the customs like when walking into any establishment one is instantly bombarded with an “irasshaimasei” (either living or pre-recorded), or like the very clean, very reliable trains.
The relationships that have developed while on this trip were truly rewarding, whether with Nanzan students, people on the trip, people who joined us, or just random brief encounters with Japanese people. One of my roommates, a girl who also experienced an exchange program to Japan, knowing I would be back here doing a homestay, gave me note cards with common Japanese phrases so that I could practice. She has been wonderful with her plethora of advise concerning a homestay situation. The ESS students and the girls from the coffee hour are all very friendly people who wanted nothing more than to get my email and facebook information so that we could keep in touch. I am going to miss Satomi-san and Mishi-san, but I am glad to know there will be people here that I will already know when I return in the spring. They have both expressed the desire to see me next year, and I can’t wait.
As for the people on this trip, I couldn’t have asked for more fun group of people. I was worried before coming here to come to a foreign counrty with so many poeple I didn’t know. I was so grateful that Lindsay was coming, and it’s been fabulous having her here. But I’m also glad that we have such a diverse group. It made for interesting conversations and rewarding adventures. We’ve all had our differences, but I am glad to have met all of you and to have spent time with you. I hope that we can continue to keep in touch, although I am aware of how often that is said and how rarely it actually happens. That reality does not diminish my hope for it to be true.
Bates Sensei, I want to thank you sincerely for making this trip a reality. It was a perfect introduction to the history and country. Meuro Sensei, thank you for easing our stay and for answering so many weird questions.