Cain, Outbound to Japan


I’ve been in Japan for about two months now. It still feels like a dream. I arrived in Japan on August 26, which means my birthday, April 26, will be my eighth month here. I had a really rocky first few days. I was thrown into the world of school festivals and had to learn a dance that was to be performed the next day. Everything was a blur and I felt like crying. Even though I was going through a tough time I pushed through it and found a sense of normality. My classmates are very kind, funny, and helpful. I’ve started slowly building friendships and its definitely not easy. I try my best to speak in as much Japanese as possible so my classmates don’t have to be stressed out about finding the right English word. My host family is absolutely amazing as well. They care about my strange hobbies like going to the animate shop every weekend or my obsession with cats. They push me out of my comfort zone and want me to be the very best me I can be. So, in return I study for hours on end and have decided to not speak English unless asked for translation or I don’t know of anyway else to communicate. This method has pushed my Japanese skills so much farther. I understand about half of what people say and ninety percent of what my parents say. Oddly enough I really enjoy kanji! Even though most people find it difficult, I find it to be very beautiful and helps shorten up sentences. What I think everyone can agree on is that cursive kanji is beyond anything even imaginable. Even so, learning comes with difficulties that you just have to get pasted. That is why I’m very grateful to have my host family as my support system. They have really welcomed me into Japan with open arms. There are definitely pros and cons to living here. While I’ve gone on so many amazing adventures like going to a world-famous garden (kenrokuen), aquarium, geisha district, joining in on a shrine lifting festival, its definitely not all fun. I’ve gotten lost multiple times on the buses ending up on the other side of town. It’s extremely humid and hard to adjust to. I’ve arrived in sick season so the chance of me getting sick are pretty high. School is sometimes hard to adjust to because teachers write things really fast and I can’t write it down fast enough. Some of the food really messes with my stomach as well. But you know what, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. Even though I’ve had some “bad” days, the good ones are what shine through. I love my new home and already don’t want to even think about leaving. I look forward to the new adventures that await me. I’m so grateful to my Rotary club in Florida for giving me this opportunity and my Host club in Japan for accepting me. I hope I can make you all proud.


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