The TOMODACHI program has helped me realize many things about myself, my home, and the world I live in. I learned that I am very dependent on my mother and I have many fears that are holding me back. Throughout my travels with the TOMODACHI group, I noticed that they all got to their destinations by themselves even the Japanese students. That really convinced me that I am capable of doing a lot of things on my own. The trip to Japan will just put what I learned into action and prove to everyone and myself that I can be more independent. Some of the many fears that I have are elevators, the metro, and planes. I have conquered the fear of elevators and the metro throughout the program. It has made me feel more brave, empowered, and free. I can travel to a variety of places more easily and quicker using the train and elevator which is so satisfying. I will soon conquer the fear of planes once again on the flight to Japan. I have rode on a plane to Florida and back, but I was petrified with fear the whole time. This time the flight will be longer and that will be a challenge. I will not however let that stop me from completing my dream. I know now that I can do this and the only thing to fear is fear itself.
This program has also helped me appreciate my home, Washington DC. I have been sheltered most of my life and the area that I live in is not the best neighborhood ever. I grew to really dislike it and I just concluded that all of DC was like that. I was shown through this program that I couldn’t be more wrong. Traveling to Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and many other places showed me the different sides of DC, that I did not think existed.
I was also made conscious of the fact that I live not just in DC in America but on Earth and there are so many things happening on it. TOMODACHI taught me to keep up with the news because it is all relevant and important. The program showed me the variety of cultures and how they are different yet similar to mine. I now want to explore the world, my first stop being Japan. The next one maybe France, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, Sweden, or New Zealand. Who knows? There are so many options to choose from.
Hospitality High School