I woke up early this morning

I woke up early this morning. i was writing my blog outside because it was very mystical. Luckily I had a chance to go for a walk with my hostdog Ginsan. We walked on the beach for about twenty minutes. He was so cute.

After that we did a farewell ceremony at the Portal Center. I was a little sad to say goodbye but I soon realized I lived nearby so I told him that I will come back again.

At noon, we had cow tongue at the cow tongue restaurant. I had some beef stew. The meat inside was so soft and it tasted wonderful. I was satisfied.

Afternoon, we went to a tour with the local students from elementary school and junior high school as a guide for me. They took me to a lot of places and tried their best to explain to me in English. I was moved to see that.

During my stay in Tohoku, I realized that I didn’t know as much about Tohoku as I thought. So it was a great experience for me.

Ko Sato
Furukawa Gakuen High School

My homestay

In the morning, we made a rope to hang some scallops. My job was to cut the rope. The other boys were stabbing the needles through the rope. We did that for two hours. I was tired but was happy because it was my first time to do it.

For lunch we ate somen. It was after work so it tasted two times better.

After lunch we took a nap. I woke up at 3:30, and I found out while I was sleeping the teachers came here and took my picture. I was surprised to hear that. I immediately went to Facebook and soon found my photos posted by Haruhito sensei. I laughed hard because in one of the pictures, there was me sleeping with my eyes half opened.

In the evening, we went to a nearby beach. We went to a big island, and climbed to the top. I was very tired, but I was happy because it was a great view.

At night we ate takoyaki. It was fun because we were able to see it made, and of course, it was delicious!!

It was a great day, and I wish I can go there again!!

Ko Sato
Furukawa Gakuen High School

At Kesennuma

Today was a great day. In the morning, we went to a special art museum. Inside, there were many pictures and sculptures about natural disasters. It was a very unique place. There was a painting that I will never forget. It was a painting about people who lost their lives by the tsunami. They were all floating, and the birds were eating them. It was so shocking for me.

After that, we went to a shack to make some salt. At first, I thought it was easy to make salt but actually it took me a long time to make just a small bottle of salt. I realized even a small amount of salt, we have to work hard to make it. For lunch we had pizza at the K-Port. K-Port is made by an actor Ken Watanabe. l was happy to see Kesennuma being more active than before.

On my way home, we went to see the Minato Matsuri. Everyone was dancing around. I participated too. It was very fun. I wish I can participate again.

For dinner we had a chance to use the salt we made. My salt tasted like sea water. I wish I had the chance to retry.

After dinner, I interviewed the owner of this inn with Daniel. l found out that the owner had a strong will to make his hometown great again. I asked him what he always keeps in mind of everyday about the inn. He said he always tries to make the inn like home. I was moved because he didn’t leave his hometown but struggles to recover his town. I felt I have to learn from him…

Today I had a brilliant day in Kesennuma.

Ko Sato
Furukawa Gakuen High School

Japanese Favorites!

Ready for take off! Our Japanese TOMODACHI students reflect on their favorite things from the DC part of the exchange. Now on to Japan!

Rey:
Favorite Food: Cheese. I had the chance to try out various kinds but above all, I truly recommend Brie.
Favorite Place: Busboys and Poets.
Favorite Memory: At the dorm, playing hand games and card games or just talking about random stuff with my friends from DC.

Yuuki:
Favorite Food: Lasagna (by host father) and banana bread (host mother).
Favorite Place: Farmer’s Market.
Favorite Memory: Time playing board games with my host family.

Natsuho:
Favorite Food: Macaroni and cheese.
Favorite Place: Takoma Park.
Favorite Memory: I cooked Japanese food but my host family couldn’t eat it.

Ko:
Favorite Food: Fried chicken.
Favorite Place: Busboy and Poets. I want to have it in Japan.
Favorite Memory: The day I went to see the stadium with my host family. The stadium was so large.

Hide:
Favorite Food: American soul food, in particular, macaroni and cheese.
Favorite Place: My host family’s home and bowling place and the river.
Favorite Memory: I like Marco Polo and skating!

Ryotaro:
Favorite Food: Steak! I went to the LongHorn Steakhouse with my host family,and it was delicious!
Favorite Place: Military base! I went with my host family!
Favorite Memory: TOMODACHI!

The unforgettable days

Today in the morning I went to the Thurgood Marshall Center. It is a place which trains young children to go outside and make a change. There, we made pairs and talked about “when you were treated differently” and “when we treated someone differently.” I found out that it is hard to say the bad things that I did.

After that, we talked with Ms. Tinker. She fought for the rights to talk politics in school. I learned that it’s important to have an opinion and take action to spread your opinion. (It reminds me of my host family’s dog Molly. If she wants to play, she plays. If she wants to sleep, she sleeps.)

For lunch, I ate many fried chicken with mambo sauce. It was delicious.

In the afternoon we went to the baseball stadium and gave people many fruits and vegetables. It was difficult to maintain the speed of the line. It was tiring but I am very satisfied.

After that we practiced baseball with children. I was very happy to see the children treating the gloves and bats carefully as if they were partners.

Today I experienced many things. I can’t wait to tell it to my friends in Japan.

Ko Sato
Furukawa Gakuen HS

Weekend Home Stays

Nice tender family – by Natsuho

I played tennis with Rey and her host father. We took a bicycle to the place where we can play tennis but it made me little bit tired because it was hot and we have to go up many hills. It was my first time to play tennis but it was really fun for me because Rey’s host father is a tennis coach so he was good coach for me too. After we played tennis we were going back to my host family’s house and having a nice lunch. We had cheese, sausages, vegetables and so on. Cheese is one of my favorite food and US has many kinds of cheese so I am happy to eat them. After we ate our lunch we played a puzzle together. I never do puzzle with my family but it is good thing to play puzzle with family because we can have nice conversations. What I found from this weekend experiences is family should do something together to be a nice tender family.

New TOMODACHI – by Ryotaro

My host family and I went to the Chesapeake Beach on the weekend. It was raining in the beginning, but it turned to hot sunny weather. I swam in the water with my host family, and we had fun. I also talked with a fisherman, a man who was flying a kite, and people who were playing American football. I found it interesting talking with the people, and everyone was friendly. On the beach, there were people who were playing soccer. I asked them if I can join them, but they only spoke Spanish. I used gestures to join in, and they let me in. I played beach soccer with them and enjoyed. I also learned some Spanish and taught Japanese using gestures as well. I became friends with them and took pictures! This was the most wonderful experience this weekend and it was great!

I learned that we can connect and be TOMODACHI through sports, gestures, and smiles, even when we cannot communicate by using language.

Ko’s Weekend

Saturday was my host sister’s birthday. We strolled around the Eastern Market in the morning. It was so crowded, and there were many shops. Other than shops, there were many people who sold paintings made by themselves. It was wonderful to see many people expressing themselves.

In the evening, we went to Georgetown to celebrate Taylor’s birthday. I met Taylor’s friends, and they were very friendly. One of her friends had a sleepover at my house, so we watched a movie “Karate Kid” until late at night.

Sunday, I woke up late because we had nothing to do. So we went to the Lincoln Memorial at noon. At the Memorial, I found a plate that said “MLK was here.” It was a great view. Inside there was a big statue of Lincoln. I was so surprised to see people from many countries came to see Lincoln.

On the way home, I took a photo of me with the Capitol.

In the evening, I went to a house of my host mother’s friends to do a barbecue. He was a professor in a university in China, so many Chinese students came too. I learned many things about China.

This weekend, I had experienced many things. I am satisfied!!

Try New – by Yuuki

My host family always helps me to try new things. In my host family, there are no children but we have two cats. My host mother and father taught me how to play with the cats since I’d never played with cats. On Saturday, I spent a whole day with my host family. We made waffles together and went to a farm market in the morning. It was my first time to go to a farm market and there are a lot of fruits and vegetables which I saw for the first time. In the evening, we went to the vegan restaurant at Clarksville and I tried a burger with BBQ sauce. Ice “cream” was my favourite. They teach me many board games too. We’ve already played three board games and there are more at home. I enjoy having time with them and every time I get something new.

Sunday was a day I walked a lot. I visited the National Zoo with Chi and Bryson. I saw many animals I haven’t met before. The photo shows orangutans walking on the wire. We played Pokemon Go there and headed for Bryson’s house. I played with his three dogs and read some of his Manga. It was such a nice day for me.

I am glad that I had great friends and host family. I will continue trying new things without forgetting my feelings of appreciation for them.

Hide’s Weekend

This is my diary entry about my weekend. On Saturday, my host family, Ryotaro and I went to Chesapeake Beach. I played with kites with a stranger on the beach. He was very kind and friendly. I also talked with a fisherman because I like fishing. The bait was bigger than what I use in Fukushima’s river. I had a lot of fun.

On Sunday, we went bowling. The bowling area is in the military base. We had hamburgers and fries for snacks. The meat was thick. I used honey-mustard in my burger. It was my first time but I liked it. At home, I played with my host brothers and sisters. We played with wii and a Japanese game called “darumaotoshi.”

This weekend was a lot of fun because I was able to experience many things.

Rey’s Weekend

This weekend with my host family was superb! We didn’t go anywhere special or fancy but instead we experienced what their usual weekends were like. For instance on Saturday, we biked up and down the steep hills to get to a tennis court, and played tennis early in the morning. Even though I’ve never played tennis before, my host father taught me how to swing the racket and we were all playing a game in no time. After tennis, we went to our neighbor’s house for lunch. Because I told them I love cheese, they got me various kinds of cheese I’ve never eaten before including the Havarti. They were so good I couldn’t stop reaching for a piece right after another! The two families also got together to complete a kite puzzle which was quite an achievement.

Ko’s Day Two

Today was the day we left the dorm. I was very sad because I have to separate with my family.

We took the metro (with our luggage) to Columbia Heights Education Campus. It was rush hour, so there were many people walking around. I was surprised because it looks like Tokyo. After we get to CHEC, we had a Slam Poetry Workshop with Mr. Regie Cabio. At first I was nervous because I’m not good at making poems. But then Mr. Regie told us to stand up and exercise. We made a circle and pass the words, and we made stories with our partner too. I really enjoyed it.

Afterwards we made a list of what we like and what we don’t like. I felt that it is important to express yourself.

After that, we talked with the first and second generation immigrants from Bell High School. Talking to them, I found out that they have positive thinking about living in D.C.

For lunch, we had Ethiopian food. I tried to eat all of them but the food was so spicy that I failed to eat all. But it was so delicious.

On the way to CHEC, I saw a big beautiful painting of Obama and Prince. I was so happy because I was a fan of Prince.

Today I met many people and learned many things.

Ko Sato
Furukawa Gakuen HS