It’s hard to put into words how I feel about this summer, but the best way I can describe it is amazing. I did something that I could have never done if it wasn’t for this program, I traveled to another country with six amazing people. I got to hear one of the most unique languages in the world for two and a half weeks straight, I even ended up learning some Japanese, which makes me wonder just how much more can I learn. I even got to stay with an awesome family that welcomed me with open arms, like I was one of their own. They cooked great food some of which I could have back here in the States with me but I can’t because no one I know can cook Japanese food like Yuki’s mom. Yuki is one of the kindest people I have ever met, he would go out of his way to look out for me and make sure everything is going well and that I’m adjusting to life in Japan well. Even though we aren’t related by blood I feel like he’s my brother and always will be now and forever.
In Tokyo, we saw all kinds of new and amazing things from new foods like Monja or Udong Noodles to Yokohama’s love for Pikachu. Everywhere you go in Yokohama there would be something that has Pikachu on it whether it was buildings or fans there was always a Pikachu. I got to travel to the Tohoku region where I stayed on a farm and climbed a mountain and took pictures on giant boulders and went net fishing on a boat with some of my friends from Japan and D.C. One thing that shocked me the most about the Tohoku region was that I never felt that at peace before in my life. There were rolling hills with beautiful trees and there was forest for as far as the eye could see.
On the DC side of the program, we went to visit a lot of different important people and organizations but we also got to have fun and do things together with one another. We went sightseeing, walked on the Mall, and even looked into the economic gap in D.C. It was kind of weird at first when we came back to DC because even though I was able to have some American food again I still missed Japan. Watching Yuki and the other Japanese kids move around in D.C. was funny. On the first day S.M. said “you guys’ subways look so scary” and Andres said “we don’t got ads and pretty color, we got rust” and all of us were laughing about it for the whole day. Being with everyone opened my eyes to the world and just how beautiful it truly is.
I could never forget the people I met, everyone was unique in some way, we all had something different we brought to this experience and that what made it work so well. Even though there were moments, where something controversial would come up and talk about a touchy subject, I think it made us grow closer as a family. I can honestly say that this is the best summer of my life and that no matter what happens I have to go back to Japan to see my family again.
Friendship Collegiate Academy