Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Blog: Home and the start of the Next Adventure

It has been about a week since I returned home to Hawaii from AIU (Akita International University). It is nice to be back home because I get to sleep in my own bed, walk my dog, and relax before I begin my final year at UHM (University of Hawaii at Manoa).

Before I left AIU, I sold my bicycle to my friend, and I went to the Kanto Festival. I forgot to bring
my camera with me, so I got these pictures from my friend.
Pictures from Kanto

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Community Development

This semester I took mostly Japanese courses. Compared to last semester, I was studying by myself a lot in the library. In addition, a lot of my Japanese classes conflicted with the school events, so I was unable to sign up for them. The only other course I took this semester that was not Japanese was this course called "Community Development."
I signed up for "Community Development" because as an exchange student, I did not have that much classes with Japanese students. Also Keli'i recommended this class to me after taking this class during the fall semester. I did not know what to expect when I signed up for this course, but I am happy I took this course because I made a lot of great friends, and I realized that I want to do something in the future where I can cause positive impact on the community.  

For this course, I had to learn about the definition of community development, find examples of how community development is related to Japan, and give a presentation with Japanese students in Japanese about what we learned about the rural areas in Akita and how can we improve a community like Akita.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Aloha Akita

Recently, I just finished my final exams at AIU (Akita International University). I still have to write a paper for one of my classes, but right now I am taking a break. Currently, I am trying to spend time with my friends that are returning to there home country, going to study abroad, or will be at AIU when I return to my home country.

It seems strange because I am so used to seeing my friends here. In addition, it will be weird to return home because I will be able to overhear other peoples conversations and not worry about the language barrier. At Akita, I have gotten used to seeing Japanese words everywhere and people speaking to me in Japanese that I do not have a problem anymore.
Saying goodbye to my Japanese Conversation partner before she goes to Norway for study abroad

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Final Hawaii Night

This past weekend was the Final Hawaii Night. For the last Hawaii Night, my friends and I made Hawaiian foods such as lomi lomi, garlic shrimp, meat jun, tuna poke, malasadas, spam rice, haupia, hawaiian-style sesame cabbage, macraoni salad, fruit punch, li-hing mui pineapple, and fried tofu poke. We wanted to make other Hawaiian foods such as mochiko chicken, hawaiian beef stew, and avocado poke, but the ingredients for those foods were too difficult to find or too expensive.

For this event we charged everyone 550 yen and we were hoping to get at least 40 people to attend the party. However about 30 people came and not everyone that signed up the event showed up. Thankfully there were a lot of people that showed up for the party even though they did not sign up.

People were pretty happy with the food, and they were happy to keep the leis, and take home leftover food. Here are pictures from the Hawaii Night from my friends.

Friday, June 14, 2013

You only live once Hawaiian Style

It is hard to believe that my study abroad experience is almost over. After coming to Akita I have been able to learn Japanese, make friends with people from different countries, improve my cooking skills, and travel by myself around Japan. Recently I have been really busy because I am taking a lot of Japanese classes this semester, looking up internships to apply for when I return, and spending time with my friends that I might not see again for a while. In addition, I got a new camera about a week ago from my parents because my old camera broke. All of the pictures on this post are from my friends because I have not figured out how to use my new camera yet.

Below is a picture from a Hawaii event that my Hawaii friends and I hosted for the students at Akita International University (AIU). This is the second Hawaii event my friends and I hosted this year. I was nervous planning this event because I could not think of any activities for people to do, but people were pretty happy when they came. They loved the food, and Keli'i was able to play Hawaiian music with two other students for entertainment.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My First Time in a Capsule Hotel

Since coming to Japan, I have had the opportunity to live on my own and experience things I would not have experienced back at home. Besides my cooking problems, I have been able to live in various places such as a Japanese person's home, hostel, capsule hotel, business hotel, and I had to stay up all night at Shinjuku because I missed my night bus from Tokyo to Akita. In addition, recently I had to go the hospital because I got a Q-tip stuck in my ear and I was unable to remove it by myself. Experiencing some of these experiences has not been fun, but I feel that these experiences have allowed me to grow up as a person. I think that by studying abroad I have met so many different people, and I have seen so many things that I will be looking forward to traveling again.

I think my Spring Break was fun, but compared to one of my friends, I do not think that I did anything too extreme. After I got back to Akita International University (AIU), one of my friends told me that in order to save money, she hitchhiked a lot at Okinawa. In addition, she brought a tent with her so she was able to camp at Okinawa for about five days. I thought she was crazy, but I guess because Okinawa is supposed to be safer than Japan, hitchhiking at Okinawa may not be too dangerous.

Below are pictures from one of the business hotels I stayed at. Usually these hotels cost about 5000 yen per night, but the hotel fee includes a free breakfast. In addition, some of the business hotels I stayed at provided me a free set of pajamas, toiletries, and free Internet. Besides the free Internet, I was able to have my own room at the business hotel separate from my parents when I was traveling with them. At Tokyo, I had to share a room with my parents, and I was unable to use the Internet for free because the hotel bill was too expensive.

Breakfast from a Business Hotel

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break Family Time

Since arriving at Japan, I have had the opportunity to live on my own again. I have been able to improve my cooking skills, pay for my own utilities, and travel by myself for two weeks. Living on my own is nice, but I admit that I miss having my own parents pay for me sometimes. Therefore I was looking forward to meeting my parents during Spring Break.

After I met with my friend at Okayama, I traveled to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Yokohama, and Tokyo with my parents.

At Hiroshima, I saw the Peace Memorial Museum, the A-Bomb Dome, and I ate Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki with my parents. The Peace Memorial Museum was very disturbing because there were a lot of pictures of people that suffered from the Atomic bomb during World War II.

The infamous A-Bomb Dome