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.

For this event we were somehow able to make Hawaiian food such as malasadas, poke, meat-jun, adobo, macraoni salad, garlic shrimp, spam, and lomi lomi salmon. One of the girls that went originally intended to go drinking that night for her birthday, but she was happy to go to this event instead because I allowed her to eat the food for free.

The Hawaii events are very popular at AIU, so my friends and I are planning a final Hawaii night. For the last event, we are planning to introduce more different types of Hawaiian food. In addition, we are also planning to invite these three AIU students that studied at AIU, and these two students from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) that will be here at AIU for the summer program.

Thanks to Keli'i, I was able to hang out with two of the girls that studied at UHM where we roasted marshmallows on the beach,   ate lunch together, and sang Karaoke together. I hung out with the other girl that studied at UHM and ate loco moco with her and some of my other friends.
Keli'i and me hanging out with two of the girls that studied at UHM
It was nice meeting these girls because it allowed me to reconnect with my hometown. After being away from Hawaii for about ten months, it is weird to miss things like the beach, shave ice, and Hawaiian humor. Before coming to Japan, I used to resent living in Hawaii, but now it seems nice to hear people say good things about Hawaii such as the warm weather or its unique culture.

Compared to rest of the US, Hawaii's culture is very different because it is located in the middle of an ocean, used to be a separate country, and it has a lot of Asian influences. In addition, besides the warm weather, Hawaii is famous for hula, leis, and the ukulele. Hawaii is also famous for surfing, but I hate sharks, so perhaps I will learn boogie boarding instead when I return.

With less than two months left here, my remaining time with my friends here at AIU seems more important. I may have a lot of studying to do for Japanese, but it will be a while before I am able to meet with some of my friends again. One of the the things I like about the Hawaii events is that it allows the Hawaii people to display Hawaii's culture with out having to go to Hawaii. In addition, the Hawaii events are a great way for the Hawaii people to say thank you to all of the wonderful people we met here at AIU.
Homemade loco moco