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

I will always remember her ;)
Even though I cannot understand what other people are saying, it does not not matter to me because as long I understand the meaning of their message then I should be able to survive. One of the challenges of studying abroad is being in an enviroment where not to many people may be able to understand you.

Sometimes I  feel that there is some of sort of barrier when I talk to some of my Japanese friends because even though I can understand basic Japanese, I am still unable to express my feelings to them in Japanese. I am unable to let them know if I am sad, what I want to do in the future, or ask them something that I am curious about for their country.

In addition, a lot of my Japanese friends prefer to speak in Japanese during group meetings, so even it is a simple task such as thinking about a title for a presentation, I am unable to do that because of my lack of my understanding for Japanese.

At AIU, there are not a lot of Hawaii people, so I feel unique, and I have a greater appreciation when talking about Hawaii. Occasionally I make Hawaiian food and share it with my friends sometimes. The guava cake I made a few ago was pretty popular that some of my friends had requested for the recipe. A lot of people have not tried guavas before in Japan because guavas only grow in warm areas, and they are really expensive.

Homemade Guava Cake
Thanks to studying abroad, I have gained new perspectives and have friends from all over the country such as Australia, Denmark, and Sweden. I remember teaching my Taiwanese friends American English, learning how to play Majong from my Hong Kong friend, or riding my bicycle to the beach with my German friend and her former roommate from AIU.

Here is a picture from my Japanese class this semester and the Final Hawaii Night. The Japanese clothing that some of my classmates are wearing is called a yukata. A yukata is a summer type of clothing that Japanese people wear. In addition, my Japanese teacher is a wearing an origami lei that I made for her.

The next picture is from the final dinner Keli'i and I had with these two girls that studied at UHM (University of Hawaii at Manoa). The other girl in the picture is from UHM. She was apart of the summer program, so she was only here at AIU for about six weeks. Thanks to those two girls, Keli'i and me were able to go to places such as Round-One. Round-One is a theme car where people can do things like play video games, billiards, and sing Karaoke.
Those two girls studies abroad at Hawaii
This upcoming week, my dad will be coming to Akita to help me with my luggage for a few days, one of my good friends from Hawaii will also be coming to Akita, so I probably will not have that much time to hang out with my friends here. Anyways, I am looking forward to going back home, but I will miss the people that I met here. Lastly, I sold my bicycle to my Norwegian friend, so I am happy to know that she will be able to take of my bicycle for me.