MNCC SCHOLARSHIP STUDENT@

Ashlyn's Diary

Feb 12th, Sun  

Last night Senri and I stayed up late talking, laughing, and listening to her favorite band, Exile, on her mp3 player. So today we slept in. When I say eslept inf I mean we slept until 9:00am. Once I got up I began to pack. My family kept giving me gifts to take home to America. I had to pack a whole other bag filled with presents! At about 11:00am we left for the airport. I cried when I said goodbye to my grandparents and my house. Once we got to the airport my family came in with me and we checked in my bags. Then my sisters and I looked around at all the shops and ate many free samples. 
After we finished shopping, we met up with a bunch of people who came to the airport to see me off. Some teachers from school came, some students from Afuso JHS, exchange students that I met in the summer when they came to America, my family, Mayuko, and Mayukofs mom all came to say goodbye! There was a huge crowd of people! As we started walking towards the security check I started to cry. A lot of people started to cry actually. Chinan kept saying gItfs okay Ashlyn, donft cryh and then she started crying too! It took me awhile to give every person a hug but, I finally got in line for security. I had another bag filled with goodbye presents from my friends. Even the bag was a gift! One of my teachers made me the most amazing scrapbook of pictures she had taken of me during school. Every middle school student wrote a message in it also. When I walked through security I almost ran into a wall because I was looking back at everyone waving and my eyes were filled with tears. I then made my way to my gate where I safely boarded the plane. As the plane took off one last tear slid down my cheek. Ifm going to miss Okinawa soooooooo much!!!!!!! In the Tokyo airport I had a 6 hour layover. I was supposed to meet up with the other students that I flew here with but I wasnft aware of the meeting place. I waited at my gate for 4 hours. I did walk around a little bit and I got a bite to eat. As I was lying on the airport chairs the four other students walked up. It was so good to see them and not be alone anymore! The 14 hour flight to LAX was much like the first flight. In LAX we all had a four hour layover so we checked our bags in then went to a restaurant to get some food. After we finished eating we all went outside and said our goodbyescagain After we made it to our gate, I got some Starbucks and then we boarded the flight. Then we landed in Seattle. My mom and dad were waiting for me just before baggage claim. It was so good to see them again!!! I missed them so much! I could hardly talk English fast enough, on the car ride home, telling my parents all about my trip. I will miss Japan and treasure my memories for a lifetime.

Feb 11th, Sat  

Today when Mayuko, her mom and I got up, we went to a buffet breakfast. One of the people working at the buffet spoke English and he was very funny. The breakfast was so good!!! I had many different kinds of foods. I even tried dragon fruit. I have always wanted to try dragon fruit because of its awesome name. Dragon fruit tasted similar to kiwi. Then we went to the hotel gift shop. I picked out a few things to buy for my family. Mayukofs mom bought it all. She didnft have to do that but she said she had to:) She is so nice. 
Once we checked out of the hotel my family picked me up. Then we went to the mall for shopping! Only Senri and I went with Saki, Moeno, and Kanako. We got purikura pictures together. They are so funny! We went to so many stores and I bought so much stuff. Later, Senri and I said goodbye to our friends and met up with Chinan, mom and Sereshi. We went to a whole other shopping mall where I bought even more stuff. I am surprised that I havenft run out of money yet. For dinner we went to a self-serve salad and ice cream restaurant. I had Caesar salad, curry, teriyaki chicken, rice, and chocolate mint ice creamcso delicious! Then we went to the 100 yen store. And guess what? I bought more stuff! Once we got home, my sisters helped me pack my suitcase. It was 2 lbs under the weight limit. Whew!
I canft believe tomorrow is my last day! The time went by so fast. I am going to miss all of the amazing people here in Okinawa so much. 

Feb 10th, Fri  

My last day of school was today! So sad! I didnft realize how fast this trip would go by! For the first hour of school I read a book and worked on the computer. Then I went to music class where I learned to play the recorder. After class, the music teacher gave me a egoodbyef present. When I opened it, it was a new alto Yamaha recorder and a soprano recorder. She also gave me some papers to help me play them. The next class was PE. More soccer! It was a lot of fun! Lunch today was very delicious except I discovered that I am not a big fan of miso soup. We also had oranges. They were so sweet and yummy. 5th and 6th period I went to play soccer outside with the 8th and 9th graders. We all split up into teams but I was on everyonefs team which meant I played the whole team. There was a white team, yellow team, green team and orange team. I even made a goal. I dribbled through everyone shot and scored. Now if only I could do that back home. 
After school, some of the students brought me Yukatas. I had wanted to buy yukatas for my sister but the stores only sell them in the summer. So some of my friends brought some of their very own yukatas from their homes and gave them to me as a present. Isnft that super sweet? They are so nice! I said goodbyes to everyone. It was very sad. A little later a group of my friends and I walked down to a hotel. There were many beautiful views along the way. Then we went into the hotel gift shop where they had free samples of my favorite thing—chinsokou! It is so delicious! 
Once we got back home, I packed up some of my things into my backpack. I was getting ready to go stay at a hotel with Mayuko and her mom! Once we got to the hotel, Mayuko and I walked around. We bought some snacks at the gift shop and looked at the pool. Today was a beautiful day so I was able to see the gorgeous sunset on the water. For dinner, Mayukofs mother made curry rice and Caesar salad. We also had chocolate cake and chinsokou. Mayuko rented a planetarium ( a machine that projects stars). It was soooo amazing and beautiful. 

Feb 9th, Thu 

Today during my first class, I went to the computer lab. It was nice to hear from the people that I miss so much through email and facebook. During second and third period some musical performers came. One was playing fancy recorders. The other was playing some sort of guitar. Kind of like the guitar thing you would use to play Greensleeves. In fact, he did play Greensleeves! After that I went back to the computer lab. I get to email this  journal every day and I am now getting pretty good at typing. For lunch we had Hawaiian hamburger, something like chicken noodle soup, and rice. The lunch was so good. I ate it all! After lunch, my whole class went down to the kitchen to cook. We made cookies call chinsukou. My group made batter that was way too sticky so when we baked our cookies, they all flattened out into one big cookie. Once they were out of the oven I cut them into cookie shapes. Even though our cookies got messed up they still tasted by far the best. Another group made some sort of doughnut thing but they burned so no one got to eat them. 
After school, my friends and two teachers dressed me up like a china doll in a Kimono. I got to wear a beautiful pink kimono with a flower clip in my hair. I even got to wear the white Japanese socks that go in between your toes! After I was all dressed up, my friends made me walk all over the school. Everyone stopped and wanted their picture taken with me. It was another celebrity boost. As I walked past the baseball fields, a bunch of boys stopped and stared. One boy almost got hit in the head with a baseball! I was so embarrassed. Once I got home, we ate dinner. It was teriyaki beef inside lettuce. Yum! On TV, I saw my school-- Afuso Junior High School. There was a bunch of boys from the baseball team that I knew! Yesterday, I saw the news filming crew at school and was wondering what they were doing. 
After we watched TV I made crepes for my family. They liked them sooo much. We kept eating more and more. I knew I should have made more batter! Oh, my cousin and aunt also came over. Their names are Yuriya (cousin), Kimiyo(aunt). They gave me a present. Lots of candy and two miniature Sisa. I was so happy. I love Sisa! Sisa is the Okinawa guardian. Sisa is on every gate in Okinawa. Sisa is literally everywhere you look! I like it! Chinan also gave me a bunch of cell phone straps and key chains. They are soooo cute!!!

Feb 8th, Wed 

Today when I went to school, it was actually a little bit cold. I havenft been cold because at my house it is a lot colder but I guess I am getting used to Okinawa. Today at lunch, I liked all of the foods! No pigfs stomach or cow tongue. There was vegetable, pumpkin soup, bread and mushed up tofu and veggie mix. For first and second period, I went to the computer room to send emails. Students and teachers kept stopping by to talk to me. Like I said, I feel like a celebrity. During third and fourth period, I played basketball. It is really fun to play, because they pass the ball so much. Some of the boys just easily chucked the ball down the whole court! Hahaha. Fifth and sixth period was calligraphy. The teachers aside goh, you wonft be able to do the hard calligraphy with your classmates.h And they tried to give me some simple characters. I insisted on doing the same characters as the other students so they let me. I ended up getting the hang of calligraphy
Senri said to me, gYou can use chopsticks, read/write hiragana, speak some Japanese, you love Japanese food and you can do calligraphycare you Japanese?h Yes! Hahaha! We both started laughing really hard. I wrote my name in hiragana calligraphy. It was really fun except I got ink all over my hands. After school, Senri and I ate some snacks then got ready to go out. We had to go to the ehospitalf (doctors office) so Senri could get a checkup. 
After the doctorfs office, we went to the store. I bought a few things, of course and Senri and I looked all over. I think by the time It is time to go back to America, my suitcase will be way over 50lbs. Well, letfs just hope not. I am going to more shops on Saturday! Hahaha! Yes, definitely over 50lbs. On our way home, Senri and I ate candy and practiced English. It is so fun to try and talk to each other because we use English, Japanese, and Charades! It is very fun. Oh! And at the store, we bought the ingredients for crepes that I am going to make for my family tomorrow. Once we got home it was nice to just sit around and relax. 

Feb 7th, Tue

I canft believe I have already been in Japan for over a week! It is super sad to think I only have 4 full days left in this beautiful place. Today was very rainy and windy but to me it wasnft that cold. At gym today we played basketball. Everyone thought I was so good because I could shoot with one hand. In girls basketball in Japan, girls shoot with 2 hands. In English my class made me flash cards to remember important Japanese words. The last period and after school, I sent an email to my mother and MNCC. I hope my mom replies to the email before I get home. Hahaha. When I got home from school, Sereshi and I ate many snacks--including Chips eAhoy. I love Chips eAhoy. For dinner we had vegetables and samen. Samen is my new favorite noodle. I also ate more diafuku. Yum Yum!!!

Feb 6th, Mon 

Today Senri and I went to school again. First and second class was Industrial Arts. 3rd period was supposed to be science but I went to play soccer with another class. It was so much fun. I didnft score but it was still so much fun. After lunch, Senrifs class had P.E. We played volleyball. Well, it was more of a volleyball practice really. I am not that good at volleyball but that is okay. Next class was math. 
Senri and all of our friends stayed after school to study. I stayed too. Saki brought cake and we all ate it so fast. It was so delicious! It tasted like a mix between angel food cake and regular cake. Once Senri and I got home, we had vanilla mochi ice cream. Ah! I love mochi ice cream! Then Nanako, Rimika, and Saki came over. We laughed and talked. So much fun! For dinner, we all ate curry rice. Curry is so yummy. I love it! Then we all made daifuku. Daifuku is now my favorite Japanese food. It is so good! We also had many other snacks too! I feel sooo full, I could pop! Hahaha After the epartyf was over, we walked every home. I think it would be so awesome to have all my friends in a short walking distance. I could see them whenever I wanted. Oh and today I was given the recipe for my favorite Japanese foods. I canft wait to make them for my family. 

Feb 5th, Sun  

Today after breakfast, we started to leave for the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Before we left, we made rice balls for our lunch. Unfortunately, Senri couldnft come because she had a badminton game. We did some sightseeing along the way--like we drove to this little island with many sugar cane fields. The island was so small it only took 15-20 minutes to drive around the whole island. We also stopped at a bridge park that had the most breath-taking view. While we were on the road we ate the rice balls we made earlier. Once we arrived at the aquarium we looked at all the beautiful flowers. The aquariumfs landscape was very beautiful. They had huge octopus, fish, and crab sculptures made completely from flowers. Not only did it look amazing but it smelled amazing too. Then we went in to the gift shop where I bought a few things. After the gift shop, we had ice cream! I had a mango ice cream cone! It was so good! Next we went to watch the dolphin show. They did so many tricks and jumped so high in the air! One of the trainers even got in the water and swam with the dolphins! Then Sereshi, Chinan, and I went into the actual aquarium building. There was so many fish and things I had never seen before! I loved it. We went into a theatre that talked all about the ocean. The movie was in all Japanese so I couldnft understand it. At the end of the film the screen went up and the curtains were pulled back. We could see into the tank with all the big fish. When we got out of the theatre, we went down some stairs to view the tank form the other side. It was almost feeding time so we stayed there for a little bit. There were giant manta rays and sting rays. Many little and giant fish were swimming around. This fish tank was huge! The biggest I have ever seen! It reached all the way up to the ceiling! Once they started putting food in the tank—the fish went crazy. It was kind of funny actually. Every time a fish ate something, everyone said Oooooo! Or Ahhhhh! It was kind of funny. When we started to leave we had to walk through a tunnel where the fish tank was over our heads! It was so weird to look up and see fish swimming above my head. We also saw sea turtle and manatees. After we saw the whole aquarium we left. For dinner we stopped for ramen. Japanese ramen is so much better than American ramen! I had shoyu ramen. After dinner Chinan and I walked over to a clothes store or efashionf store. They had so many cute things!!! I bought a pair of shoes, 2 necklaces, and a headband. I love shoes and the ones I got are so cute! When we got home we ate doughnuts. The doughnuts in Japan arenft as sweet but they still tasted amazing. After, we watched TV--like I said before, I donft understand it but is still interesting. 

Feb 4th, Sat  

Today Senri had a badmitton tournament and Chinan had school. School on a Saturday? That`s crazy! It`s only every other Saturday though and for half the school time than there usually is. So, this morning Sereshi, my mother, and my father went on a boat ride. This boat ride was very unique because down the middle of the boat the floor was glass! I could see straight into the coral reef beneath us! The water is so blue here, It matches the sky! The sand is also very white because of the coral reef. On the boat ride we saw many huge and colorful fish. Sereshi and I even fed the fish! We threw this bread cracker stuff in the water and the fish went crazy! They kept biting each other instead of the food! After the boat ride we climed up some stairs to the top of a giant rock on the beach. You could see everywhere! It`s kind of different being on the complete opposite side of the Pacific ocean. Then we went to a sweets shop. I could see them making the sweets in their factory through a glass window. I liked this shop because every different sweet had a free samples tray along with it. Sereshi and I went from cake to cookie trying everything we saw. Next we went on a short paved hike, so it was more like a walk. I bought a T-shirt and the lady took 100 yen off and gave me a free hair clip. At lunch time we stopped for Udon. Past exchange students that have came to America have talked about Udon so I was excited to try it myself. It was delicious!!! I had curry Udon and a fried sweet potato, so good. Then we went to Senris badmitton tournament. Her team did very well but they didn`t win. After the badmitton game we did more shopping and then went to Chinans apartment, she lives there with her sister because it`s closer to her school. For dinner Chinan and I met up with the members of last summers Lacey, WA exchange students. I was so happy to see them all again! We ate dinner at a serve yourself restaurant. I got to cook my own meat! I didn`t trust myself to cook the meat though, so I practically burned the meat before I would eat it. Afterwards we walked over to Starbucks and got Frappicinos. Mine was Mango cream. I got to see Mayuko!! My exchange student from last summer! I`ve missed her so much! We all had so much fun together.

Feb 3rd,  Fri

Today was so much fun!!! We started school with a silent reading time. I didn`t have a book so Senri took me down to the library to find one. We found a Japanese comic that was written in english so that`s the one I picked to read. The book was about a robot cat from the future or something and a little boy. Even though it was written in english, I still didn`t understand it. :) At least it had very funny pictures! Next class was math. Since I`m in Algebra 1 at my school, I had already learned what they were learning. It was something about probability, I`m not sure because it was written in Japanese. Second period ,for me, was cooking with some of the teachers. First we made Daifuku. Daifuku is mochi with a strawberry and anko inside. Mochi is rice cake and Anko is a bean jam. Daifuku is soooooooo good!!!!!! I love it! The teachers were telling me that most Americans don`t like Anko but I thought it was delicious!!! Third period I went with the Kindergarteners for a Setsubun party. At the Setsubun party, a man dressed as a devil came. The children were so scared! Two of them started crying! I felt so bad! Then they started singing a song about how they were stronger than the devil in Japanese. After they sang the song they started throwing taped wads of newspaper ("beans") at the devil and chanted something in Japanese. They said "Out with the Devil, happiness in!". Once the party was over they were all brave enough to shake hands with the devil. One of them even cried as she did it! Fourth period I went back to cooking. This time we made an Okinawa famous food called "hirayachi". Hirayachi is like a crepe with chopped green onions in the batter and a choice of sauce. I loved them!! Last we made cookies. The mix didn`t have any eggs which I found strange. But then the teachers explained to me that if they added eggs, it would be cake! Fifth period we played soccer! It was very fun! I laughed and ran so much! After school I packed up some Daifuku to take to my family. They all loved them but, I think I loved them most! hahaha:) Once I got home Sereshi and Senri had piano lessons so this time I went with them. After we dropped off Sereshi and Senri, my mother and I went to the super market. I bought lots of snacks and treats to bring home to my family. I`m still not really sure how the whole Japanese money system works but I had help. Once we picked up Senri and sereshi we did more shopping. I bought a few cute small things with senri`s help. Then Senri and I went and got Pudicuda (sorry if I mispelled it) We went into this giant photobooth thing with a green screen. After the pictures were taken Senri and I went to this computer where we got to draw on the pictures, add stamps, make our eyes huge, change the backround, and stuff. For dinner we went to a resturaunt and had beef on rice. It was was "oishi!". On the way home I tried to teach Senri and Sereshi sign language and hand games. It ended up just being funny hand gestures.

Feb 2nd,  Thu

Today for breakfast I had something that tasted like taco meat, brocoli, bread, chocolate cereal, and a banana. The food here tastes really good but I`m never really sure what it is. Sereshi, Senri, and I all went to school together. Before school started we weeded the flower beds. Once class started, one of my friends handed me a schedule she had made for me. It was nice to know my classes ahead of time for the day. For my first class I didn`t stay with my normal class. I went into the 7th grade class so they could do presentations on the Japanese holidays for me. I can`t believe that here, Christmas is only for couples! After they finished their presentations, they gave them to me as a present .I`m very excited to actually be here for one of the holidays, even though it`s mostly for small children. The holiday is Setsubun, it`s tomorrow(Feb. 3rd). Once i learned all about the holidays, I went to the computer lab to send some emails. The computer lab is usually where I go when my classmates are taking a test. The next class was english. The teacher asked me to read many things to the class so they could hear the correct American pronunciation. Fourth period was science. I could understand a little bit of what they were saying because often the teacher would stop and try to explain things to me in english. It also helped that I had already learned what they were studying in America. It made me seem so smart!! hahaha :) Next was lunch. we had rice, soup, fish and an orange slice. That`s what my friends said i was eating anyways ( again, I`m never sure what`s in my food) hahaha:) After lunch I went with the 7th grade class again to learn how to perform the tea ceremony. The ceremony was very fun to learn except the tea was very bitter. I don`t even know if I was supposed to be drinking it! I liked the little cakes though, they were very sweet. After school I took pictures in the classroom with all my friends! Saki, one of my classmates, is so funny!!! When Sereshi and i got home, Senri had Badmitton, we ate cake. My mother had a box with many different cake slices. Sereshi had chocolate and I had Blackberry or Blueberry I think. Then Sereshi and I played UNO and finished a 240 piece puzzle. When Chinan came home we had even more cake! There was a srtawberry piece, sweet potatoe cream, and a cream pie cake. sweet potato and cream pie cakes even had a layer of pie crust!! "Oishi!" (delicious/good). I love Japanese sweets!!! For dinner we had sushi, mochi, soba, and fish. They were very surprised that, as an American, I liked mochi. After dinner my sisters and I watched a Japanese show and danced to the music. So much fun!!!

Feb 1st,  Wed

Today my host family let me borrow Chinan`s old Junior High school uniform. It fit very well. For breakfast I had fish, rice, brocoli, and chocolate cereal. It was all very "oishi" (delicious/good). This morning Senri had badmitton so Sereshi and I went to school. Once were at school many of they teachers said "Oh, you look cute in uniform!". hahaha:) I can`t tell you how many times I`ve heard the word "kawaii" (cute!) as I walked by. I seriously feel like a movie star! People come up and say "picture! Lets take picture!". I`ve seen so many flashes I think I`ll be blind by the time i get home! hahaha:) Then we found Senri and I said goodbye to Sereshi. To sart the school day we had a sort of homeroom meeting. I was asked to introduce myself in front of everybody. The english teacher said I could introduce myself in english if I talked slowly but, I managed to introduce myself in all "nihongo"(Japanese)! first and second period was Technical Arts. we went to the "PC room" (computer lab) to play a typing game. I am so slow at typing compared to all my classmates! I really need to work on my typing skills. I didn`t know any of the words we were typing, they were all Japanese, but, luckily, in parenthesis the word was in Romanji. The only word I recognized was "arigatougouzaimashita" (thank you). Then we went back to the classroom to watch a slideshow about Afuso Junior High school. Third period was P.E., we played soccer! It was so much fun!!! Next period, my class went to math while I stayed at P.E. to play basketball with the 9th graderes. I made many baskets and the kept saying "sugoi!" except I`m not quite sure what it means. for lunch we had red rice, potatoes, vegetables, and soup. As i was eating the soup i said "Oh this is good, what is it?" Then they replied " oh! that`s cow stomach you like it?" After I found out what it was I lost my appitite! hahaha:) After lunch there is always a school clean-up so i picked weeds. I love how everyone works together before school, after lunch, and other times to keep the school looking very nice. They don`t hire custodians or Janitors, they do all the cleaning themselves. If everyone at my school worked together like that, our school would be 100 times nicer than it already is. More questions today included:

"Do you want boyfriend?", " Can he be your boyfriend?", one boy said "oh, you look so cute, I want to play soccer with you!" hahaha:) their questions are always so funny, I usually just end up laughing.

After school my mother picked just me up because Sereshi and Senri had Badmitton. When I got home I ate chocolate and biscuit snacks and chocolate ice cream... my family loves chocolate! For dinner we went to a restaurant that served sushi. this wasn`t California rolls we were going to eat, this was real sushi! Once we started eating I just couldn`t get over the fact that I was actually eating raw fish. My favorite foods were the shrimp sushi and vegetables. Konomi was also at the resturaunt with us! She speaks very good English. I think I still had Jet-lag because in the restaurant and during school I was almost falling asleep!!! I`m sure I`ll get used to the time soon though. 

Jan 31st,  Tue

Today is my first day of Japanese school. After I got dressed we ate breakfast. We ate egg soup, rice ball, and chopped kiwi and banana with yogurt. I guess all their meals are huge! We went a little early to school so I could meet a bunch of teachers and staff. I had to introduce myself to so many people! Home room was the first class, I got to introduce myself again. First period was art where we drew some straight line drawings. Second period was science, I was given a paper that was written in all Japanese and the teacher talked a lot.I couldn`t read or understand anything so I spent my time trying to recognize hiragana characters around the room. Third period was English. Yay!!! Finally a class I could understand! Fourth period was gym and we played soccer, well, I guess a bunch of mini games. For lunch we had fish, minastroni soup, bread, cheese, and milk. Later we had another sort of English class where the students asked me lots of questions. The funniest questions were:

"Do you have a boyfriend?", "Do you want a boyfriend?", " what is the best kind of boyfriend", " Can he be your boyfriend?"

Most of their questions had to do with boyfriends. At around 4:00pm school was finished. Senri and I found Sereshi and went home. Back home we played card games and ate lots of candy. The games we played were UNO, ichi-kyu-san (1-9-3), memory game, and a game with pairs. Then Chinan came home and Sereshi and Senri went to piano lessons. While senri and sereshi were away, Chinan and I looked at her many pictures from her trip to America in the summer.We talked and laughed and ate some more candy. One thing I noticed about today that was different was I changed shoes so many times I lost count! At home I only where one pair of shoes to school! So the whole "change shoes every time you go somewhere" is new. For dinner we had seafood macaroni , potatoes, squid, rice and miso soup. In Japan their meal sizes are so huge! The good thing is though, I never feel hungary. Oh, and after school for a snack we had rice cake(mochi), wrapped in seaweed, and dipped in soy sauce. We also had chocolate cake. See! More food! hahaha:) Yesterday was Sereshi`s birthday so we had more cake leftover today. Here in Japan, birthdays aren`t such a big celebration. I also noticed, like in the chocolate cake, that their desserts aren`t as sweet and sugary like in America.I actually like it a lot better! Their desserts taste perfect while American desserts are overloaded with sugar!

Jan 30TH,  Mon

When I arrived at Okinawa I headed straight toward baggage claim. My bag was one of the last ones out so I had to wait a while. Once I had my bag I headed out the exit where a group of people were waiting to greet me. It was so fun! They gave me candy leighs, homemade signs, and other cute little gifts. I then went with my host father, mother, and Chinan out to lunch. I had a steak platter, soup, and cherry cake for dessert. The cherry cake was definitely my favorite. Next we drove to a bakery to buy some cake. January 30th is my sister Sereshis birthday! Then we went to a market to get some snacks and things for dinner. Once we got to the house my host father helped me take my luggage inside. As I walked in the front door my new sisters opened a box that puored confetti on me. I was so suprised I almost screamed! After I got all my belongings settled I gave my family their gifts. They were all facinated with the "grow your own snow" kits that I brought. Since the beach is literally their backyard, Chinan, Senri, and I went to the beach. They thought I was crazy because I was running through the water. To me it was a warm day but, Chinan and Senri were freezing! Their winter feels like Washington summer!!! We found cool seashells and drew in the sand also. For dinner we had Taco rice, umibudo (sea grapes), soup, and vegetables. All of the food was sooooo good and I ended up being stuffed! Such a wonderful first day:)


Jan 29TH,  Sun

I`m still on the plane and it`s really hard to tell what time it is. This flight is so long! But I guess there`s some things to do. I`ve watched more movies, listened to more music, and talked. We`ve gotten things to eat too, like first, there was a sandwich and rice crackers. A whole huge meal was delivered to everyone just a little bit ago. There was cheese, crackers, bread... okay there was a lot more but I don`t want to start a boring list. Oh! For dessert we had a mini tub of vanilla ice cream. Since Katie sits sext to me we took pictures and showed eachother pictures, very fun! In half an hour we arrive in Tokyo! Almost there!
We made it to Japan at 4:00am this morning. It`s so cold outside! Everything went very well. Next I have to get on a two and a half hour flight to Okinawa. Japan is soooo beautiful!! We met up with Yoko after baggage claim in the Tokyo airport. All of our flights leave around 9:00am. My first thought when I got off the plane in Tokyo was "Oh my goodness! their food looks so delicious!!" Hahaha:) I guess I was hungary. I haven`t bought anything yet but, I`m curious to see how well I`ll handle Japanese money.

I boarded my flight to Okinawa at 8:15am. I was a little bit sad because I had to hug all my new friends goodbye. It`s a little bit scary because now I`m officially flying alone with no one with me. Copared to my other flights this flight was empty. The whole row I was in had no people in it. Seats B,C,D,F,G all had no people, I was in the window seat, seat A. The flight attendant on the plane was so nice! She smiled , asked if I needed anything, and why I was visiting Japan, I told her a lot about the homestay program, she was very excited to hear about it. Then she asked to see my English to Japanese dictionary and asked questions about my host family. Later she came back with a postcard with a letter she had written and some stickers were on it. She also brought me some empty postcards to give to my family back home. The postcards have cool pictures of airplanes. I hope we meet again.

Jan 28TH,  Fri

Today I left the Seatal airport on an airplane that flys to LAX. Its`s still hard to believe that this is really happening! The good thing is I`m not as nervous as I thought I`d be. At the LAX airport Derek and I met up with the three other students. Their names are Katie Nugent, Anthony Lopez, Garret Huck, and Derek Hines-Mohraman. They are all cool and very funny! At first we didn`t know where to get our boarding passes but we asked around and realized ANA airlines check in wasn`t even open yet! It was 7:00pm and it didn`t open until 8:00pm. Once we all got checked in and through security after 8:00pm we had to find our gate. Many times we stopped to ask directions. After we finally found our gate we decided to stop and eat. The only thing available without going out of security was a little deli. We got some food, found a table with five chairs, and started talking and laughing. Our flight didn`t leave until 12:40am and when we sat down to eat it was only about 9:00pm. After we finished eating it was around 11:50pm. We were in that deli a very long time! At 12:10am, I think, they started letting people board the plane. I got a window seat, and Katie sat next to me. All five of us took up a whole row. It`s kind of weird going on a plane without an adult but, it`s so much fun! Especially since I get to fly with my awesome new friends. Oh yeah! At the LAX airport they had moving walkways! I love moving walkways they are so fun! LAX was also very warm which was nice. The airplane to Tokyo, Japan has T.V.`s on the back of the chair! The aiplane we rode was ginormous! This trip is already the most amazing trip ever! I`ve learned that traveling internationally with people your age and no adult is so much fun! There is so much responsibility and freedom. I love it! 

Now on the plane the flight attendants are coming through with crosant sandwiches. They smell and taste very delicious. I figured out how to work the T.V. so I watched Tom and Jerry. Luckily this show was in english. Many songs and shows provided on the airplane are in Japanese. Actually it`s kind of intresting to watch and listen to things in Japanese. I have no idea what they`re saying but it`s still fun. I also watched the movie Real Steel and Adventures of Tintin.

PLEASE TAKE YOUR TIME TO SEE OTHER STUDENTS' LIFE IN JAPAN

Anthony Garrett Katie Derek

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