Tag Archives: Arigato Event

Sleep is for the weak, Arigato Event is for World Campus – Japan!

If you thought that World Campus – Japan is the kind of program that would make you feel rested, well you’re very, very far from the reality. The previous day, I went to sleep at 2:30 am, because I had to write a letter to my host family and didn’t have time before. My host family invited two other host families in the evening (so there were 8 little kids running around in the house, which might sound very cute, but is at the same time very tiring).

So the morning, with my eyes half opened, we had our first Naginata practice! Even as a half Japanese, I had no idea how this sport was done. We practiced it in a tiny room with 25 people in it doing some Naginata moves. It was actually very fun, even if I almost made a hole in the wall. I enjoyed it much more than the Kendo we tried in the previous week.

Later, we tried Taiko. I usually love it, but today the song was a bit repetitive, so we decided that it was much better to dance Bon-Odori all together instead. Here is the World Campus – Japan mentality: “If we find a way to dance and make fool of ourselves, we’ll probably do it.” I guess that Arigato event is a perfect example to illustrate that. Anyways, it was much more fun dancing traditional Japanese dance with Japanese people around, all wondering what kind of weird gaijin we were.

After eating our lunch, which consisted of onigiris and soup, we had an exciting meeting about the next city, with our beloved city runner Jürrien – yayyy!

Later we started practicing for our Arigato event. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take a clever risk (just as Hiro-sama always says) by standing in the front row for the dance. I have to admit that even if my dancing skills are as bad as most of the participants, the dance of the Arigato event is probably one of the best part of the whole trip (as much as being thrown away by Juuso when he gets a bit excited).

During our Arigato event, I saw my host mum crying. This is the kind of thing that makes you feel very proud of yourself, and which makes World Campus – Japan such a great program. Even if it’s just one week, the people are accepting you as a member of their family. Creating bonds with different people from different age is very rewarding.

After the arigato event, the Abiko city and all the host families prepared food for all of us – yayyy again! I started running around with the little kids and got exhausted (again)…

But guess what? Tomorrow for our host family day, we’ll wake up at 4 am to go to Tsukiji fish market. Don’t get me wrong though, I am very excited, but am I ever gonna have a normal amount of sleep one night during this program?

Miya Ferrisse (Switzerland)

Curry and Arigato Event in Omuta

Lunch break and relaxing with the two Colombians and Isak
Lunch break and relaxing with the two Colombians and Isak

Japanese people have something with the food. When they know I am from Colombia, the first thing they would ask is “what are some Colombian food?” or “what’s your favorite Japanese food?” Afterward, the question would probably be “where is Colombia?”

Today, 30th of July, we’ve got the challenge to actually cook our food, and not just eat Japanese food. Our task was to make Japanese style curry. Got to say I was worried about it… it wouldn’t be nice to end up with no lunch because we messed it up. But we made it!

Some curry, lots of rice, salad, that is never forgotten here, and some sweets, such as pancakes which were my favorite. The curry was amazingly good! I am still having trouble believing we did it. It is not complicated, just needs patience.

After lunch, we had a proper break as we hadn’t had one since day one in World Campus – Japan. Back then the staff were soft to us, because after that, the breaks became 5-minute breaks for the bathroom and drinking water, max 10. Too many things to do, no time to lose. Plus, we really needed it because the tiredness has accumulated from these 2 weeks, almost 3, and there are even some sick people among us… nothing to worry though.

Finally, we had to get ready for Arigato Event. Though my friend Natalia, the other Colombian girl, was feeling sick in the afternoon, she was better for the actual event! I was so relieved she didn’t have something serious.

Got to say, from the bottom of my heart, that I was so nostalgic and sentimental at the time someone made me realized that it was the last Arigato Event for session one, and the last for me in total. It has been amazing and unbelievable, this journey with World Campus International, and I am at days of the final goodbye! Feeling part of a group, a place where to feel comfortable, is something I really appreciate because I am not good at integrating. And this feeling was strong and alive in all time around Arigato Event. I am so glad and proud to be able to say I made amazing friends.

Nicole Rosario (Colombia)

Arigato Event 2: The Technical Guy

Today was the last organized activity day of the visit to Kumamoto city. We spent the entire day at the Prefectural University of Kumamoto, where at first we were given a presentation regarding the general demeanor of the Japanese people. I found this very interesting, as it went in depth on how the average Japanese person thinks, and how past events helped shape their current behavior.

The rest of the day was pretty much dedicated to rehearsing and doing the Arigato Event. As the staff member on tour responsible for the technical aspects, my job was at this point just to run the correct music at the correct time, and ensure that all the pieces went in order and that the volume for the different pieces was correct. However, during this particular event, I was also given the extra task of timing how long we took on each individual part of the event. This was a little bit of a challenge, just due to remembering to write down the time every time it was necessary. However, I believe that the event was held very successfully, and it seemed like the audience was entertained throughout our little show.

I was also charged with making the slideshow for this event, and although I didn’t get any feedback as of writing this, I think it went well considering I only had three days’ worth of pictures and videos to choose from. The day in general felt really good, and I’m pumped for continuing with the program!

Simen Solumn (Norway)

First your studies, then you can party: Arigato Event in Omura

Arigato event party time in Shushu
Arigato event party time in Shushu

Today, was the day that the Arigato Event in Omura would take place in the evening. But before that, we visited Matsubara Elementary School during the day. After a short morning meeting at Kori Community Center, we moved to the elementary school. During our visit at the school, we were divided into groups of two, or three. I was in the same group as Juuso, and Nicole. The visit was divided into 5 sessions, 3 before lunch and 2 after.

Our first session was science class, with the fifth graders. The lesson today was about the anatomy of a fish. The second session was something called moral education with the sixth graders. This one was a pretty impressive lesson. In the lesson, they were teaching, and discussing lifestyles. The third session was math with the first graders. It was pretty funny, although the kids were pretty noisy.

After lunch, we had a playtime session with the kids. We did some clay figures with the kids we were playing with. This was the first time I saw Juuso’s impressive skills with clay. The next session was cleaning. A little bit of trivia: Japan doesn’t have janitors in the school’s, the kids are the ones cleaning it. What we did was some floor sweeping, moving around some stuff, and mopping. The last session was Life Environmental education. As I am writing this blogpost, I still have no clue what that subject was about. But the lesson was about wheel chairs, and how to operate it.

Many of us were impressed by the kids. They have a different level of concentration during classes, and to me, it seems like they have a lot more dedication in school. Even though it is only an elementary school. Some of the subjects and classes were really interesting too. Some of which I wish I had had in my elementary school as well.

We left the elementary school 15:30 for Shushu, the site for the Arigatou event of Oomura. Shushu is a small restaurant, a little way outside of Oomura city. We arrived there by bus. When we arrived at Shushu We quickly started the preparations for the Arigato event. Rehearsal started almost immediately after being briefed of the plans for the evening. I was particularly nervous, since I was one of the two participants to read a thank you letter, the other one being Charlotte. I am also one of the soloists. Although, I think most of us were nervous because of the performance.

The event was like a party with nice food and drinks. Our own performance in Oomura was a little bit shorter than what it would be in other cities. The rest of the entertainment during the event was provided by a local cover rock band. Our performance went smoothly. This was the first time we performed the whole Japan medley in front of a crowd. After seeing the slide show for Omura, it was time for reading the letters. I was having a hard time reading my letter though, since I wrote it in hiragana, and realized that it was very hard to read. Shoko had to help me reading the letter. I probably should have written it down in romaji instead. Charlottes letter reading went well. After that, we had a one last performance, which was the song “Minna ga minna eiyuu” (literal translation: Everyone is everyone’s hero). I was singing solo for the second verse. The song overall went well though, considering that we had very few opportunities to rehearse it.

The band was responsible for the rest of the party. It was really fun. The band was incredibly skillful. They performed top rock and pop hits of the 80s and 70s, like ToTo – Africa and Earth, Wind and Fire. We all had a good time the rest of the evening after taking the big group picture. There were many smiling faces and laughter. Oh, and also lots of photos!

Though our performance wasn’t perfect, it was a really memorable evening. I was very satisfied. The event ended around 10 o’clock. We were all very tired. But the whole evening was great fun. It was especially fun for many of us since this was the last day with our host families, so everyone was enjoying every last minute of it. I feel sad, but also exciting to know that we were leaving Omura for Kumamoto the next day. I think that everyone felt the same as me, that today was a fun and experience filled day that we would remember for a long time.

Henry Yang (China)