Today, WCI members had a great opportunity to show their gratitude for people who were involved and helped our program in Mito. It was a fun event that offered the chance to share various cultural features of many countries, things that WCI members learned throughout the program, and also to have valuable interactions and experiences with host families and people in Mito city.
Sakura Sakura ya yo Ino Sora-wami watasu kagiri…
The lyrics seem to regularly echo in my mind. It evokes my memory of the day when we visited Wateri-suzuran-en, a remarkable senior citizen center in Mito city.
It was my first encounter with Japanese senior citizens. At the beginning, I was worried about the event and a perfect day wasn’t really what I was thinking about. But today, World Campus International members received a good opportunity for a special visit at the Watari-suzuran-en, where we met some fabulous senior ladies and gentleｍen．
The day was awesome: from Origami to Calligraphy, from singing Sakura to performing Ganbare Nippon for them．At the end of the day, the wonderful lady seated in a wheelchair moved to the center of the room. With her best effort, she sincerely attempted to read a thank you letter, moving us to tears. We all felt so wonderful when the day was done, and I just felt like this whole world of friendship and possibilities have been opened up to us. That was the moment when I realize that the people in Watari-suzuran-en won a place in our hearts.
I got out of bed after only 2 hours of sleeping so today, I was really tired. But also I was so happy with many exciting and interesting activities with my team and host family. I hiked around Shizen no ie in Mito city for a prize. Even though we were the last group to arrive at the finish line, it was really fun and a great time to get to know the other team members. After that, I had a wonderful lunch with team members on the lawn and then I played soccer with kids who were really energetic. It was a very memorable time for me and I want to thank all the people who gave me such a great time today!
(Sangjun Shin, South Korea)
Today, World Campus – Japan members along with the Mito City LOC, host families, and members of the community in the Furesia Center in Mito City enjoyed a day of fun and learning. “Furesia” is a combination of the Japanese characters for ‘interaction’ and ‘happiness’, and today’s activities matched that sentiment. The morning started with a presentation on the art of flower making using carved and peeled radishes. Three gentlemen from the Committee for the Preservation of Radish Flower Making demonstrated their skills by making three different flowers for everyone to see. Radish Flower Making is a Japanese tradition going back 150 years, and it was wonderful to see this beautiful art and also to know that this committee is working hard to keep the tradition alive in Japan.
Afterwards, WCI members got together with host families and community members to learn and participate in Japanese style arts and sports, including pottery, washie, fukiya and shodou. All of our sensei’s were masters of their craft and very helpful to us all. We had a lot of fun while learning so much about Japanese culture, and spending time with the community. The day ended with a fantastic demonstration of Japanese drum dancing, and we even were able to wear costumes and participate in the dance! WCI then thanked the Furesia Center and all the participants by performing a medley of songs. All the WCI members hope that through these songs, we were able to convey our appreciation for such a wonderful day. Thank you to everyone!!
(Meghan Kutz, U.S.A.)
After arriving in Mito for just a couple of days, it is time to prepare for the Arigato Evento! Today, in addition to learning the entire rundown of the event, both new and old members endured an intense rehearsal.
Raymon Cheng (USA) said, “With no experience in any dancing or singing, the practice was a bit challenging. But I feel at the end, it is going to be well worth it. The Arigato Evento is going to be exciting and beautiful and I can’t wait.” 🙂