Today we went to Nagasaki where we then visited the Peace-Museum. At about 8:30 in the morning near the Omura station, we waited for everyone to arrive. Soon after, we all boarded the train to Nagasaki. The ride took about one hour but the time flew when we were talking to each other and planning what we were doing during the free time this afternoon.
At the Nagasaki Station we all got our day-passes for the tram and then proceeded in direction of the Peace-Museum. It went a little uphill until we arrived there. After a quick explanation we then entered the museum. Greeted by stones and wall pieces where we listened to the televisions showing different kinds of documentations from the day the atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki. After our little tour seeing all the sad, interesting things we then met an atomic bomb survivor who was telling us about his experience on said day.
After the speech we gave him of course a Thank you card and then left the museum. Hungry, we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, afterwards we made our way to the peace garden by tram and then by foot. Taking a group photo in front of the “Peace-statue”. A few stairs even higher we visited an old school that had a strong history connecting it with the atomic bomb.
The afternoon came and we had our 3 hours of free time. People continued by going to the places they wanted to see and/or by shopping in the station mall. I went for small shopping tour followed by drinking something in that hot weather and then going to the Shiru Shrine with a small group.
At 18:00 free-time was over and we were all meeting again in front of the station. 20 minutes after, our train left with another hour back to Omura, where we had a quick wrap-up and then returned to our host-families.
I woke up at about 7:30 this morning to eat a bowl of oatmeal with yogurt and grapes with my host mother, Tomi, and brother, Hotaru (A meal pretty typical for me in America). However, it would differ when I left with my mother to the Keisen University in rainy weather due to a typhoon approaching.
We were told the day prior that this was an all-female Christian university where we would get to meet with the students, learn some history about their school, and discuss world topics. I have to admit, it was actually pretty fun! We had around six or seven students from the university who joined us during the day there and show us around.
We first went to the chapel and learn the history of the school along with a beautiful piece played by an organ player at the school (I still can’t believe she said she spends up to eight hours practicing before a performance!) Afterwards, we went to the university’s library where they had a dedicated memorial to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They kept many books and articles showcasing the first-hand experience the victims had.
Even by the time it was 11:00, the rain was still trickling outside. That didn’t stop us from being shown the herb garden the university tends to. They even made herbal water from the garden for us to drink while we discussed world affairs with the students. Even though all of us in World Campus Japan comes from different countries, us and the students all had meaningful discussions on our views of immigration, global warming, taxes, and what it means to have world peace.
I believe we ate lunch at around 12:00 in the university’s cafeteria with the other students. I just ordered a bowl of miso soup. After getting to talk to the students a bit more, we headed to the Nagayama Community Center where we would be showing Tama what it means to be a part of World Campus Japan.
For about two and a half hours, World Campus members from their respective countries made a presentation from the day before showing the great things from their countries that they wanted others to know about. Locals from Tama were invited to come to the center to view our presentations and learn more about all of our countries. With my partner, Sydney, we wanted to show how large the United States truly is and how diverse the culture is when it comes to its food, climate, and sports. We were also chosen as one of the four countries to do a dance for the locals (The others being Finland, Netherlands, and Norway). This turned out to be a cultural lesson for me too as we decided to do the chicken dance which I haven’t done in years! Thankfully, the dance is fairly simple.
Unfortunately, Sydney had become ill over the past few days and had to rest today. In other words, I and two of the Japanese students got on stage in the spotlight and taught an audience of about 100 adults and children how to shake their feathers and dance like a chicken (It looks better in person, I promise).
Although the event was long, I got to talk with so many locals and learn more about their life and their experience with America. Even better, I felt good being able to share my culture with so many locals. I can just feel that all of us today made an impact on the community with the event.
Once we wrapped up our end-of-the-day discussion at 17:00, my mother and brother came to pick me up. I got to meet some of my brother’s friends (Who all happen to be 7 years old) and we went back to our apartment. We ate a kind of curry with mushrooms and rice, beef, grapes, and corn. My brother was dying to play the Wii with me after I promised to play earlier. If there’s one thing my brother has taught me, it’s that I should really try to get better at skiing in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. I still have no clue how he had more than double my score.
We finished the night with my dad getting home and joining in on the game. I’m going to bed earlier since tomorrow is the Arigato Event and I want to have enough energy to dance for my host family. I had never done a presentation like the one today before, but I have to say that I’m glad I did. Maybe we even encouraged people to apply for World Campus to Norway and Finland!