Saturday, July 21, 2012

One two three's the charm

Good lawd I can hardly remember the last time I've been here! Just got home yesterday morning and feeling a little lost, but relaxed, definitely. Letting my poor feet rest from a whole week of exploring Tokyo!

 This year has been so incredibly good to me. First I got offered to be a part of 128 university students selected from across the globe to participate in the Japan Study Program - all expense paid! We traveled around Tokyo and Miyagi, mostly attending lectures and educational stuff as part of MEXT's initiative to pull in more international students to Japan. That was a great experience, especially meeting people from all over the world. But somehow it didn't feel like I was really in Japan. That was March.

 Next up, I applied for a Student Power - Connecting the World program organised by Fukushima University and Minami Souma Rotary Club. To my utmost surprise, they accepted me! It was a one-week program to educate university students on the current situation in Fukushima (you know, after the quake and the nuclear hoo-ha) and the realities of their life today. Expenses in Japan was taken care of by the organizer, but as I do not have the funds for the return air tickets to Tokyo (from where they will pick us up and head to Fukushima) I wrote a letter to my university's student affairs department and amazingly, got them to sponsor my air tickets! Super awesome! Such an amazing experience and as most of the participants (aboout 30 in total) was Japanese, I made many Japanese friends and my Japanese listening skills definitely improved, hahaha! That was in June.

Then, just yesterday morning, I returned from a one-week strictly touristy-business only trip to Tokyo with a friend! I actually bought the tickets a year ago, expecting this to be my first time in Japan but as destiny would have it, it turned out to be my third time. I visited so many places that I've onlyt heard of so far - Tokyo Disneyland, Ghibli Museum, Kamakura, Cosmo Clock 21, Tsukiji, Johnny's Shop and so many more! I used to read journals and hear of friends going to Japan and I would feel such an ache of longing to visit the country of my dreams. Never would I imagine in my wildest dreams that in a span of several months I would have traveled not once, but three times, to the country that I have fell more in love with than I ever thought possible.

 My gratitude and appreciation for all the generosity that life has shown me in the past months could never be expressed with mere words alone. I think, to a certain extent, my views on life has changed positively. I've never thought that things could go for the better for me, but I was proved wrong. I am thankful, and a little scared of what would come after all these great things that has made me happier in a totally new context than I've ever been in a long long time.

Yes, pictures will be up soon.