Landa’s “International” Blogger

こんにちわ  みなさん!     Konnichiwa minasan!

Hello Everyone!

As many of you may have heard, my name is Rubi Jaimes, I volunteer at the Landa Library and created the International Teen Club at Landa. For the past couple of months I have been living a dream here in Kumamoto, Japan in the island of Kyushu through my high school’s Student Exchange Program.

When I first arrived here I was warmly welcomed by my first host family the Okimura’s along with my teachers from school. At first it was very difficult for me to understand them; I have had only two years of studying Japanese by three different teachers: each one with their own way of teaching the language. At the time I mostly focused on learning how to read and write more than I did study how to speak and listen. The pace used to talk really did scare me, I felt as I was a child learning the ways of a new mysterious world and language I was not aware of. I had to speak slowly and ask them to repeat whatever it was they asked of me to understand; luckily I had a family who understood a bit of English and a great host sister, Mika, who had such good patience with me at the time.

On my first day of school, I had to do a speech presentation in front of the entire school about myself. My classmates were very excited to have an exchange student from America; I was bombarded with so many questions. As time continued, I found it difficult to read my textbooks due to the fact that ‘kanji’ is used very common and I was never taught how to use or read it, I was in a predicament.

Over two months have pasted and I have become better at my Japanese, I still need a little work before I become a fluent speaker. However my friends, classmates, host families, and teachers have been teaching me a lot. I have literally become part of the Japanese culture; I have also been commented that I am just ‘like a Japanese person.’

Now I help out in school teaching my classmates English, since a majority of my classes are English courses, I have also told my new host sister, Yuri, “I will teach you English, You teach me Japanese.” Both my host sisters, Mika Okimura and Yuri Haseno have taught me so much of the Japanese Culture, my friends at school have taken me to many local places they go to an example is the Photo Booths they have here in Japan. My classmates keep things very interesting for me, I never get bored when I am around them, they are truly one of a kind, as well as my many teachers.

I have experienced a lot on my own and I continue to look forward to each day I have left on this magnificent trip of a life time. The possibilities are endless, everything that I worked so hard finally paid off. I really do admire this culture and the many people I have had the privileged to meet. I encourage anyone who has a dream to travel, take a risk, give it a chance to see what it is you can accomplish. I never in my life imagined that I would come to Japan as an exchange student, to attend a high school and experience so many wonderful things.  As Anatole France once said, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

Thank You

ありがとう ございます. Arigatou Gozaimasu.

poster rubi and host family rubi host sisters rubi praying     The banner made by my first host family, The Okimura’s.

The Okimura Family (Above).                                     Myself and Mika giving thanks for the food. “Itadakimasu” いただきます.

Both my host sisers, Mika Okimura (Left) and Yuri Haseno (Right) at Kami-Kuamamoto Train Station.

My friends and I using the photo booth, we are all from Class 2-2: Aran (あらん), Miyuki (みゆき), Sayumi (さゆみ), and Nao (なお).

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