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In less than 12 hours I’m going to be on a plane headed for Tokyo, Japan.

I will be attending Temple University in Japan.  Temple’s main campus is in Philadelphia where it was founded over 100 years ago.  I found out about the school through a Japanese class I took two semesters ago.  My major will be in Art and afterwards I would like to go into photo journalism after attending for three years.  I will be staying with a host family of four.  They have two daughters, 5 and 3 years old.  My hope is to learn Japanese from them as well as the customs and culture of Japan and they would like to learn about our culture in return.

I’ve felt a pull towards Japan since I was little.  Because I’m half Japanese I’ve always been curious about that part of me and when I found out about Temple, that pull grew stronger and more real.  The process of applying and getting all the documents was not easy, and most of the time things happened right at the last minute.  I like to see that as a test of faith since I’ve felt this is God’s calling for me.

This past week has been crazy as I’ve been packing and trying not to forget anything (as I typically do when I go on trips).  I’ve also tried to visit people when I could.  Though I’ve gotten a lot done everyday, it felt very slow and unproductive.  At the same time, the days have gone by quickly and time seemingly slipped through my fingers.  I’ve gone from extreme peace when I feel ready to go and extreme panic wanting to do anything but leave and every emotion and extreme in between.

The hardest part about leaving is leaving everyone behind.  Getting e-mails is nothing to a hug (not that I don’t appreciate e-mails) and talking to someone on the phone isn’t the same as face to face.  That will be the biggest challenge, not being a part of people’s immediate lives here.  I’ll only know what happens through what people tell me and vice versa.

But I’ve very excited to meet my host family and make new friends.  I have no idea what God has in store for me but I’m ready to find out.  I appreciate any and all thoughts, prayers and e-mails.  I don’t know how often I’ll be able to update but I will try to write as much as possible.

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