Now I am getting excited to go home. Those 8 months were long. The feeling of missing my country never left my mind.
However, my feelings are complicated. I love the sports and the people in this country. Now I am at my host grandmother’s house in Mildura for my school holiday and I already miss my host school and my friends. I can’t believe I will have to say goodbye to them.
I am really looking forward to going back to Japan. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like it here. I definitely like it here but getting to this point required a lot of effort and a lot of support. When I first came to New Zealand and met my host family, I was feeling excited for the life here, but when I started unpacking, I remembered my family, friends, and teachers, and my tears started falling from my face. For the first two months, I was crying in the morning, even at school, and before going to bed. It was the hardest time I ever had in my life.
But in April, I went on a tour for 11 days in South Island. I met a lovely German girl there. Now we are really good friends. There, I saw a lot of beautiful nature in NZ. It was overwhelming. It was magnificent. I had a great time there. After that, I was feeling much better and not really crying like before. Through these experiences, I am now able to realise how much support I got from my host family, my friends, and of course, my mum, dad, brother, and friends in Japan.
I really want to see my family, friends, and teachers again, and thank them for their support. I am so excited for my flight on 3rd of December.
About a half year has passed since I came here. I realised the differences between Japan and New Zealand, for example lifestyle, school life, and emotional differences. I also realised that Japan has lots of issues which have to be improved such as education. I think people in NZ learn something they want to learn. That’s why they have dreams. I thought I have to find out what I want to do and make an effort in order to achieve my dream.
Actually I don’t want to go back to Japan because my life in NZ is amazing and my life upturned. However I want to see my friends who are in Japan, but I don’t want to go back… so I feel weird. I would like to move to NZ if I could. I don’t want to go back to Japan because I would have to be apart from my friends in NZ.
Writing this report now, I feel so happy somehow. I think this is probably because I’m writing in Japanese.
On Friday this week, 23rd September, I’m going to make a presentation about karate and teach karate to juniors in Hillcrest High School. This is a great opportunity to introduce Japanese culture to the world. I learned NZ culture, so I would like to return the favour and let them know about my culture. I think this is the last and biggest mission for me. I want to have good days for the rest of time here.
Time flies really quickly; I left Japan 8 months ago though I feel like it was yesterday. However I think I’ve surely been doing well here so far because I thought ‘I’m going to miss Japan and get homesick someday’ before I came to Australia but I haven’t gotten homesick yet, so I’m doing well with my families, friends, teachers…whoever is here with me. But I’ve felt difficulty, difference, and loneliness a lot even though I’m really enjoying my stay here but I’m sure that the feeling is hard while I’m studying abroad.
So I’ve been get a lot of complicated feelings so far, so much that I can’t even make sense of it. But I always try to do my best, even when my feelings are complicated.
When I arrived here, I thought that once 8 months has passed, I would have improved but I think I haven’t improved enough. However surely I’ve had a lot of incredible experiences and I’m growing up every single day, so it was worth it for me because I’m sure that they were experiences that obviously I can’t get in Japan, and if I hadn’t come here I never would have grown up like this, so I’m really thankful to everyone particular my natural family.
Finally, I only have 2 months before I leave here. It’s really sad for me to finish my study abroad here. I’ve been doing and overcoming a lot of things so far. I’m really sure that all of the time was a good experience for me but I would like to talk more with everyone, study and try harder and make even more nice memories than before, and I want to be a better person here. After I go back to Japan, I would like to try a lot of English exams and I hope I could get a high score then.
I want my last days to be really nice, so I will keep studying harder and spend more time with friends and family.
Keep smiling, stay happy, try harder
Thank you for all you’ve done for me.
Now, I think my smile is different from the one I used to have before: a more natural, genuine smile, just as you said when I first met you. I guess it’s because I’ve recognized my inner, actual feelings such as fear or desire as well as my weak point of strong vanity, which didn’t work at all here. I learned to say ‘I can’t do that’ if I can’t do something. That’s not shameful, and it even made me feel more comfortable with myself.
The world is so big, including a large number of communities. A ‘right’ notion could be wrong in a different society, but we need to believe and depend on something to live. So I think people should just pick wherever they want to belong to and whatever they think is right, and then be flexible in the society, without losing themselves.
Meeting and knowing people always can make give you a new perspective as well. My host family is Christian. Bible dictates their lives and the way they think and live. There are lots of controversial statements in the Bible that I personally cannot actually agree with. But their lifestyle often overturns ‘stereotypes’ that I had before. I hope I’ll be able to find something that guides the way I live within the society which would let me be myself. I’m so lucky to be born in Japan, have my family, and be able to take part in this exchange program. There are some school kids who cannot go to school because they need to work, even in my school. So I need to do continue doing my best in every moment, appreciating what I’ve got.
See you soon. Thanks