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  • kimuchee 7:59 am on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , home stay, , travel   

    Living Abroad 

    It’s hard to believe that I have been in Japan for two months now. But I have. It was only a couple of months ago that I was busy working and commuting to work in order to make this dream of mine possible. It’s so crazy. Even now I don’t think that I have accepted the fact that I am here. I have dreamed of being in Japan even since I was 12 years old. 8 years ago I made a promise to myself. A promise to come to this country that fills me with such wonder and excitement and I did it. Who knew it would be so difficult?

    I came here to learn more about Japan and the people of Japan but I don’t even think I have begun to scratch the surface. There are little pockets of culture every where I go and it’s so difficult to even be introduced to them when my language is so limited. There is a culture around high school, restaurants, prefectures, you name it. Everywhere I go is different, with a new set of vocabulary and actions to go with it. How am I supposed to keep up?

    Traveling is wonderful.

    Staying and living in a foreign place is hard.

    For these past two months I have been living with a host family here in Japan and it has not been easy. But then again this experience is supposed to be challenging so I have embraced all the awkward moments as well as the happy ones.

    I am currently in the process of writing an essay in Japanese about my host family and here is a little snippet about the dogs that I live with:

    犬はプリンとバニラと言います。にひきはプードルで、バニラは男の子それからプリンは女の子です。じつは、プリンは私のこ とが大きらい見たいです!いつも家に帰った時にプリンは「ワン、ワン、ワン」とはえます。よく分かりませんけどはじめて見た時からプリンは私が好きじゃな かったかもしれません。

    It reads:

    The dogs are called Pudding and Vanilla. Both of them are Poodles; Vanilla is a boy and Pudding a girl. Actually, Pudding looks like she hates me! Everytime I come home she barks: “Woof, woof, woof!” (The Japanese sound for this is “Wan, Wan, Wan.”) I do not really understand why but she has not liked me since see first saw me.

    A very rough translation but true. Here is a picture of Vanilla!

    He is the cutest poodle ever!

    I would include a picture of Pudding but as I said before, she hates me and would never let me get that close to her!

    I’ll be sure to write more about my host family experience in the next post!

  • melinthemiddle 2:26 pm on September 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , great wall, , , travel   

    "Footsteps" – Melissa Hosek 

    The Great Wall


    My steps on old steps

    Are not the only ones to step

    On China’s Great Wall.

  • explorewithasmile 6:35 pm on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , travel,   

    Challenge 1: Haiku 

    Haiku, Ho Chi Minh City

    Different sights, sounds

    new faces surround us now.

    Minh là nguoì Viêt Nam.

    (‘We are from Vietnam’ in Vietnamese without proper accents, because WordPress does not recognize all of the necessary accents.)

    Stay tuned for sights, sounds and new faces in an upcoming video from Ho Chi Minh City!

    : )

    • DougReilly 7:15 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great haiku, we are waiting for the cool video now! 🙂

  • appelsina7 9:51 pm on September 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abroad, , travel,   

    The Beginning 

    Choosing where to study abroad was difficult. I love to travel and I wanted to have the opportunity to go on my own adventure. After reading about the study abroad programs and talking to my friends who travelled abroad, I realized that I wanted to have more than the typical college abroad experience. I wanted to go somewhere I would not be able to go without the schools program. That eliminated the European countries. I have always wanted to go to Asia and this was my big chance to go and see more that I ever could if I went on a two week trip on my own. I am majoring in sociology and minoring in social justice so I wanted to go somewhere I could use my skills to observe a new culture. I wanted to be immersed in a program that would challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone. I narrowed it down to India and Vietnam.

    If I were to go to India, though I am sure it is perfect for some people, I would only be able to see one small part of the large country. There are many parts of the culture that I would not have the opportunity to observe. If I were to go to Vietnam I would be able to see much more of the country and have multiple perspectives of the Vietnamese culture.

    When it was time to apply for a program, I only sent in one application, I had made up my mind that Vietnam was the place I would spend the fall of my junior year. It was a big chance to take, since getting into abroad programs can be difficult, but once I was accepted I knew my risk had paid off. I was going to Vietnam.

    I know that these next three months will change the way I see the world and I am looking forward to learning and growing in Vietnam. I am excited to learn a new language and exploring a new place. Though I know that I will miss my family, my friends and playing rugby I know that they will all be waiting for me when I return and until then, it is time to have some fun!

    • Cynthia 11:32 pm on September 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What an exciting adventure you are embarking upon and what a great opportunity! Enjoy the experience! Mr. Long was in Vietnam last year for work and found it interesting. I look forward to hearing more and will be checking in here now and again!

    • DougReilly 4:48 pm on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think you’ll find you made a good choice in Vietnam!

  • julialeavitt 5:01 am on November 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: travel,   

    Duck/Chicken Hybrid 

    The Ducks in Sapa were incredibly strange and fascinating. The had the duck beak and webbed feet but their behavior and facial features were that of a chicken or rooster. The way the walked around and bent their heads to eat was similar to the way chickens move their head and neck. But check out the face! Weird!!

    this one looks like the Fonz….Happy Days anyone?

    • Derp 6:30 am on December 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Those are muscovy ducks.

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