Friday, June 11, 2010

BEWARE: A VERY long post! Gomennasai! xD

Well, I know I haven't written in my blog for AGES, but it's been CRAZY!  So I went to my regional orientation at FIshkill, NY at Camp Mariah, and had a blast!  We got there and after I registered they were like "okay you two (my mom and me), now it's time to say goodbye" and I looked at mymom and I was like 0_0!  We said our goodbyes and hugged and then I went into the "immigration building" where it was a mock of an immigration line..thing.  It was very confusing.  There were people there who spoke different languages with me and I was trying to understand, but I couldn't.  They checked my "fake" passport and all and I went outside where I met a group of people who clapped and hollared when I came out.  We waited for more people and then we made our way of the hill...not just any hill, but a gigantic hill.  WIth me and my large heavy luggage I was dying!  I made it up none the less, but I was sweating and panting luike a dog.  We had time to go and put our stuff in our asigned cabin.  I was in Cabin 2B.  It was pretty sweet.  After that we went back down the large hill, which was much better than coming up, and we hung out with people who were waiting till the actiual orienation began.  I sat down and talked to some awesome people.  One who was  going to Germany for a year.  I waited and eventually another group came down.  I heard them talking about where they were from and then I realized that one of the girls was actually a girl who I knew from Facebook and her blog.  I freaked!  Her name was Jordan and we became friennds instantly.  It was awesome!  After saying our hellos we joined a small group out in the middle of the grass and [ropceeded to try and play the knot game, where everyone held another peson's hand and then tried to get back in a circle.  After our failed game of knot the orientation actually began to began.  They talked, and they were like "remember guys, your fake passport should be treated as your real passport and should be portected with your life"  I then began to realize my passport was missing.  Indeed I had forgotten it and had to walk the walk of shame up to the main dude and get my passport back infront of everything.  After that we got into our groups and went to our specific sessions.  I was in the GREEN group! We went to "Family Living" where we talked about living with a host faimly.  It was cool.  We learned about TOPHAT.  Which were ways that you should behave while in a host family.  I kinda forget what they stand for's 5:14 in the morning over here in Tokyo. -_-'  haha.  Then we went to session #2 which was Meet the Critic.  We were given questions that we would probably be asked about America.  Like why are Americans so nosy? and WHy doesn't America have universal health care? and yadidadida...It was stressful for me.  After that we went to lunch where I met back up with Jordan and we formed a little Japan circle with an Alumni.  It was awesome! Then we went to session #3 where we went to realistic Expetations. We were asked about how our family's reacted to the fact we were going to Japan and what we expected there.  Then we went to session #4 which was Culture/Culture Shock, where we talked about what Culture Shock really was and how we could help ourselves get through it.  After that we went to a thing called "You and YFU & Not WIth Me" where we talked about YFU policies.  Policies which included no marriage, no pregnancy, no drinking and driving and so on and so forth.,  THen we had an Alumni Talk all about Japan.  It was cool, but at the same time it was long and it was VERY hot outside.  We then had dinner, which was really nice.  We had dinner with a Japanese exchange student who taught us all about her culture!  Then after that we met with the  Field Directors which was neat.  The NE region went downstairs and talked about what we're doing and that we are very special because we're the 1% of US students going abroad.  After that we went downstairs into the deep, dark room where we were showed a traditional Albatross welcoming ceromony.  I was lucky enough to participate in it. It was very interesting....After that we were suposed to do other things, but when we came out onto the main field it began to thunder and lightning  and then pour.  it POURED.  We stayed in the main lodge and did a Talent Show, which was the bomb, and then we did karaoke.  It was awesome, but it went late.  Jordan and I said goodbye and went into our cabins.  I was SO tired and fell asleep instantly. 
    Bright and early at around 6 am we woke up and headed for the airport. I fell asleep on the ride there....haha  We watched Stepbrothers, which was funny but very innapropriate.  haha. We got to the airport, but our group was separated into 2 flights and I was on the later one.  So we all arrived and walked to a food market and ate.  I got some nice pancakes and hash browns from McDonalds.  We sat around and took pictures, telling everyone where we were going and how excited we were!  Then the first group went at around 11:30 and left 7 of us for the next flight at 2:30.  ugh!  We waited for a very long time.  It was boring and not fun haha, luckily we got to talk to Marianna.  After waiting for what semed like centuries we began to board.  We stood in a cirlce together waiting to have our ticket scaned when over the announcement my name was called.  I went over to the main desk and the lady was like "are you in a group?" i said yes.  She then asked "are you all together?" and I said no again.  "Do you want a window seat?" I was like "YES!" So I was able to have a window seat for the approx. 7 hour flight from JFK Aipport in NY to the SF Airport in Cali.  It was a long flight.  THe dude next top me was all European and had his iPad and was spazzing over it...that entertained me.  I played Wheel of Fortune 2 and then this game that had to do with Goo blobs and when I was all into it, the netbook died.  I mourned the lose of the cute little netbook!  We finally got to SF where we got on a bus and embarked for UC Berkeley.  We got there and had walk to the campus.  We got there and everyone who got there before us was there.  We dropped off our luggage and went inside the main hall where we gave our name and gave our passports to them.  We got our room keys.  We got assigned a language group. I was begginner of course.  And then we signed up for two activities we'd want to do.  I signed up for Yukata and Karaoke.  I went up to my room where I met my roomate, Ashley.  She was and is SO AWESOME! :]
Our group had missed the DInner with Kumi, but whatevs.  haha.  We had a welcome and Introduction Session and watched a Japanese slideshow.  We had free time and then went to bed.  I was exhausted. 
The next morning we woke up at about 7:00am and were unfortunately late for arriving to breakfast.  We got scolded...>_<.  We went to breakfast with our kumi and then went to our room which was Floor 5 and met our kumis.  BLUE KUMI ALL THE WAY!! The people in my kumi were awesome!  We had our first session which was "Getting to Know Each Other" We'd state our name a where we're going and who our host families were.  Then we had a session which was called "Your Homestay Experience" and we talked about our what we'll do at our host family's houses.  Then we went to "Let's PRactice Japanese/Survival Japanese" , I went do Deutch with my fellow begginners.  The class was VERY nice!  Our teacher was Karla, and our student teacher person was Paige.  She was SO CUTE! :D  Then we headed back u-p to our Kumi rooms and studied about "CUrrent Japan".  Oh! Our Teacher was Danny (who rocks!) and our student teacher person was Andrew (who rocked as well)!.  Okay back onto the subject.  We read an atricle that was really recent and then we had to make a poster and present. My gorups article, Issaac, Julianna and me, had an article about the hidden poverty line. Where people in Japan were basically in denial that they were poor and needed help.  It was a depressing article...haha. Then we had lunch with our kumis and then played a game called Bafa Bafa.  It was EPIC! :D Go Betas!  We had our own "sign language system" and it was awesome!  Then we had volunteers go as representitives to another "group" and learn about their "culture".  People came to us and they were so confusd! it was hilarious! IT was really fun!  After that we went downstairs to the main hall and watched a YouTube video about Japanese HIgh Schools and then went back upstars to our Kumi Rooms and discusses highschool.,  We then had a break (thank goodness) and then went back to our Language class.  Then we went back to our kumi rooms and learned about Culture Shock...again haha.  We were pros at it by the end of it! Then we had dinner with our Kumis and then went to our activites. The Yukata was AWESOME! even though the yukata itself was too big for me xD Then I went to Karaoke where we sang two songs it was pretty cool! :]  Then we had free time, lights out at 10:15.  What a day! X_X
THe next day we woke up at 7:00 am and I got down there on time! It was a good day!  WE had breakfast with our kumis and then did radio exercises.  I failed.  xD  After that we went to Language class.  Yay! So far we learned how to have a conversation and how to count to 10.  Then we had break.  Then we went to our Kumi rooms and had "Japanese Etiquette - Good Gaijin/ Good Gaijin.  We did a skit about good behavior and bad behavior.  In my group I was the bad one. IT was funny.  Then we had break.  Then we played Barnga, which was a card game which required no talking.  There were 6 tables and each table was given different directions (which we didn't know).  It was very stressful.  The game was supposed to represent what we'd feel when we're in Japan and the difficulties of the language barrier.  Then we went ot lunch with the kumis.  Then we went to our last language class.  I had learned so much!  Then we went to our kumi rooms and did the "Not with me!" session. Again, we all were pros.  We had a break and then went to the Alumni panel where we could ask questions to 7 previous exchange students who went ot Japan.  It was really helpful.  Then we had a GEnder-Specific Alumni Panel (LOL).  and followed by Departure information.  WHich was VERY HELPFUL!  THen we had time for packing, which was good!  Then we went into0 the main lawn and did Japanese Bon Dancing.  We first learned a traditional dance.  Then we got into our kumis and made original dances to perfom. It was a competition against the other Kumis.  THe order determined the order we'd get our obento diners.  Blue got 2! :D :D :D :D :D Who are we?! Aoi! :D Blue rocks! (Oh! I never mentioned it but, we stole basically everbody elses flags! >:) haha)  After our obento dinner, we had a Japanese Movie and Game Night.  I did not do either! LOL  Basically I played HIde-and-go-seek and then Ninja the entire night xD   It was SO FUN!! :D Then we went to bed! The next day we'd be flying to Tokyo! :D
THe next day arrived WAY too soon!  6:00 am.  We went down and got our passport and dropped off our luggage and got our boxed breakfasts.  We ate them and then boarded the bus to the airport.  Once there we went through security and such and waited to board.  While waiting we met a cute Japanese couple! kawaii! :D Then we boarded the plane for our 9 hr flight.  THe flight really didn't seem that long! Excpet for the beginning when someon's luggage got stowed away on the plane, but the luggage's owner never showed up. haha I watched 3 out of the 4 movies. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, and Leap Year.  I didn't watch a movie about Tolstoy...haha xD
 After about 9 hrs we FINALLY ARRIVED IN JAPAN!! IT WAS AWEOSME!! :D :D:D:D  We went through security and customs and immigration.  We got our fingerprints taken and our photos taken.  We got our luggage and went and waited for everyone.  I was on bus 4 which was the last bus to leave.  We drove from Narita to Tokyo.  I became obsessed with taking pictures! LOL  We got to the Keio PLaza Hotel.  We checked in, got obento dinners, roomkeys and such.  I got to my room and got my stuff set and then it was off to wander around town!  It was so fun!! My little gorup ended up in an arcade doing Purikura! :D It was AWEOME!! There were japanese people everywhere! I was in heaven! Then we had to leave because it began to pour.  I got to my room and crashed on the bed.  My roommates were there and were both exhausted as well.  We turned on the T.V. and watched baseball! xD Then we went to bed. 
This morning we all woke up about 4:00 in the morning.  haha Jet Lag xD So basically I've bene up since 4.  Breakfast is at 7 and now it is 6:15.  It's been crazy! I'm so happy! I'm staring out at the Shinjuku skyline right now! I'm so happYy! Well I better get ready for breakfast and for meeting officuials today! I've typed SO much! My wrists and fingers hurt lol! Well I have to go now.  I'll post later xD

I'M IN TOKYO!!! <3333


Abby said...

Emxy, maybe you should keep to a lot of smaller posts instead of one big one. It took me, like, twenty minutes to read that! I'm so happy that you're having so much fun. Nothing much going on here, it's cloudy today, so of course I'm bored! Last night, Haley, Bryan, and I went to Fisher's Park and Bryan decided to walk across the river on this tree that had fallen down over the winter. Guess who fell in??? Not me. It was Haley. Hahahaha. I felt so bad but I was laughing so hard!!!! She kept having to wring out her shirt and stuff. But I may have gotten an infection from the water :( I don't know yet, my toe is kind of swollen. (Yuck!)
More drama on the homefront, I'll tell you about it when you get back. Post those pictures on facebook, I want to see Tokyo. It sounds like you're having so much fun, I'm really jealous, but happy for you too. Don't forget your friends here at home, because we sure aren't forgetting you! And give a shout-out to your host family from me, I hope they're really nice and funny. PM me on facebook missy, cause I miss you!!!!!

Julie said...

Loved your post. I got a pretty good idea of how you've spent your time so far. Intense but I think it's a good idea that they made sure you understood what you're getting into!

To make posts more readable, just cut the text into more paragraphs. Lots easier for us old farts to read. Onto the next post!

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