Sunday, June 26, 2011

Flying to Naha, Meeting my host family! (6/23)

I woke up at 6 (via wake up call) but ignored it and slept till 7. I went over to Brie's room and Brie, Samantha, Sim and I headed to the buffet breakfast. There we me up with all the people from last night: Samantha, Dimitri, Sim, Sabria, Taylor, Max and myself. We finished a social, laughter filled meal and all went to our rooms to bring our luggage to the lobby and check out. All us JUSSE& Okinawa Peace scholars waited for 8:15 check out and took many pictures. Most of the JUSSE people were taking trains to their families and all us Okinawa people were flying from Haneda airport. We said our goodbyes and I felt sad, knowing I wouldn't ever see some of these people again. We boarded the bus to Haneda airport and said our final goodbyes. I skipped lunch, which was this a smoked salmon& ham sandwhich. We did the usual ticket print out bag check in and went through security. Narita is mainly the int'l airport and Haneda is mainly for domestic flights. Security here is so lax. You can even bring liquids on the plane with you. The plane ride was 2 hrs 7 minutes precisely and went by quickly. I sat in the very back with Spencer and Nicole (schumacher) and listened to my ipod and chatted it up. Our flight landed in Naha airport and I felt overwhelmed with nervousness. I was going to meet my host family. Would they like me? What if they don't like me? I was ruminating over those questions in my head. We walked to baggage claim and I almost didn't want to walk out to the exit were my host family would be. I did though (peer pressure) and saw my host mom and brother with a banner that said "Welcome John". I used my basic Japanese to introduce mhself. Then we all took a group picture of the Okinawa YFUer's. I said my goodbyes to all the YFU'ers, not realizing I might never see them again. I headed out with my host family, Wakako(host mom), Katsuumi (host brother) and my host brother's friend to the parking garage. Then we proceeded on the ride from Naha to Kitanaka which took about 1hr and a half with all the city traffic. I made simple conversations with my narrow vocab e.g. "Do you like American music?" "Oh what kind?" "What else?" "Is Okinawa always hot?" etc. My host mom complimented my on my Japanese with "Komunikashon godo" (translation 'communication good') I'm getting used to hearing everything spoken with a thick Japanese accent and trying to decipher what they're saying. We arrived in Kitanaka and came to the house. I carried my suitcase up to my room, which I share with my host brother. My host mom indicated to me a closet saying "John-san no space" (John's space). They showed everything around the house, e.g. the toilet, the bathroom, kitchen, etc. In Japan the toilet has its own separate room and the shower and bath and washroom are also their own separate room. Around 7 we ate dinner of onigiri(rice balls) pork and Okinawan udon noodles. I tried using chopstickes but failed, to everyone's amusment and my host mom ended up asking me if I wanted a fork. I ate really slowly, I always eat relly slowly now. It's weird, I was always a quick eater, maybe it's due to the foreigness of the food. My host mom asked if I was up to going to school tomorrow and I eagerly said I was. At about 8 I was exhausted. I couldn't stay awake and fell asleep.

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