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Exchange Students from Abroad

Newsletter from HANAZONO

Exchange Student from Abroad

A Page from Dream's Diary: November 29th Friday

留学生留学生

 Written by Dream, a Thai student, and translated by Takemura, a 10th Grade student  Edited by Betty, our native English teacher

 I was nervous since this morning, because I was to show a Thai dance to the second graders. I learned it when I was a junior high school student. But I reviewed it with my teacher again before coming to Japan. I had a hard time practicing but I practiced hard. And I succeeded in dancing and was very happy. At first I was worried that they might not be interested in my dance, but in the end everyone applauded and was pleased with my dance, so I was very happy.

 After Thai dancing in the gym, I went back to my classroom with my friends to have a lesson in Thai dancing and listen to the speech from Miss Unnie. She said, "This class is talkative." I think so too, and I've gotten used to it already. In my opinion, the image of this class is very talkative, and everyone laughs a lot, which I think is very healthy. They are also fond of eating. I love everyone very much and I'm very glad to be studying in this class. They are so amusing!

 I'll be moving to Nara. My new host father is a priest, so I'll do my best to help him!!!!!

 P.S. I'll study Japanese more!

The Days with Dream (Dream is a Thai student who came to our school to study)

The Days with Dream

(Dream is a Thai student who came to our school to study from September 2001 to June 2002)

 She stayed with my family for seven months from December 2001 to June 2002. When she came to my house on the first day, I was at a loss because I didn't know what to do with her. But in a few days we were relaxed and felt comfortable with each other, so we became good friends.

 She was able to speak Japanese well from the beginning of her stay at my house, so my family and I didn't have any difficulty communicating with her. But whenever she saw a difficult word or a Chinese character that she didn't understand, she would ask me its meaning or how to read it, and then she would note it down. At our house, she always helped with housework, and she even answered the telephone. Occasionally she made Thai desserts for us. She wasn't particular about food, so almost all the Japanese food tasted good to her. My family and her got along well together. She needed to buy souvenirs for her family in Bangkok. But in order to do that, she had to save money. She didn't waste any money, so even when she went shopping with her friends, she would only window-shop and come home empty-handed. I learned many things about Thailand from her. For example, just as Japan is strongly influenced by the States, Thailand is strongly influenced by Japan, so Japanese fashion as well as singers and actors, are popular in Thailand. She also told me about their political situation, Buddhism, their King, culture, and schools. Everything she said was very interesting, and it made me want to know and understand more about her country. Before I met her, I couldn't imagine what kind of country Thailand was, but thanks to Dream, I feel closer to Thailand than ever before. The time I spent with Dream was the best.

 On the day of her departure, many classmates and teachers came to see her off. This showed what a wonderful personality she has. The return to her home country doesn't mean farewell. It's the beginning of a friendship between her family and mine. Therefore I didn't feel sad or lonely, but rather glad, because she was able to complete her study in Japan successfully. Above all, I'm very grateful for getting to know her. I'm thankful that she could come and stay at my house. Although there is a 2 hour time difference, a 6 hours plane ride, and a difference in nationality,it doesn't matter because we will be there for each other.

 Written and translated by Terada, an 11th Grade student Edited by Betty and Brian, our native English teachers

My Hanazono Days

留学生 留学生

 Hi, I'm Matthew Day, an Australian who just spent nine months in one of the most awesome places in Japan. Hanazono High really made me feel welcome to their school when I first arrived and as my Japanese improved so did the relationships between my friends and teachers.

 When I was at my first interview for the program I went with Wold Youth Service Society (WYS), my counsellor advised me to stay the full ten months instead of six. By the end I was hoping for some natural disaster to delay the flight for another month.

 The first big thing at school for me was the school excursion. My class was going to the beach for a BBQ, but in the end we had it at the school due to the torrential rain. The day was still a lot of fun with everyone making the best of the school's supplies. We had a dodge ball tournament in which we ended up loosing, but we got to go home early so everyone was happy. Summer came and so did swimming for P.E. I thought myself that I was a pretty bad swimmer, but once in the pool all my days of surfing just flooded back to me. Most of my friends didn't like the swimming for P.E. but I loved it due to Japan's humidity in summer ...it's horrible.

 Towards the end of the summer holidays I joined the schools judo club, which proved to be worth while as I gained more friends. Along with summer came the school annual sports festival, in which we had spent weeks preparing for with banners. Out of the four houses I ended up in Jamaica with all my classmates so I was stoked. It was pretty much the same as any Australian school festival but people showed up and the students actually tried to do their personal best. One of the most interesting things of the day was the tag racing, but with comic proportions incorporated into it, eg. A guy running in a swimsuit, another in a Judo suit doing Judo moves on anyone who got in his way and experts in Gymnastics doing flips the whole way around the school oval. Although by far the best thing of the day was the group dances. Maybe fifty students doing the same moves on an oval...awesome!

 My classes weren't extremely hard eg. English, Math, Biology and Japanese, but there were some that just had me dumbfounded eg Home Economics. Still, because all of my classmates being in the same class as me all the time, I never lost interest in class.

 With autumn, came the school's culture festival, two days of good food, good sounds and a whole heap of acting. I mainly helped out with the backdrops for our class play, staying back after school and coming occasionally on weekends (when I didn't have Judo). Our class play ended up going smoothly so everyone ended up wanting to celebrate. We went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant and then went bowling, where my friend scored 214 in his first game (three strikes in a row on his last three bowls).

 October came and I got to do a puppet show on the Little Red Ridinghood with my third-year friends. Other groups chose to do Titanic, Alice in Wonderland, "a guy with a big gut" and Dragonball Z. Even for this small assignment everyone had pit a lot of effort into each of their creations, we even built the granny's house, another team built the titanic, actually it was just a Styrofoam box with "Titanic" written on the side, but the rest was for the imagination.

 In my last few months at Hanazono I studied hard and tried my best to get black belt in Judo. In the end they gave me a whole new suit with my name and Hanazono written on the back of it, so I wasn't too upset about not getting the belt.

 My class threw me a farewell party, I was holding back the tears the whole time, and it was so hard. I have no regrets with my trip to Japan and I wait impatiently to the day when I'll be back in that part of the world again.