BMHS PrideTime Reporter
Last month, 22 students returned home from a twelve hour flight on Christmas day, bringing back all of the new information they received, as well as the experience that came with representing Brien McMahon/CGS as ambassadors while in Japan.
The students were given an eight day opportunity to fully extract all that this learning experience had offered. On the first day, while many had explained fatigue from the flight, they were taken to a hotel in Tokyo. There, they had an authentic Japanese dinner and a full nights of sleep. The next morning, it was a breakfast and then a scenic view of Tokyo’s imperial palace and government buildings bus ride. The students stopped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (MOFA) where they were officially given the full Kakehashi orientation.
And then, on another flight to Okinawa they went!
“Traveling to Okinawa turned out to be an extremely culturally enriching experience for me. Not only was I able to learn far more about Japan’s culture than I expected, but aside from visiting monuments, I also very much enjoyed the various other activities planned for us in Okinawa (hearing the guest speaker tell of his experiences during the Battle of Okinawa, visiting with the host family, etc). I was exposed to an entirely new side of Japan; one that is different from what is found in mainland cities such as Tokyo.”-April, (‘18) First time in Japan.
They visited ancient ruins, a renown shrine, and Okinawa World-being immersed in the history of Okinawa and its importance as a bridge for Japan-US relations.
A number of students those during the trip and those in the interview would explain feeling homesick and how the feeling would instantly be distilled and shadowed by the fun and enlightenment.
At the end of the program on their return to Tokyo, they gave a final presentation to the supervisors and JICE, MOFA coordinators. CGS gave its all at a presentation describing how they would accomplish the Kakehashi requirement; disseminating their experience locally acting as a “bridge” for the continued strong relations of the two countries. And so, it starts with you, McMahon! Here are what a few students have to say to their fellow high schoolers.
“I would like to tell them to not listen to stereotypes. Although stereotypes are made for a reason, they don’t align with every single person's traits. There are always gonna be some odd people out, and we have to understand that. I’d also want to tell all of Brien McMahon that it’s okay to step out of their comfort zone. Traveling to a strange country all the way across the world is scary, but 100% worth it. (Angelina (‘20))”
“I would like the students of McMahon to know that Japan has an extremely rich culture and many traditions embedded within this culture. I want to dispel all negative stereotypes concerning Japan and the Japanese people. It is important for us to be accepting and to make more connections to the Japanese and their culture.”