My new eyes in Japan (JENESYS 2017)

I would like to tell you my experience in Japan

Hello! My name is Kinnaly. My nick name is Cat. I’m 19 years old. I’m an Ecotourism student in my second year at Souphanouvong University. Having lived in Luang Prabang town, Laos, I just love the great green nature. I also like adventure travelling. I am always excited to see and do new and challenging things. It’s so wonderful for me! But I most like fresh air and being in a natural quiet peaceful place. So I really care about the great environment. That’s why I chose an Ecotourism major.

One day I got a chance to visit Japan via the JENESYS program. (30th Oct – 7th Nov 2017) Title: “Exchange in Technology of Environment / Disaster Prevention” 1st batch. I saw this news on Facebook. This topic was very interesting to me. When I had some time I read and looked it up online and thought about it for 4 days. On Day 5 I decided to apply for this program. I wrote an essay then took an interview. It was my first time to apply for an overseas scholarship. Finally! I got that chance! I was one of 14 students from Laos who completed the application. My mom and I were stunned and mom even cried a bit. I thought …”She doesn’t want me to go”… I’m just kidding! In fact she said “You did it! I’m so proud of you…”.

My first steps on my new journey with this program, were at the airport. When I arrived in Tokyo I felt the weather was quite cool for me. It was 5 degrees in the morning. During my time in Japan it was around 5-20 degrees. But I liked it! Normally during this month in my hometown it’s around 20-34 degrees. By the way, I was so excited seeing around Tokyo city by bus. I also enjoyed exploring the Narita temple. I was surprised by many things in Japan, especially the high level of Japanese technology.

I will tell you my opinion of Japanese food. I always eat spicy food in Laos, but when I tried Japanese food, it wasn’t spicy at all. I liked most of the Japanese food, but there was something I didn’t really like. It was ginger, it smelt very different to Lao ginger. But most Japanese food is very nice, quite healthy and delicious. After eating I always drank hot green tea and sometimes I drank it cold. I just loved drinking tea. So I brought some back home.

The food was really nice and it was all beautifully made! I learned how to make the traditional Japanese sweet which they like to eat before drinking tea. It’s shaped like a Sakura flower, orange, Anime face, etc. It’s very colourful and so lovely! I really didn’t want to eat it because it was so cute♡. However, I had to eat it before 2 days. It tasted so good to eat this sweet before drinking tea.

Our journey was educating all of us about disaster prevention, so I went to Sona area in Tokyo to learn how to save myself from a disaster such as an earthquake or fire. I went to Kumamoto city which had the worst earthquake in 2016. As we know, Japan is surrounded by ocean so it is quite easy for the country to have disasters from the sea. So they try hard to prevent this from happening. Japanese technology has done much work in the area of disaster prevention. It is excellent. In the Japanese language, I would say it is “Sugoii!” meaning “Amazing!”

When I went to visit Japanese students at a high school and university, I felt warm with their kind talking. They were easy to talk to and so friendly. What made my time in Japan so “Sugoii!” was my homestay time. There was such a warm welcoming from all the host families. We had such a great time together by singing and dancing to our traditional music.

My host family was so warm and loving. I had such a beautiful time. It was like a dream. Mom Saori likes cooking and her food was so delicious! I know how much she enjoyed her food making. In the morning, I went walking with mom’s children through the cool weather and good environment in Khikuchi town. This family made me fall deeply in love with Japanese culture. I had a chance to try the Japanese sport “Kendo” It is so good for our mind and health. When I did this sport, I missed my little brother in Laos so much and wanted him to try this sport too.

Many popular designers are from Kumamoto. They design and make things so well. A lot of things made me understand that most Japanese people cooperate with the country’s laws and rules. Yeah, I think it’s good because everyone works together. From when the earthquake happened last time, they have now rebuilt everything very fast and with more highly developed technology than before. Now I understand why Japan is so developed because of its use of high technology.

Even though it was such a short time in Japan, I gained lots of new experiences. I’m so appreciative of the JENESYS program. I’ve done what I never did before. I’ve experienced things that I had never learned about before this trip. My mind was always excited in each moment in Japan. Reading or seeing pictures is good but experiencing things yourself, leaves you with a deeper understanding. It was so great for me to experience life in a different country. I hope one day I have the opportunity to visit a different country and wish that I can take my family to travel with me too.

When I arrived back home in Vientiane Capital city. I took a van back to my hometown, Luang Prabang. I am so proud of the wonderful natural green environment in Laos and by our many beautiful cultures. Yet, I’m still serious about reducing the garbage and waste problems in Laos. On the way home I saw that there was lots of rubbish around the streets and along the river banks. I used to pick up the trash around the Mekong River with the students from the LEOT English school. It was always so dirty that we had a huge job picking up so much rubbish.

In Laos, we put garbage into a big plastic bag and dispose of it. Everyday, new products are being made and people buy them and then just throw them away. This causes a lot of waste. It has a bad effect on people living nearby. The rotting garbage causes problems for keeping our water and air clean and finally the ecosystem is damaged.
Today it might not be a big issue, but if we don’t start taking immediate action, it could destroy us in the near future. Many Lao people say “Okay. As time goes by, things are going to change,” but I believe if everyone doesn’t try to change, we won’t make a difference. What if it’s too late to solve it?

I think making a good garbage system is the first step in helping to prevent disasters and preserve the eco system. Once we have begun this, we could then take care of other problems. I am proud of the great nature and culture in Laos. I hope everyone takes care of them and preserves our environment.

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