Ladies and Gentlemen, let me take this chance to greet all of you. Let me start off by giving you my experiences during the 2010 student’s travel abroad. The program took four months, starting from August to November, and we lived, together with my three new friends in Okinawa. These friends came from Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. During the trip, we had the chance to learn Japanese language through Japanese classes, made traditional Okinawan dishes in ceramics class and learned how to create water ink paintings during calligraphy class. Further, we were taken through the process of learning okinawan dance known as kageadefu, which we did during the closing ceremony. I will also try to perform it later tonight.
Besides these experiences, we also had the chance to see okinawa’s annual festival esa matsuri in Okinawa city and okinawa’s annual tug-of-war. Our experiences were sandwiched by a four day flight in yaeyama islands. While here, we got to see ishigaki, taketomi,and iriomote islands. It was an experience of its own kind because not only did I learn a lot about the place, but I also got the chance to network with kin Yakuba workers and made so many friends. Most importantly, I got the chance to interact with my family members, whom I had not seen for a long time.
I want to sincerely thank Carol, the Kin Club President and the kin club officers for allowing me to visit Okinawa. I feel this opportunity changed me as a person. Today I feel proud to be one of the Okinawa people, because I have seen their culture and history. I am going to definitely change and improve the kin club so that it can be able to come up with programs that can make other students embrace their culture. I will participate more in advising the next group who will visit Okinawa to develop stronger relationships with kin and Hawaii, which I know will go a long way in keeping this program. How I wish everyone could experience what I experienced in Okinawa. It was fantastic!