[Guest post from Tenney Sprague]
Sept. 25 (1st day in Japan on bus)
We have just arrived in Japan and are now on the bus to Tokyo. Granted, I feel like I need to sleep for a day and perhaps shower even longer, but everywhere looks so different I won’t forgive myself if I do sleep. Already I have seen rice patty fields, dense bamboo forests, and even a hotel with black sparkled walls on the outside. But I have also seen smaller things like little houses in the distance from the highway. Familiar in that I know what Japanese style homes look like but completely different seeing them in person.
Perhaps it is only my strange perception knowing that I am in a new place, but the sky feels higher too, like there’s a larger distance between me and the big fluffy clouds than back home. And I keep expecting to see mountains in the distance. I was so excited to go to Japan, but no matter how close the departure date got, I didn’t feel like I was going anytime soon. (It was like a dream or a nice idea, but I was never actually going to be able to go.) So now here, I’m regretting not doing more research on such things like maps, knowing where mountains are, and speaking Japanese – I did practice some, but speaking bumbling Japanese to an actual native speaker is a whole other level of embarrassment and mistakes.
But still, I’m in JAPAN, probably a place that I’d never be able to go to and experience (and try my bumbling Japanese) without this 360 program. So maybe I’m still in a dream, and my mind is letting me think that I am this lucky. But I just saw an ad for ramen from the highway, so I’m really hoping I’m not dreaming, or at least, that this dream would last a bit longer.
Thank you so So much Dr. Glassman, Dr. Francl, Dr. Schulz, and Bryn Mawr College for all your hard work that went into planning this trip and for helping my dream come true of eating ramen in Japan!