https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDQpF92l1vg (Me waiting for this trip to happen)
Looking back from what has happened over the past year or so, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am now. I remember during the same time last year, I was sobbing in my hospital bed as I broke the news to Ebony over the phone about how I couldn’t go on the GIEU Japan trip. Now I’m finally here and the trip is about to end. Although I’m sad that I wasn’t able to go with my last group, the past couple of weeks have been time filled with amazing adventures and memories that have changed me in a way I wasn’t expecting.
Honestly though, it kinda sucks being the last one to post on the blog because it’s difficult to pick just one memory. However, the first time I really felt at home in Ishinomaki was a few hours before we took over Fukko Bar. We were still adjusting to being in this new town, but the people welcomed us with warm arms right when we entered Hashi-Dori Commons. The local pops was there again from the night before (as some of you have read in previous blogs) and would constantly just buy us food. Not only that, we met some mothers and their kids who were absolutely fascinated with us. They were learning English and were insistent on practicing with us. The kids were a bit shy, but by the end of the night, we were all laughing and playing games with them. The most heartfelt thing was that one of the younger girls stole my camera (bless that she didn’t drop it). Not only did she leave one of my favorite picture of all time, but a night that I never felt so at home in a country that was oh so foreign. Although I’ve been to places such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka beforehand, Ishinomaki made a place in my heart that I’ll never forget.
It made me realize that it’s not the place that makes it special, it’s about the people you meet. On our free day, I was able to head to Sendai where I didn’t know what to expect. I met up with a lovely boy who was determined to make my day in Sendai something I wouldn’t forget. From the awes at the pet shop, kicking his butt in Mario Kart, and getting dinner at McDonald’s, it made Sendai feel a bit smaller and more at home. Even the journey back was a wild ride from thinking I missed the last train to getting off a stop that was not even close to the hotel. However, a man sensed my fear and lack of knowledge of the area and called up a taxi for me. He even waited for the taxi to come before he parted ways with me.
Last year, I was in a rather dark place and couldn’t even imagine how I was going to get out of it. Although the anticipation killed me, I’m so happy I was given the opportunity to do this all over again and maybe breaking my pelvis in the end was a good thing.