My experience in Japan was an experience of a lifetime. We always
dream of the opportunity to visit these wonderful places we have seen in
pictures and picture in a daydream. Expectations were set beforehand and yet somehow far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Japan was magical and then some. A learning opportunity that somehow in our short trip managed to teach me so many things and completely shift my personal perspective.I was shown a culture that engrains kindness, respect, genuineness and manaakitanga into their everyday life and hope to carry this back with me and introduce this into mine.
I am far more confident in my abilities as a teacher and more
importantly as a friend and person. Over the time we were able to spend with staff, students and children in schools, I had many moments of courage and push to draw myself out of my comfort zone and allow the wonderful japanese culture to move my actions and words. I was able to teach in classrooms across Japan, translate and converse with many people and dance around the language barrier as if there wasn’t one, only met with encouragement and humour as I was constantly welcomed and included.
To be able to have an experience where we had the opportunity to be
so deeply imbedded in their culture and be able to grow and learn was something I will forever be grateful for. I know that it has made me
a better kaiako and cannot wait to share many stories and one day
return to Japan for another taste of some sort of wonderful.