Ojaswi Biswas,on how an exchange trip enriched her life
My ten days in Japan were the best days of my life. I got selected by Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for students and Youth (JENESYS) to visit Japan this year. It was a ten-day programme from November 25 to December 5 which included school visits, volunteer activities and a lovely home-stay. In Japan we visited various places like Tokyo, Daigo City, Hitachi City in Ibaraki and Nagano. The qualities of the Japanese people which struck me the most were their punctuality, discipline, civic sense, conduct and behaviour and their high level of hygiene and cleanliness. Even when we came as strangers in their land, they yet showed a helpful attitude towards us and never cheated us.
Of all the beautiful and restored places, the place that has imprinted its image most strongly in my heart is Ibaraki. It was really upsetting to hear about the most unfortunate disasters that had struck the beautiful city. I was eager to meet the people who lived there, to hear their experiences, and try to lessen their burden. But after meeting them I realised that they had already accepted the bitter truth quite boldly and strongly and were back on their way to a normal and happy life.
The process of reconstruction in Ibaraki is highly commendable. The place has been rebuilt so meticulously that there are hardly any traces of The Great East Japan Earthquake.
Being a part of this exchange programme developed my personality too. I got to learn more about myself, developed my interpersonal skills, gained independence and confidence. Also I got to experience life in another country, expanded my language skills, and got better awareness on cultural differences and made new friends. Time has flown and my journey ended on such a high note.
It has been an experience of a lifetime. The memories that I have caught from here will be embossed in my mind forever and always.
Ojaswi Biswas studies in Class 10, St.Paul’s School, Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi