Jul 12, 2009

Fellowship Reflections

My eleven day journey to Japan came to a conclusion yesterday with a 12+ hour flight back to Atlanta. Now it is time to look back and try to digest everything that I experienced while in Japan. Before I do that I first need to thank everyone who made this trip possible, starting with the Keizai Koho Center in Japan. Everyone at Keizai Koho was incredibly professional, courteous and helpful in making this tour an experience none of us will ever forget.

To Akemi Handa and Tetsu Hasegawa, our hosts and guides, I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard work, your patience and your kindness. Both of you are incredible people who went WELL above the call of duty to make our time in Japan absolutely perfect.

Miki and Yoshi Kato, my host family, thank you for opening your home to me. I hope I can return the favor one day, and when I do, I promise that I will make you that turkey dinner you requested.

The Japan-America Society of Japan and Yoshi Domoto, thank you for selecting me to participate in this program and thank you for the Japanese lessons. My time in Japan has really changed all of my perceptions of this incredible country.

My fellow travelers from the United States and Canada, a group of outstanding educators one and all, thank you for being such a great group of people. Getting to know all of you made the trip that much better. I hope to see all of you at NCSS. (...and sorry again about the fire station thing)

Finally, I would like to thank all of the amazing people of Japan I had the honor of meeting during my visit to Tokyo, Kawasaki City and Nikko. I have done a good bit of traveling in my day and I can honestly say I have never experienced such incredible hospitality and kindness. The level of civility in Japan really is a wonder. Imagine a place where everyone respects nature, each other, their elders, history and the rules. That place exists.

That place is Japan.