Our final week in Japan began with an animal ethics lecture. It was interesting to hear how the Japanese people ultimately view their animals in order to understand the differences we had observed. There are essentially two extreme models in veterinary medicine. One is the mechanic model and the other is the pediatrician model. The mechanic model treats and fixes what is broken to a certain extent – but if the cost to repair is too great, it is “junked” and the newer model is purchased. The pediatrician model treats and fixes everything no matter the cost, time or energy that is needed. In the United States, most veterinarians fall somewhere in between these two extreme models. However, we noticed that many Japanese vets tend to lean more toward the pediatrician model since Japan’s foremost religions preach reincarnation.
In the afternoon, we attended a … Read More »
Hello from the other side of the world!
My weekend stay with Marina started off at full speed. Marina is a graduate of the Rakuno Gakuen/Findlay exchange program. Many of you may have met her when she came to Findlay in 2013. On Friday night, we all went out to eat at a Japanese-Korean barbecue. Many Japanese (and Korean) restaurants, such as the one we went to, have a grill or cooker built into the table in front of you. Diners order raw meats and vegetables and then barbecue them at their tables. It was delicious! Some of the interesting “meats” we tried there were pig intestines and cow tongue. The intestines had a good flavor, but they were SO chewy. It was like chewing meat-flavored gum. Surprisingly, cow tongue was delicious! It tasted like a really … Read More »
On our first Saturday here, Megan, Maria, Grace and I went to Otaru with our hosts. Otaru is an ocean town known for its glass. We ate sushi (raw fish) and went shopping. The raw fish wasn’t terrible, but I do not foresee myself choosing to eat it again any time soon. Tuna was the best one because you could actually tear off pieces instead of having to shove the whole thing in your mouth! The sushi went around the restaurant on a conveyor belt (see picture above). If you saw something you wanted, you simply had to grab it. The price of the food was indicated by a plate color code system. Each plate contained a microchip. When you finished eating, your stack of plates was scanned to determine your bill. (See picture on left)
We survived our 16+ hour flight from the United States to Japan. With only mild turbulence, we overall had an extremely easy and smooth trip. I slept only 30 minutes during our flight, so I had an easier time transitioning to the 13-hour time change. When we arrived at the Sapporo airport at 8:40 p.m., we still had an hour drive to the Rakuno Gakuen campus.
When we crawled out of the van, there was only one thing on all of our minds – a nice shower and sleep. The showers here are sugoi (awesome)! They are very large with a mirror inside them. After our refreshing showers, we headed into our rooms to hit the sack – literally. The beds in the dorm are very different than what we have in the States; but surprisingly, they are fairly comfortable when … Read More »
All six of our team members: Megan, Monica, Maria, Grace, Rob and I are leaving early on Wednesday to fly to Japan. The reality of leaving is finally sinking in – my dog is mopey, my room is a mess with my suitcase open and clothes flung all over the place and apparently my heart is the venue for a butterfly prom. This post is going to be short and sweet because I still have several things to pack and errands to run. I made a farewell video for you all, so take a look by either watching it below or by clicking the link to watch it through YouTube. Thanks for reading and next time I will write to you from Japan!
This past Friday was UF’s International Night. It’s the best campus event – you get to learn about other cultures directly from international Findlay students and professors. You get to taste their foods, view pictures from their homelands, see their traditional clothes, watch them perform dances, play instruments and sing songs. Our friends and tutors were manning the Japan table. They had Udon (a type of Japanese noodle) in Mentsuyu (the soup broth base poured over the Udon) for everyone to taste. They also had Ocha (green tea), Mochi (a gummy-like rice cake filled with various things such as sweet bean paste) and Makizushi (rolled sushi). This was my first time to taste sushi! I must admit that I was very nervous to try it since we have been told … Read More »
This past Friday we had another Japanese get-together party. It wasn’t exactly a party, but every time we are together we make it a party! We cooked Japanese food, worked on learning and practicing Japanese, and practiced eating with chopsticks and using proper table manners. I think I can officially say that I feel comfortable using chopsticks in public. Practice has finally paid off and transformed this klutz into a competent chopsticks wielder! We made Karee, which is Japanese curry. The Karee consisted of chunks of beef (which I cooked using chopsticks as my only tool), mushrooms, carrots, onions and potatoes all coated in a sweet sauce, which reminded me of honey. We also made Tonkatsu, which is pork breaded in flour and panko (a crispy Japanese style bread crumb). The fried … Read More »
Preparations for my Japan trip are never ceasing – meeting weekly with awesome language and culture tutors, eating simply-to-go meals with chopsticks, running daily through Japanese flashcards, watching Japanese films and making presents for my future Japanese host family and friends. There are many things to do in preparation and we are all buckling down to business as we head into the homestretch. Aside from merely learning some of the language and culture, we must also consider what we should pack for the trip to Japan. As a girl who is notorious for over-packing, planning what I should take is no easy task. Our exchange students, Aimi Hitomi, and Junya, told us that Hokkaido, where Rakuno Gakuen University is located, is an extremely windy place – much like Findlay. Although Junya said that that the wind is more … Read More »