Posted by Norm King on Feb 28, 2019
The story of one of our own
I am currently studying in Tome City, located in the northern part of the Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. Tome has a population around 80,000; and, while there isn’t much to do here, Sendai City is only a 90-minute bus ride away. 
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Most of my time is taken up by school, which is a big part of the day for many students. Sometimes I don’t get home until 7 p.m. because of club activities after school, which can last two to three hours. Lots of students attend classes or club meetings on the weekends as well. The clubs I’m currently in are art club and choir club, which I enjoy very much. In art club, I love making pottery and painting, and in choir club I play the violin alongside the piano in duets. Other than that, I meet up every week with an English teacher introduced to me through a friend, and we converse over coffee with her speaking English and me, Japanese. Every day, I see a constant improvement in my language skills, which is even more apparent as the months pass. My host family has seven people—four generations—living under one roof: my host sister (18), host brother (14), host mother, host father, host grandparents, and then my host grandpa’s mother, who is in her nineties and still in very good health! We also have a cat and two dogs. All of my (American) friends think I’m crazy for doing another year of high school whilst they’re all experiencing their freshman year of college. Well, I could not imagine life if I did not take this opportunity. I am beyond grateful that I get to do this again and wholeheartedly believe that this is something everyone should experience before college. Rotary Youth Exchange has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities that have given my life meaning. So, thank you to any Rotarians who might be reading this. I will take in and enjoy everything I can during these last few months, because I know I will miss Japan terribly once I return to the states this summer. Taylor Sponsored by the HEB Rotary Club