It’s the first time I’ve ever signed up for such a program. Some students from Japan are here for a visit and the department was calling for volunteers to bring them around school. After some considerations, I decided to give it a shot and have some opportunity to interact with people from other countries and also to put into practise some of my basic Japanese that I’ve learnt over the past months.
The actual day of the exchange was 2 days ago. I was quite surprised at their travel schedule though. Something like they were in South East Asia for 1 week. 4 days in Malaysia and 2 days in Singapore. Only 2 days! That’s very very short. And they’re only in my school for one morning, effectively only about 2hours.
We brought them to various places in school, went to the canteen for some local food like niang dou fu and vegetarian rice with lots of mock meat, went to queue up for free milo and visit the central bookshop to get some souvenirs. After that, we went for some local desserts like ice kachang and mango sago. The Japanese students really cannot take spicy food. They find even the curry sauce that we always eat mixed vegetable rice spicy.
It was a short 2 hours, but I had much fun. At first, it was really really difficult to communicate. My lousy Japanese can hardly be understood by them. But their English was as bad as my Japanese and I couldn’t understand them either. Haha… It’s more of body language and hand gestures that brought the messages across. But it’s great to make new friends, my first Japanese friends. Of course, not forgetting the student volunteers that was also in my group. In total for my group, there was 4 locals and 7 Japanese. We exchanged email addresses and took some photos before parting. Hmm… But I wonder if they’ll really send me an email or send the photos to me. Let’s wait and see.
One thing is that, even though this was a short activity, being a volunteer or student helper can be quite interesting and fun too. I think the time spent there was quite positive and sets me in a good mood. Next month, I’ll need to bring another group of Japanese students around. But this time, it is graded. In fact, the next group of students is part of a project in my Japanese module. I think maybe I should memorize some sentences to decribe the school as an introductory speech. Haha…