Views from Sausalito: The Sister City Student Exchange Trip to Sakaide, Japan — 2009
by Xinhua Eynon, Sausalito Student
Editor’s Note: OurSausalito.com periodically features articles written by local Contributing Editors called “Views from Sausalito.” Each year the Sausalito Sister City Program links students from Sakaide, Japan with those in Sausalito. This article was contributed by Xinhua Eynon, one of the Sausalito students on this year’s trip to Sakaide.
Before this trip, I learned from previous students that it had been one of the most amazing, touching, thrilling, and life-changing trips they ever had experienced. As I was given this information I thought to myself and believed that this trip was going to be great, but did not come to think that it was going to be life changing.
Waiting for the day to come felt like a long time, as I packed my suitcase a week early getting ready for a great experience. After the really long trip to Sakaide, Japan, I remember feeling unbelievably tired, but could not sleep throughout the trip. When we got off the bus, that is where I saw the smiling faces of the Japanese, welcoming us with open arms. As I looked at the people greeting me, saying “Welcome!” I became overwhelmed and a feeling of love and affection came over me. I met my family, and could not be any more exhausted and excited than I was that night.
Throughout the trip, I became very close to my two sisters, Ai and Mai, and spent lot of time with them talking about school, sports and Disney movies. Ai would always drive me in the morning while we all listened to High School Musical or Hannah Montana songs. We would be singing and laughing our hearts out having a blast before I would have to “Sayonara” and joined the group, ready for many fun activities.
The delegation with the Seto Ohashi Bridge in the background. From left: Whitney Polk, Tom Clark, Marcus Mason, Cathy Stierhoff, Hisa Tome, Koji Abe, Susan Roe, Justin Bourdet, Daria Kosmynina, Xinhua Eynon, Chris Gallagher, Leah Tabernik, Matsuno Patrick, Clair Snyder, Herb Weiner, Toyomi Tanaka, Hiromu Tsutsui
Now that the trip has ended, I realize you can tell all you want to people about your trip, but they will never know the feeling that you felt when you came to Sakaide. I guess what makes this trip so special is that you get to make many connections to people who love you and take care you. I still stay close and in touch with my family and I believe that our friendship will last a lifetime.
The opinions expressed in “Views from Sausalito” articles represent those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of OurSausalito.com.
Copyright (c) 2009, OurSausalito.com. All Rights Reserved. Photos Copyright (c) 2009 Sausalito Sister City Program, used by permission.