Anne 2008-2018

How should I begin… I was surprised how fast the last 10 years passed by. So much has changed around us, but inside it seems like it was yesterday that we met and went on this journey to Japan.
I am grateful for the opportunity given by the Japanese-German Center Berlin.

arigatou gozaimashita!

meeting the Japanese delegation in Ravensbrück

I still remember the feeling of being catapulted on this huge intersection between skyscrapers with commercials illuminated in all colors, these masses of people, ordered chaos, not being able to understand or read anything, while still feeling welcome.
The meetings and presentations of local organizations, seminars with the Japanese of our same age, same point of views, thoughts and dreams in completely different environments.

exchange seminar

Highlight was visiting a local school and seeing how involved the kids are in cleaning, serving others, not just thinking of the good for themselves only but also of the good of all.
They serve themselves lunch, they clean up after eating, they even clean the school, they grow up taking care. We all should take this as an example!

Lunch time at school

Japanese are very connected to nature, an extreme example was visiting Hanegi play park where kids are playing with simple self-built structures and toys. They see the wonders and connections in nature and are thankful for the little things.

Hanegi Play Park

The visit in Soni, basically in the middle of nowhere, and last but not least the home stay with just the help of a tiny device to translate the basics. That was maybe the biggest adventure of my life until then.
Feeling so welcome as a complete stranger, while feeling embarrassed not being able to express how thankful I am.

my host family

The whole program helped me to open myself. Since then I traveled the world and offered my home to couchsurfing guests. I got to experience life in other cultures, even if still European, ending up with my Italian husband and multinational kids, who already made Japanese friends without words.

And i’m happy to say, that I found true friends through this exchange experience!

Treffen mit der Japanischen Delegation in Dresden

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