Peter Chivero (Zimbabwe)


Peter Chivero (Zimbabwe)

Friendly ties began immediately after dropping off a limousine bus at Takamatsu Bus Station. A man walked up to me to ask if I needed help because I was looking so exhausted after the long 20 hours journey. Fortunately I got picked up immediately. My immediate problem was language which was a major communication barrier. I could only greet, introduce myself and a few other basic Japanese. I realized the need to start up on my “Nihongo” classes as soon as possible. Although I couldn’t speak much Japanese, I found comfort in the hands of the International Student Center staff, my teachers and foreign students at the dormitory where I am staying. Generally Japanese people are shy so I could not make friends at first sight but with time I got to befriend a lot of them.

To start off a new life in Japan I decide to visit the scenic and most famous places in Takamatsu just to get a glimpse of the outdoors in my area. The views were just beautiful especially from the top of Yashima Mountain where I could see the whole town from an aerial view.

I thought I was going to have problems with the change in diet but amazingly I found the food very healthy and delicious. I have enjoyed all the dishes I have tried so far. It would not be fair enough to write about Japanese food without mentioning “Okonomiyaki”. Okonomiyaki tastes good and can be made in different varieties as the customer desires. The atmosphere in the shop is so wonderful with the chefs preparing the food right in front of the customers. One good thing is that the customer can choose the food by sight which was very helpful for me since I had problems understanding the menu which was all written in kanji. I have not only enjoyed the food but gained weight.

I have not regretted for a second coming to Japan. Even though Japan is a very modern country which is technologically advanced, their old ways of doing things still exist. For example, the bowing system to show honour is still being practiced. Offering a deep bow to my “sensei” has never stopped fascinating me. I am almost finishing on my lessons and I must say that am glad for I have progressed very well in my Japanese language proficiency. I owe my sincere acknowledgement to my three ‘Senseis’ (Toru Takamizu, Mika Shioi and Ohnoro) who are so patient let alone so caring about my social welfare. Japanese language is quite challenging but is so interesting. It requires a good portion of organization and discipline, patience and a sense of humor. There is just but so much going on every time, new kanji characters, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

I just cannot finish without mentioning my tutor, Mr. Shuhei Yamashita. He is just a great character. I never felt left out, he was always there to take me through every little thing that I wanted to do. To Professor Lrong, may your caring hands last forever, Dr. Gohtani, thank you for accepting to work with me; I am looking forward to having a great time in your laboratory. I think that my experiences in Japan are a lifetime souvenir. Being in Japan is just so fascinating and a great adventure. I have no doubt there are more enjoyable “tanoshii” and exciting experiences ahead of me as I journey on through my studies. Japan has become a home away from home.