Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 12 - Shipyard, Free time, Unwelcomed Surprise

August 10th

For the second half of Nagasaki, we got to stay at Hotel Nisshoukan. It is atop of a mountain that overlooks the city. The night view is ranked as one of the top three views in the world. It was beautiful. Breathtaking. And I was lucky enough to have very bad eyesight so that when I took my glasses off, the little sharp lights burst into colorful cottonballs that changed in shape according to where I focused on. Without my glasses I had little depth perception and so it seemed like I was looking at a painting blotched with colors of different sharpness. The buildings faded into the background and the land became the night sky.

Today we got to tour the Nagasaki Mitsubishi Shipyard and hear a lecture about Nagasaki at the City Library. As we toured the shipyard, we saw step by step how a tiny piece of metal melded together with another and another, could create a monster ship. Surprisingly, we saw little workers but instead a shipyard full of automated technology.
The lecture was given by Tsutomu Mizota, a distinguished professor at Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies. He entered the Ministry of Education in 1970 and was apopointed to UNESCO and UNICEF and worked for the United Nations Heaquarters as a representative for the Asia/Oceania region. The lecture was fairly general and tailored towards our roundtable issues. I found myself quite disinterested.

Oh and today we ate lunch under the famous bridge in Nagasaki. I can't remember the name at the moment but oh my goodnesss I got to walk on top of the bridge and the sight I got to see... To see the river-like harbor snake itself carefully into the city, and then on the other side see it engulf the ocean...

In the afternoon we got to be tourists. We started off in Dejima, the only open port for trade during the era when Japan decided to close off its country. The history was fun to learn and there was a very nice lady there selling ice cream in the shape of a rose. It tasted and looked incredible. Next we walked to the Dejima Warf where there was a ship that looked awesomely like a pirate ship. We walked the coast looking at yummy food and taking pictures and being tourists all the way. Throughout the trip we had a translator/local with us who we know as Taku. He led the way and took us to THE restaurant of origin for Chanpon (A ramen noodle+chinese noodle kind of mix) and it was SO GOOD. And honestly, I'm beginning to think that the idea of Japanese people serving small portions is a myth. After that we walked towards Clover Garden. It was night at that time so we got to see the beautiful flowers under soft moonlight coupled with a view of the entire city from atop. Being so busy 90% of the time, we really enjoyed our free time.

Our happy day suddenly turned sad when we found out that one of the Japadeles had to leave the program because he was very sick and needed to go to the hospital to rest. He had been sick a few days back and we were all worried but we had no idea how serious it would become. We cried. It didn't occur to me how bonded we were as a team until this happened. We held each other in comfort and took times saying good byes. We spent hours just huddled together comforting the Japadele that had to leave and telling him that "Once a Jascer, always a Jascer". He's not leaving JASC, he's always going to be a part of it. He's only temporary taking a break from the events. I felt strongly that we will always have him in our heart no matter what we were doing. I think by then, we all realized how lucky we were to be in JASC and participate it.

At night, we decided to make a film for the Japadele leaving and so each and every one of us were filmed giving him a message from our heart. The video ended up being an hour and a half long. I hope our feelings went through to the Japadele.

No comments:

Post a Comment