Well, it's been one week since we've returned from Japan, and everyone's gotten back to their regular lives. Still, judging by reflections written by students, these experiences are sure to remain with the students:
This trip has been the chance of a lifetime. To travel to a whole new country, mingling with the locals and immersing yourself in a new culture - it's a real eye-opener to just whole big the world truly is. I can only hope that, in the near or distant future, I can return to Japan, and I encourage others to do the same.
This trip was the best thing to ever happen to me. I was able to meet so many people who changed my life for the better. I was also able to see places I never thought I'd get to see.
Of course, this is not the end of the journey, but the beginning. Many of the students have expressed interested in continuing to play taiko as members of Pittsburgh Taiko, so there'll be plenty of opportunities to see them perform. (Regular updates are posted to both the Pittsburgh Taiko website and the group's Facebook page, so be sure to check them out!
Meanwhile, the major topic of conversation amongst the students while traveling back to Pittsburgh was how they could get BACK to Japan - whether via study abroad, enrolling in a university there, work, or many other means. So, we expect to see them make many return trips to Japan, further strengthening the relationships they established with the students at Nihon Fukushi University Affiliated High School.
We look forward to seeing how the students build upon the foundation laid over 10 days in Japan. In celebration of the ties they created, here's a slideshow looking back at the trip:
Thanks for reading the blog, and for your support of the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, the TOMODACHI initiative, and the students' participation in the Ties Through Taiko program!