By Zitlaly Hernandez
You know when you feel nervous when entering a new school year, or entering a restaurant where you feel pressured and overwhelmed by the menu? If you do, that’s how I felt when I entered the Z-Burger and saw the Japanese students ordering and talking with their friends. If you don’t, I don’t know another way to explain it…sorry. When I entered the Z-Burger I was so nervous not from the fact that there were Japanese students in my presence, but from the idea that I would forget every conversation starter that I practiced with D’Amonie on the way there. Not only did I forget, but I felt bad when I didn’t know how to start a conversation with them.
I know they were able to tell how nervous I was. But I had nothing to worry about in the end, because they were really friendly, not only that but they were understanding. When I was eating lunch Ayana, one of the first people I met, was open to talking to me in English to help me out. We laughed mostly because she could tell that I was nervous, but she was nice about it.
When we arrived at the church, I was less tense and started to get more comfortable. It’s not that I wasn’t comfortable, it was just that my anxiety was getting to me so I didn’t really feel good. But again, when on the way to the church, I had a chance to calm myself down. During our visit at the church, we learned more about Japan and the United States relationship after the atomic bombing. When we were walking and observing the hallways, where the art of kids who were victims of the atomic bombing was displayed, we had a chance to converse with each other on what we thought about the art. In addition, we talked about how complex it is to answer a question from being outside of the situation. For example, we were asked, “How do you think Japan and the United States come to have a good relationship, especially since the United States was the one who ordered the atomic bomb to be sent?” My group, which consisted of 4 Japanese students and 3 Globalize DC students, we all agreed that it was a difficult question to answer.
During the end of our visitation, my group and I were told to try to converse in Japanese to help us (1) get to know each other, and (2) to help us (Globalize DC students) with our Japanese. At first I started to get anxious again and started stuttering. Though I was anxious, the fact that Koua, Tomoya and the rest of our group were willing to share their likes and dislikes. Me and Tomoya bonded the most since he was the person closest, especially since we both like Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande.
In the end, I found myself finding it funny how I was so anxious about meeting them, but in the end I found myself upset at the fact that we had limited time together and how that time was coming to an end.
We all waved goodbye and went our separate ways, but not before promising to each other that we’ll keep in touch. All in all, it was an experience that I will never forget!