I'll be heading down to a class on Google Tools tomorrow and Friday. As part of the class we'll be using GoogleEarth and have been asked to bring 5 photos (digital) relating to our personal histories. This is one that I'm taking.
This is me. Age 18. In Tokyo, Japan. I spent my first college Christmas break in Japan, visiting the family that hosted me in the summer of 1988. New Year's in Japan is a BIG DEAL! To celebrate, they dressed me up in this silk kimono and we toured some of the popular shopping areas in Tokyo. I received many stares, got lots of attention, and loved the experience! (Note: My big American feet wouldn't fit into traditional Japanese wooden sandals. I wore the split toe socks with flip flops. Oh well.)
My mother was an exchange student for a summer during high school. I think that's what made me want to have a similar experience. She went to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I went to Tokyo, Japan. I soaked up all that I could and had a fabulous host family who took me to many great locales. I'm still in touch with my Japanese family. We exchange e-mails throughout the year and presents at Christmas time.
As of this writing I don't forsee that any of my children will be foreign exchange students, but they have expressed a desire to use their passports before they expire in 2012. (Kids' passports are only good for 5 years -- but cost only $10 less than adult passports.)
Well, that's it for today. And if you were wondering, YES, I loved Japanese food. (Gained almost twenty pounds in the 2 months I was there in 1988.)