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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mount Magazine trip - fall 2015


Mt. Magazine locates in a small town called Paris, Arkansas. Yes, you heard me. Paris in America, not the one in Europe. This town even has its own Eiffel Tower. Just type something like "Eiffel Tower in Paris, Arkansas" on Google image then you can see it. 

Let's get back to the mountain. This is the tallest mountain in the State of Arkansas, about more than 800 meters. Why does it named Magazine? That's a long time ago. We don't need to worry about it. Out UAFS international students went to hike at the mountain few weeks ago. Yes, my blog is late. Let me give you some of the pictures: 

The weather on that day was perfect for hiking. It was sunny with clear sky as you can see from the pictures. There wasn't any rain before so the hiking trail was very dried, not muddy and slippery. The breeze was a bit chilly because of the mountain heights. I only wished the leaves would be changing colors for autumn.

Overall, it was a great trip. The hike was neither too long nor too short. Everyone enjoyed the trip a lot. On the behalf of the International Students body, I would like to thank the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) for helping with the transportation from the university to Mt. Magazine and back.
Please enjoy more pictures! 

  P/S: Thanks to Tomoka Hashimoto, my best friend ever, for taking all of these beautiful pictures, and letting me use them. <3

Friday, May 8, 2015

Faculty of the Year

UAFS International Leadership Council President Jack Bui presented “Faculty of the Year” award to Dr. Erik Carlson. BIG congratulations to Dr. Carlson, and we thank him for his excellent academic support for UAFS International Students!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Finally, we met new friends!

    Mount Magazine Trip was held in this semester as well. We have this trip twice in a year, or fall and spring semester. This time we went with international students from Arkansas Tech University. We have wanted an opportunity to get in touch with international friends from another university, and finally we had the chance! I feel like it was a dream come true.
    We split into groups first, then introduced each other and played games. It was really fun.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed hiking. Mount Magazine is the tallest mountain in the state of Arkansas. The scene from the top of the mountain is beautiful. You can see magnificent nature and feel it with your body and mind. We were a little bit tired, but the hiking made us feel closer as a group.
    We will continue to seek out opportunities to make new international friends at other universities.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

My spring break trip

   After my class I got ready for a trip immediately and left on Friday evening. I arrived in Nevada around 11 pm. I like riding on an airplane at night and watching the night view from the airplane. The stars were so beautiful. While there are beautiful stars in the sky, once I looked down I could see a bunch of the bright lights on the ground. The number of lights told me that Las Vegas is the city that does not sleep. With the stars and the bright city lights, the view was beautiful.
The next morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and joined the guided tour which included the trip to Utah and Arizona states. Although I had only three hours to sleep, the excitement gave me energy. Maybe I was excited like a child who cannot sleep before the day of going on a picnic. Before the sun had risen, we left Las Vegas and headed for Arizona. The beautiful nature spread out before my eyes and it was totally different from Las Vegas. There are cactuses and mountains in a desert and it is reminiscent of the scene of western movies. We visited Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bent, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley. Yeah, I know it was a little too much to go around these places in a day. My favorite is Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bent and I recommend you to visit there. Horseshoe Bent is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River and the scenery was magnificent. Do not forget that some people fall off cliffs and die. Antelope Canyon which is known for bare rocks changing color and the fantastic light was beautiful as well. I had wanted to visit there since I watched a TV program which introduced the sightseeing spots in Arizona. When I walked the narrow path in the canyon, I felt I was in a spirit world. As you can see the picture, lights, and shadows accentuated the beautiful scenery of the canyon. Native Americans called Navajo live in and around there and they guide tourists in Antelope Canyon. I met a man, he is also Navajo Indian, in Monument valley and he said “I always enjoy the beautiful scenery. At night you can see a sky full of stars as well. Here is my sweet home.” I remember well his words and expression.
The remaining days, I enjoyed my time in Las Vegas. Especially, skydiving is the best part of my trip! Skydiving was one of things what I wanted to do before I left America; I was super excited. How could I forget the scene of Las Vegas from the air! I want to try it again and enjoy a view of the sea next time.
   Although I worried about going on a trip by myself at first, I really enjoyed my trip! I had the pleasure of meeting many nice people and getting in touch with nature.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Southern Road Trip

My Southern Road Trip

 If you like food and music, you definitely better take a Southern Road trip! During this Spring break, I explored the South and found many things, a few travelers knows, to do, see and eat. And I got to love the South more and more. I will show you my favorite things, especially food..
my trip itinerary was...

                Memphis → Nashville → Little Rock → Hot Spring → Dallas → Home

˂Memphis˃ the home of the blues

Beale Street: This is one of the busiest street in the South! That was filled with a bunch of people and music even late at night. I enjoyed it, although we only walked and looked around there.

Lorraine Motel: We could also see a motel, where Martin Luther king Jr was assassinated, just off Beale Street.
Sekisui: We went to a Japanese restaurant in Memphis. Cooks and some staffs at that restaurant are Japanese and they have various menu items. My American friend did not like Tofu and she was scared of a fried Tofu. But once she ate the fried Tofu, she came to love Tofu because the taste was different from Tofu that we usually get at grocery stores. I was happy that she knew the authentic taste of Japan, my country, and could get to love it!
BBQ: We ate Memphis-style BBQ! It was the hugest Rib I’ve gotten in my entire life! It was more than 14 inch (35cm). It looked like dinosaur meat or something like that..

˂Nashville˃ the home of the country music and capital of Tennessee.

Garden: They have some beautiful gardens and we went to Opryland Hotel Garden. We had a great time with the nice garden and cute shops.
Loveless Coffee: I heard it is famous for biscuits and fried chicken and we waited for any available tables around 50 minutes but it worth the patience! These in pictures are famous people who have visited there.

˂Little Rock˃ Capital of Arkansas

Genghis Grills: we ate Mongolian foods it was great but interesting.

˂Hot Spring˃ A Tourist city, literally famous for bathes

A Friend’s House: Her house was elaborated designed and decorated with many cute stuff, like flowers, statues and deer that her brother hunted. . Unfortunately, I don’t have any picture because I lost my phone, it was awesome!  I stayed three nights at her house and I spent a fun time with her big family.
Hot Spring National Park: We enjoyed the blue-green algae is only found in 5 other places on earth. I don’t anything about it though, it was a pretty park.

˂Dallas˃ A major city in Texas

King Spa & Water Park: We went to a spa, take big bathes and pools. There are various saunas, including Pyramid Room, Salt Room, Charcoal Room and etc. Actually the place was not for young people, I guess. We were surround with old couples but we could relax and get rid of our tiredness of the trip!

Thanks to this trip, I realize I still have many things that I don’t know about the South and want to know about it more and more. The South is not famous place in US for travelers very much, compared to New York, LosAngeles and other popular places. But I found that exploring places nobody knows and knowing about history of each places are a lot of fun. I’m glad that I knew The South is attractive place and I should know about it more! I want to tell these stories and these places to many people who are not even interested in the South after back to my country!

Friday, April 3, 2015

My first & best road trip ever

I went to the south padre island where is located in Texas and is nearly the border between Mexico and the United State for my spring break with my roommates and their friend. That was my first time to go on the road trip. Technically, they took me to go there because I’m not allowed to drive a car as an exchange student… Anyway, we headed there at midnight from Fort Smith. It was supposed to take around 12 hours, but for some reason it took about 16 hours to go there… it tired us so much, we just played the sign game stuff forever. Nevertheless, once we got arrived there, the island was so warm and it looked sort of the resort island. We couldn’t believe we are still in the United State.

We had lots of fun at the beach and Kayaking stuff. The best thing about this trip is definitely Surfing. That was much easier than I thought... Unfortunately, the instructor didn’t took a great picture of mine.  You guys gotta try this, maybe everyone can do that easily.

Have you ever seen such a blue one? I just found it at the beach and took a picture. I didn’t know what it is. When I went back here and googled it, I realized that it was a jellyfish and called Physalia Physalis which has a strong poison. It has killed some people. So it is really dangerous for people. My friend touched it and picked it up because she didn’t even know what it was…. She almost committed suicide!! I’m glad that she didn’t get any damage from it… if you find such a thing, don’t touch it!

We went to the Japanese Restaurant but there were no Japanese… only me. The staffs were Vietnamese, Chinese and American…it happened all the time. Anyway, we ordered some Japanese food, sushi, teriyaki stuff like that. Meanwhile, my friends asked lots of questions for me “what is miso soup? What is Wasabi? What is orange raw fish?” They were curious about everything. I tried to explain as much as I can and it was pretty hard to explain clearly. Also I taught them how to use chopsticks as well. We had such a great time to talk about Japanese culture and enjoyed Japanese food.

One of my roommates was not familiar with “Wasabi” which is green Japanese mustard (you can see the above picture). We just tricked her and said ‘‘you gotta try this one! Eat only wasabi! It is really good!’’ As she ate only Wasabi, she screamed a lot and almost cried… I cannot even eat only Wasabi. If you have never tried ‘‘wasabi’’, you should put it on sushi and eat together.

One more thing, “Sushi roll” is so famous in America but we don’t have any kind like “sushi roll” in Japan. So “sushi roll” is not Japanese culture but American culture. As for me, I do love it and I wish we had “sushi rolls” in Japan. We always have Nigiri (basic sushi) and basically, 2 pieces of Nigiri sushi cost only 1 dollar. It is much cheaper than the United States.

Lastly, I will never forget this road trip. That is my best trip what I ever had in my studying abroad.