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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.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Office Potluck

The Office of International Relations hosted the Spring Potluck party last Tuesday. The office staff, student workers and some international students gathered in one place and enjoyed a variety of ethnic food together. Each staff and student workers cooked a dish from their home country and shared it at the party. We had sushi from Japan, spring rolls from Vietnam, plantain chips from Ivory Coast, enchiladas from Mexico, chili from America, and much more! All of the food tasted excellent. It was fun and interesting to know about food cultures in other countries. Also, we enjoyed talking and spend a great time at the party.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Indian Culture Girls Night

India Night Party was held for international student last month. We enjoyed Indian curry and drawing Henna tattoo. Henna is a paste made out of crushed leaves and twigs of henna plant. We draw on our palms, arms, or legs. The henna paste may dry of in 5 to 10 minutes. After a while the dry henna paste is scrapped off and you could see an orange stain left on your skin. It was not easy to draw henna design and it takes forever. But it was really interesting and great experience for international students. This event was a good opportunity to experience other different culture.

Friday, March 6, 2015

My favorite event of February

Time passes by so fast.  It feels like spring semester just stared yesterday and now we are almost half way through the semester. February is one of my favorite month because it is cold. Yes, I like cold weather. Despite the freezing temperature outside, there are many events going on campus that students cannot miss. One of my favorite is International Tea Time. For those of you who are not familiar with the event, International Tea Time is organized once a month by the Office of International Relation, Campus Board Activity and International Leadership Council. Students come to enjoy a cup of tea, some snacks and most important, meet new friends. The main purpose of the event is to create an opportunity for international students to meet with new American students.

                                                    International Tea Time flyer of last semester

However, the International Tea Time of this February is an unusual one. Coincidentally, the event is on the same day as the Lunar New Year. Therefore, Lunar New Year was the theme of the Tea Time. The snack was purchased from a local Asian market. Participants really enjoyed the unique experience, especially the New Year food items.  


Friday, February 6, 2015

My culture shock in winter break

As for my winter vacation, I went to Florida, Las Vegas, Arizona and Cancun. You know I’m already broke but this vacation became unforgotten trip for me.
 I won’t be able to explain everything. So I’d like to describe roughly my culture shock during my winter break.
 Thanks my mom, Latasha and Beau Before starting the winter vacation, my mom came to Fort Smith from Japan and had dinner with my buddy Latasha. I was pretty afraid if she can make it safely because she cannot speak English at all. All she said to Latasha were THANK YOU and SORRY, that’s it… So I tried to translate what American people say for her. As for dinner, Latasha cooked Mexican and Venezuelan food for us. That was so yum and we liked them so much. All because of them, we could have a great time in Arkansas. I really appreciate Latasha and Beau.

【The worst celebration on New Year ’s Day ever.
I arrived at the Cancun on 31st December. I went there with my friend who comes from New Mexico in the United State. Her name is Moe and she is also exchange student. We thought it should be nice celebration in Cancun... but not gonna happen that. At 11:50 we went to the Downtown area and waited for the celebration. However, nobody celebrated at 0:00 on 1st January 2015… they didn’t care about new years at all…what happen was that the clock of the building is just broken… oh my goodness. Everyone finally celebrated at 0:05. It had nothing to do with New York year anymore though. That is my culture shock about time value in the winter break

How sweet Mexican are
To compare with Japanese, I personally thought that Mexican people were so sweet and talked to us for many times. So we could go anywhere without tours. That became much cheaper than I thought. Also one of my favorites in Cancun is definitely snorkel because there are lots of senotes (showing photos blow) and spots. And any beach was awesome and the best ever for me….

How important Language is                
 I had kind of confident to get over everything because I can speak English, but not gonna be easy to spend in Cancun without Spanish. Even thought Cancun, almost all Mexican couldn’t speak English. I was struggling with the most is that I could not speak Spanish at all. Also it was kind of funny because whenever we communicated with them, we tried to use the gestures somehow from fingers to body. We were so desperate to tell them what we wanted... By the way, it was pretty hard for me to plan our schedules because my friend did not help at all. We had a great time in Cancun freely for a week. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Memories of Winter Break

 During my winter break, I went to Philadelphia and New York City. The primary reason I chose two these places because I wanted to visit both historical and modern sites of the United States. In Philadelphia there are brick built-houses and stone-paved road. It was pretty. I felt like I had stepped back in time. I like Philadelphia because the time flows slowly in there. I visited the Liberty Bell, City Hall and Love Park. 
Since it was season of christmas, there was a gigantic tree in the City Hall. And christmas market took place in Love Park. It was the first time for me to visit christmas market, so I was really excited. The market had various stores and they sold christmas ornaments made of wood or glass. There was also ice skate rink and many people enjoyed skating.

 After that, however, an unexpected problem happened suddenly. Initially I was going to ride a bus which goes to New York City on next morning so that I had to confirm the location of the bus stop. I visited the tourist information center to ask about it. I had known that the bus stop are located in the area named Cherry Hill. So I just wanted to know how to get there. I asked a female staff but she answered 'I don't know'. 
I could not accept her answer. Because I was sure that when I searched about Cherry Hill on Google, I found the results of "Cherry Hill Philadelphia". Though I asked again with showing the map, she answered 'No...', and she continued that 'it is New jersey, not here'. In short, I had bought the ticket which departs from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I was depressed because I thought I couldn't go to New York and I didn't know how many seats are still available. I almost hate the sound of Cherry Hill. But I had no choice but to find another ticket immediately. Luckily, I could use my phone and find new ticket from Philadelphia to New York. It could have been worse.

 Although something unexpected had happened, I enjoyed exploring New York City from morning till night. New York is completely different place from Philadelphia and Fort Smith, of course. There are tons of people and cars and they move so busily. I got tired easily in there. Sometimes I wondered where I was. It was hard for me to walk without city map seriously.

First I visited the modern museum called MoMA which I had wanted to visit. It was valuable experience for me to visit there. In the afternoon I went to broadway and watched Cinderella. Since I had known the story of Cinderella, it was not so difficult to follow their English and understand the story of the show. At the same time I remembered that I had watched broadway show in London. At the time, I could hardly understand the story and fell asleep in the end.  
 Through the trip I could see the both traditional and modern places in America. It was great time. After the trip, I stayed in my home. I have spent the rest of my winter break watching Japanese comedy program or movies and hanging out with other Japanese students. I could enjoyed my winter break, and I want to go to New Orleans next time!