Assalamualaikum, Internet travellers!
Starting from last Sunday, my friends and me have signed up to be “buddies” for 24 Japanese students who will spend the next few days studying English and the Malaysian culture as part of Japanese Summer Programme 2016 between Toyo University, Japan, and UiTM Shah Alam. Our role as buddies include persuading them to talk in English with us as much as they can, make them feel welcome, and as their reliable companions throughout their stay here.
Honestly, if I was still the very introverted person I was a few months ago, I would never even think of joining such a programme; meeting strangers and having to talk to them. However, things are different now and the idea of spending time rotting at home is something I would pretty much want to avoid.
And 5 days into the programme, I have learnt many things through my conversations with my new Japanese friends just as they have learnt a few small things from us! I always knew I have trouble at slowing the speed of my speech so that others can understand me, but I never new the capacity of that problem until I met them.
Sometimes I tend to mumble when I’m talking and while others who are used to me doing it can still keep up with me, these Japanese students can’t. And because of that, I have to really articulate the words as clearly as I can whenever I want to strike a conversation with them.
Other than that, I’m still acquiring the skill to always think of something to talk about so others are always kept entertained. I’m still working on it but I think I’m rather good at it!
(From left to right: Me, Ainal and Bat at a hindu temple)
(Posing with the other buddies and our adorable Japanese friends in their hijab at the Blue Mosque)
More updates will come up soon!