Exchange student Martin Grunert

You know people, the other day I woke up and discoverd that I have already been in Japan for 8 entire months.
Yes, for any normal person 8 months does seem like a rather long time...and, in a way, it is.
In the past 8 months I have managed to learn 2 of Japanese's 3 alphabets,
and can recognise about 400 characters from the 3rd.
Also, I have managed to bring my conversational Japanese well up to a standard where I can communicate
what I want and mean to anyone (except if they happen to be deaf).,br> I, however, am very ready to dispute the fact that 8 months is a long time
because, looking back, it has been nothing but a dream...something so wonderful that it has passed in the blink of an eye.
Every day my exchange is getting better, and every day I am more and more reluctant to leave this wonderful country.

Something very interesting that I found was how quickly you go from counting "days you've been in Japan" to "Days
you have left till you must, ivevitably, leave". It is really quite incredible.
I have now got a home, people who love me and mean lots to me right here....
I do think though, that I am a very lucky person to be torn between these two homes,
because both are wonderful, and both will forever be a place where I will feel at home and be welcome.
In a way, one part of me has become Japanese, and it is indeed a most wonderful feeling to have.

Thus, for this wonderful experience, I would once again not only like to thank the 2 Rotary Clubs
(Goonellabah Rotarty, District 9640, Australia (my sponsor) and Kasukabe-west Rotary Club, District 2770, Japan (my host)
for their wonderful hospitality and help;
but I would also like to dearly thank my wonderful Parents (both true and hosts) and my truly amazing friends
who have helped me through this exchange and given me the sreangth that I needed to see this through.
It is the most wonderful thing that I have ever done and, perhaps, shall ever do. Thankyou people,


WRITTEN 1998 09 20 21:20 AT SANO HOME

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