An I-Kalinga Intern Story in Japan (Intern: Jane Olao )

What a delightful experience that no one can steal from me. Our Japan trip is one of my unforgettable experiences. When we were in the Philippine airport, we were questioned and we had to undergo a secondary investigation because they had doubts about why we are going to Japan. We nearly missed our flight. I also felt so bad when we were in the plane going to Japan because I felt dizzy and I vomited inside the plane, and this hindered my desire to view the aerial sceneries. But at the end of the trip, I realized I have another amazing memory to keep.

Japan is an interesting place to visit. Every day, we get to see new discoveries. This is a nation that displays respect, politeness and obedience and other positive attitudes that I observed. It is somehow different comparing to some parts of my own country. In Japan, we can really see how people show respect. The surroundings were clean, no plastic bags scattered around -- little pollution in general. The buildings were tall and well furnished. It is a place that all machines will do the work. They were rich in technologies. I am happy that I experienced to ride in a train. For the food, although I didn’t taste all the foods, at least I had the chance to taste some. The food tasted good but most of the time, because we are not accustomed to the smell, our system struggles in accepting the food. Later on, I heard about the dashi being the primary seasoning for food in Japan, but unfortunately, we are not used to the smell. The price of the food is expensive compared to the Philippines. One thing I observed also is the location of the driver in the car (in Japan, the driver is on the right while in the Philippines, they drive on the left side). 

In this trip I have the chance to see snow although not the actual falling snow and experienced going to the traditional public bath which they call the Onsen. At first I thought that both boys and girls will take a bath in a common area, and that was the reason we said that we will not go when ma’am Wryneth told us. When I was finally in the onsen, I felt that the water is so hot so I didn’t dip my whole body because I can’t tolerate the heat of the water. With this trip, I experienced the winter season and it is very cold.

For our training about the research, I could say that our mentors/teachers were friendly .They are talented and intelligent teachers. They shared the knowledge they have through good teaching technique which is very friendly for us. Our training environment was also good. It made us feel like we are big company owners having a conference.  On the first day of our training we did self-introductions including our expectations. After that Sir Yokoo showed his previous researches in the Philippines which includes E-waste recyclers in Quezon and dump site waste pickers in Iloilo. He also showed us the overview of the research and then included topics on introduction to a field research where we had a role play doing interview. The second day, we continued with our discussion then he gave us photocopy of contents of the book “The Power of Survey Design”. We learned about Respondent’s Psychology and Survey Participation and these are very important and useful as we can apply them in our own professions. The third day, we went to Japan Space Systems and the training we had there was about Basic Remote-Sensing Technology. This included utilization of GPS positioning data, interpretation of land cover types, geomorphology on satellite data.      

The experiences we had in this trip were very much useful and interesting. I consider them real adventures that can change myself. I will cherish and carry all the memories of this trip as I go on with my journey in life. I will also share them to the people around me, for them to have an idea about Japan.

Without the full support of Ma’am Ayaka, Sir Edgar, Ma’am Wry , Sir Satoshi Murao , AIST and others who helped us, this trip wouldn’t be successful. Thank you to all of you. To the family of ma’am Ayaka, thank you also for accommodating us for two nights. All I can say is I love Japan  but the  winter is super cold.



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