What is this?
My name is Brennan Galpin
|That's me, a bit over a year ago|
I'm currently 17 years old and am preparing for an opportunity of a lifetime. On the 21st of January, 2014, I will be traveling to Japan on a Rotary Youth Exchange until January, 2015; a full year away! I will be going to school in a town called Gero-shi, in the province of Gifu. I will be attending a co-ed school called Mashita Seifu High School, where I will (try) to learn Japanese.
When I was 6 years old, I started karate as a sport. Back then, I wasn't too fussed over the fact that it was a Japanese martial art, it was just a sport to me. However, in 2011, a sister city school exchange was advertised through school (I attended Timaru Boys' High) and this was with Timaru's relative in Japan: Eniwa. I thought I might as well give it a go, there's no harm in trying, right? So I gave the application to Mum and Dad and to my surprise, they said the same thing! Might as well give it a go. After an essay or two and an interview, I got a phone call telling me that I was going to be spending three weeks in Eniwa. I was ecstatic but I had no idea of what I was about to embark on.
School was tough for me in 2012 but it was definitely a good oner. Fast-forwarding half a year, it was time for me to fly to Japan. In late June we left, and as soon as I landed I fell in love. I was excited before leaving, but I had not even comprehended the magnitude of what I would find. I found a passion; I had been trying to learn a wee bit of Japanese before I left and I thought I was pretty good. Wrong. It turns out I could only read and write a little bit and I couldn't even understand what it was that I was reading! And then there was speech. What a mission that was, I could barely say anything to anyone but when I did, I felt an awesome sense of achievement. I found that communicating in another language was the best of the exchange for me and ever since then, I have endeavored to become as proficient as possible in Japanese.
Obviously the exchange had to end and I knew without a doubt that I had to get back to Japan somehow. So I sought out another exchange. After searching, applying, interviewing and many speeches, I find myself a few sleeps away from my dream becoming a reality. This year I have studied the language a lot harder and I reckon that I can survive well enough on my own, but I guess we'll see if that's the case or not.
In a nutshell: I'm a 17 year old who is going to spend a year in Japan because I am obsessed with Japanese.
I will be updating this blog as I go about my adventure next year in the hope that I can share some of my experiences with all of you. So if you've made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope that you can enjoy reading my take on Japan as much as I enjoy living it.