How Did I End Up In Japan?
I started this journey in a library.
My family moved from outside Boston to Pine Bluff, Arkansas so my dad could take care my grandpa who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. With that move we moved socioeconomically too, from lower working class to straight up poverty. I mean rotating between, no running water, no lights, and no food type poverty. We were lucky my grandfather owned his house, but his failing health was very expensive and eventually everything had to be sold to pay his medical bills. So I spent a lot of time in the library to escape the situation, especially my rubbling tummy.
I read all kinds of books to ignore hunger.
I often read about animals from all over the world. One day, the father of only Asian child in the school came in to help deal with some bullying his son was experiencing; with education. He showed us a video about Bangladesh and talked about where they were from. After that, I wanted to know everything about Asia.
American History Classes Mostly Ignore Asia
American history education mostly ignore Asia. So I would supplement my education of the world in the library. Most of the books were about China and I fell in love with Chinese mythology. There were a few books on Japan so I read those too. But it wasn't until the anime boom of the mid-90s that I would really become more interested in Japan. I was fortunate though to be picked as part of the Sister Cities delegation to Iwai City, Japan in my first year of high school. The Sister Cities organization subsidized my travel and my church raised the rest. I still appreciate everyone's support in opening up the world to me.
It was only three weeks in the summer of 2000, but I filled a journal with all my life changing experiences. And it was the foundation for me living here now. I am forever grateful.
And I am now happy to share the Japan I know with you, and check out my Instagram for a peek into my daily life in Japan.