Yesterday afternoon, we met for the final time before we left for Japan and there were many, many, many things to go over! We started off the meeting in teleconference with Maya, one of the very kind council members of the U.S.-Japan Council based in Washington D.C. She explained to us what the U.S.-Japan Council does and how the Tomodachi Scholars program ties into that. We also got a chance to explain to her what we hope to see and do while we are there.
Next, each of our four groups had prepared a little presentation on what we think we as a group might know in regards to Japanese culture. The four aspects aligned with the Kumu Honua Mauli Ola: spirituality, behavior, language, and traditional knowledge.
We have included the presentations for you to look at (they are in Hawaiian language):
So much information to take in! It seems like really basic stuff but it is different for us, many of whom have never been outside of the country. We have a lot to remember before we get there.
We also practiced our hula again. We are getting it down! Here is the video of A Luna Au o Maunaloa, the hula that was only chanted in the first orientation meeting.
Pūnana Ka Manu is the older style hula that we are going to be dancing, we have been practicing hard and it is evident!
To wrap it up, we had last minute reminders and got some goodies from the U.S.-Japan Council to further prepare us for our journey. We are so excited! Next time we will get together is early [well, early for us college students] Saturday morning to board a plane.