This was all new to me
Miss Rei Akasaka
I was so nervous to meet the residents and staff
I came to Umenoki Home in August 2008. It was my first time in America and my first time away from my family. Everything was new to me. I remember that I was very nervous to meet the residents and staff at Umenoki. I had limited information about Umenoki Home, and that worried me. I couldn't sleep on the airplane. As I am writing this to complete the one-year program, my mind flashes back those days. There are several student volunteers at Umenoki Home. All of us obtain a care-giving license before we come but we have little practical experience. So Umenoki's training program with a registered nurse and a massage therapist is a crucial part of this one-year program. I can't thank them and the professional staff at Umenoki Home enough for everything that they taught me.
I made so many friends from all over the world
School life was fun but very challenging
School life was fun but very challenging at the beginning. I didn’t do well on English when I was in Japan. A simple question like “Where are you from?” was too difficult for me to understand. I didn't know what was going on in class and always ate lunch alone for the first three months. Now I have made many friends from all over the world and have fun chatting with them in English. It’s so cool.
Care-giving broadened my view
I don't know what I will do next, but care-giving certainly is an option.
There were good times and bad times. It was like a roller coaster. There was even a time that I thought I wanted to go home. When I struggled, the warm smiles of the residents cheered me up and the friendly support of the staff always helped me overcome my difficulties. I like everyone at Umenoki Home and I enjoy being with them. I am going back to Japan soon. I know I will miss them all. I feel lucky to have had so many special experiences through this program. Care-giving taught me a lot of things and broadened my views. I don’t know what I will do in Japan yet, but thanks to Umenoki Home, care-giving certainly is an option.