(Additional to the photos from Kansai - above are Ehime, Yamanaka Lake, and Sendai)
I was very blessed to have the opportunity to intern with Ashinaga this summer - I lived, worked, and traveled all over Japan with some of the most gifted and intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Being able to make a difference in someone’s life is such a rewarding experience that I never fully understood until this summer. When kids who are only a few years junior to me tell me their stories about their hardship in losing a parent, I realize the struggle and sadness that these kids have faced from such a young age. Their strength, however, in keeping their family intact in the small ways they can and their growth through this hardship has made me so aware of the progress I have yet to make despite my privileged life.
I believe that every person has a story to tell by the time their lifeline is up. Whatever this struggle is, is what connects people, which is how I know these people I met over this summer have made a lifelong impact on me and my perspective. Thank you, Ashinaga, and most importantly Ozu Tsudoi, for giving me the experience every person should have.