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One International Student Tries Something New During Winter Break

Several+international+students+ended+up+at+the+airport+in+Dallas+at+the+same+time+due+to+a+series+of+delays+and+missed+flights.
Several international students ended up at the airport in Dallas at the same time due to a series of delays and missed flights.

Several international students ended up at the airport in Dallas at the same time due to a series of delays and missed flights.

Max Nguyen

Max Nguyen

Several international students ended up at the airport in Dallas at the same time due to a series of delays and missed flights.

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Now that school has started, I think about how fun winter break was. I think about decisions I regret and events I wish I could go back to once more. I spent my winter break in Japan with my family. I had quite a busy winter break. First I went to an IT camp, then I went skiing and then I went to Ise Jingu.

On the the last day of the semester I purposely didn’t sleep in order to get prepared for the time difference in Japan. Even if I wanted to sleep because I was so excited I couldn’t have slept. I kept on thinking about my plans and events I would go through. I left Mount Michael at 3:50 in the morning. The cold temperature kept me from sleeping in the bus. After eating breakfast at the Omaha airport I flew to Dallas. I had an early lunch at Dallas and took off for a 14 hour flight to my hometown Tokyo. As always the flight was boring and very tiring. Once I got to Tokyo my family was waiting for me at the gate. I was very happy to see them again. On my way to my house I had so much to talk about that I was talking non stop. During that, I was so amazed by the infinite amount of skyscrapers that I hadn’t seen for 5 months. Once I got home I got to see my cat again. I called her name but as usual she just wandered off.

The next day, Christmas eve I went to go eat lunch with my Dad’s parents and his brother. It was really nice to meet my uncle and listen to his future plans. I always admire his success and his fashion. In the evening I got a haircut to fix a haircut I had 2 weeks earlier. On Christmas I went  shopping with my mother and sister at Ginza. Shopping in big cities are the best. The top trends are always there. When I realized we had spent 3 hours at Ginza. For dinner we went to my mom’s sister`s house with most of my mom’s sides family. All of my cousins, who are in elementary school, performed a dance that was very famous at that time. Also one of them performed part of a play she performed in. She is part of a professional team and performs in public for people. I really respect her because it seems to me she already knows what she wants to do in the future.  

From the 26th to the 30th I went to an IT camp to learn how to take and edit photos at Life is Tech. During the summer, I went to this camp to learn how to make an app by coding. There are multiple events and a huge mystery to discover throughout the 4 days. This was an overnight camp which made it even better. 250 students went to this camp to take classes related to IT. I had great time here and I can’t wait to go back in the summer to take a video editing class.

On the morning of the 31st my family drove to Niigata to ski and spend new years. Every year my mom’s side of the family goes here because my Grandfather has a house near the ski resort. In Japan it’s pretty normal to go on a family vacation. Until last year I had skied every year. However I got bored last year and started snowboarding last year. I really liked snowboarding last year. This year, the first day I went skiing. Although it was nice to ski with my family it got pretty boring. Therefore I snowboarded from that point on. Although there are only a few slopes I am able to snowboard, it was challenging and very fun. I love to learn new skills and can’t wait till next year to make more progress.

After skiing, the day after I arrived in Tokyo we went to Ise Grand Shrine. In Japan it is popular  to go to a shrine to thank the Gods and pray for a good year. Many people go to shrines close to their house while others go to major ones. We went to one of the most famous shrines in Japan. It took us about 4 hours by a bullet train to get here. When we got to this shrine to pray for a good year, there were many people with cameras behind a piece of rope that was extending from the entrance to the shrine. It seemed as if someone famous was coming. I was very curious so I asked. It turned out that the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Abe was coming. This was a huge deal. It’s like meeting the President of the United States. We decided to wait for him and meet him. We got a pretty good spot to take pictures of him. After waiting for 30 minutes more police officers were standing by the ropes. Then a few minutes later besides the police officers there were people in suits. I believe these were special agents. I realized that there was a helicopter above us. When my mother asked a nice officer whether the helicopter was for TV or not, the officer told us that the helicopter was for protecting the Prime Minister and looking if there were any odd movements. When Mr. Abe came to the shrine everyone took out their phones and started taking pictures. Luckily I got a few pictures of him. I was so amazed by the security and the people around Mr. Abe. I almost felt the power of the person with the most power in Japan. This was a great experience because usually it is very hard to get this close to him without much bodyguards around him. This felt like a good start for 2017. We ate really nice traditional food in Japan and spent the night near Ise Jingu.

The next day we went back to Tokyo. That day we just spent the day on the train and in the house. The next few I spent it with my friends and my family in Japan. This was one of the best winter breaks I have had in my life. If I could control time I would love to go back to this break and go through it again.

On the 8th of January. I left Tokyo for Dallas. This was a very sad moment. At the airport I bought presents for my friends at Mount Michael. Then we went to a restaraunt. I had letters ready for my family and gave it to them. Surprisingly my Dad also had a letter for me. Although goodbyes are sad, the thought that I can see them in the summer gets me going through the school year.

An hour after I got on the airplane, the crew were all in front of one bathroom. When I saw this I knew something was wrong. A few minutes later there was an announcement that the crew were looking for a doctor. Apparently one of the passengers passed out in the bathroom. Luckily there was a doctor in the airplane. From what I saw I think they gave him oxygen. About 20 minutes later the passenger was back up and everything was back to normal. I was very happy that nothing worse happened.

This Christmas great was probably one of the best Christmas breaks in my life. I had a great time with my family and friends learning new stuff. I cannot wait to go back to Japan in the summer.

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One International Student Tries Something New During Winter Break