It was my official first day here in Kobe, Japan! Even now, I cannot believe that I am here. I came here to Japan to visit and look at the history as well as the scenery. I heard Japan takes the environment very seriously. I came from the state of Washington, located in the United States.
I’m actually Native American and the descendant of Chief Seattle, chief of both the Suquamish and the Duwamish Tribe. He had an impact not only on my people but on other Native American tribes as well. He wrote many letters to the government and made a speech about respecting Native American land rights.
The native people still struggle with the United States government, but we have survived many conflicts and will never give up. I guess I inherited my ancestor’s love for our land and people.
Now many would ask why I am here in Japan in all places. Ever since I was a child, I have always read books about the environment and how I can help it since we humans are destroying it.
As I read many books, I came across books about Japan. I admired the Sakura trees, the mountains, hills, and the animals within Japan. I could not stop researching this beautiful country, and I made it my goal to be here. Since I was eleven years old, I have worked many jobs, working in small stores, selling fruits, vegetables, and handmade clothing. Anything to earn. My father and mother were surprised by my motivation, but they were also proud of what I wanted to achieve in my life.
I’m eighteen years old, and I decided that I will apply to the University of Washington in biology, Native American studies, and Japanese next year.
It was a long journey to get here, but I can proudly say that it was worth it even after resting and barely the first day of my trip. At the moment, I am looking around the small city; I am receiving stares from the locals.
I can’t blame them. Probably they are curious about my appearance and where I come from. Yet, as I kept on walking, I couldn’t help but feel that out of all the eyes watching, there was someone that had a more powerful stare upon me.
I shook off the thought and kept on with my journey, hoping for a good vacation.