Hi Guys, Tim Hannon here from Co. Clare, Ireland.

I’m in Japan 3 weeks now. I’ve been having such a busy time, I have found it difficult to find time to tell you all how I’m getting on. Neither i had time thank E.I.L for making my dream come true and for choosing me as the EIL Japan Explorer 2017.

So, after a long trip, flying from Dublin to Helsinki and on to Tokyo, I was met at the airport by a lovely friendly taxi driver. I was in a slightly dazed state from jet lag but buzzing with excitement, thinking about what lay ahead. To be honest, I felt a little bit nervous about my level of fluency and meeting my host family. After a 4 hr journey to Haramura and a few toilet stops, I met my local co ordinator Miyoko. She accompanied me on the last leg of my journey to meet my host family, The Haitachi family.

They greeted me in such a warm, friendly and respectful way, i was instantly put at ease and felt very much at home. The family fussed around, showing me everything and feeding me some delicious Japanese food. There was some wonderful rice, egg plant, salmon and home grown vegetables. I had a much awaited bath and I crashed into bed. I can’t remember how long I slept for but it certainly was a long sleep.

On my second day there, I rang home to reassure my family that I was in”super” form. During my conversation, one of the family cats roamed around my room, checking me out and gave me very curious looks. This cat displays her tricks by leaping from the ground and opening the bedroom door with her paws… clever cat or what?My little brother wants me to take her home to Ireland.

I attended a secondary school by train 2 days later for approx 2 weeks and it was an amazing experience started with a welcoming party on my first day!

Everybody gave me so much attention during my stay, i was almost embarrassed. I met with most members of the English dept where I made presentations about Ireland. I sang, taught them some Irish, helped the students with their English and participated in their local festival. They even organized a car trip up a mountainous region for me to meet some monks… the list is endless. It was all amazing, I attended after school activities and experienced true Japanese school culture..

During this time in Japan, I have been treated with such respect, it’s so humbling! I just love being among these people. I feel so safe and being immersed in full japanese every day, my spoken japanese has improved 10 fold… Finally, you won’t believe it, but I have met a local Mayor and I was interviewed and photographed for the local news paper!

I will keep you updated with more adventures soon!