Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hello! Hola! こんにちは!

My host sister Asuka and me in 小江戸.
My name is Stephanie and I am one of the five Hippo interns in Tokyo this year. Im from Wisconsin, in the United States. My nickname in Japan is すちゃん (Su-chan); Su from Stephanie since the Japanese pronunciation is su-teh-fah-nee, and -chan is added to the end of a name when you are speaking to a younger person or a friend.

Before coming to Japan I attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a degree in fine art. During that time I also worked for Wisconsin 4-H International Programs, which is how I first learned about Hippo through the 4-H/Hippo summer and yearlong exchanges. Last summer I had the opportunity to be a Hippo intern in Mexico for 3 months and it was an amazing experience. I met so many people there, not only from Mexico but also Japan, with corazones abiertos (open hearts) and learned so much that me animó irme como intern a Japón, and I decided to apply to for the Hippo internship in Japan. I’m excited to be here!!

At the Hippo 30th Anniversary with friends from all over the world!
It’s been wonderful to see so many Hippo members here that I met before in Mexico and Wisconsin. My arrival in Japan was great because I felt like I was being welcomed into a big extended family that I already belonged to, the Hippo family! At the Hippo 30th Anniversary workshop, which was attended by around 700 Hippo members, it seemed like every other person I met had a connection to someone I knew from Mexico or Wisconsin.  It was a great welcome to Japan and beginning to my adventure, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to get to know so many more people and experience and learn many more things in the year to come.


-Stephanie (すちゃん)

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