Exchange student returns to Japan

I have stayed in Tumbler Ridge for a year. Here there is a small population, so most people know each other. When I met the people of TR, they struck up a conversation with me, and when I walked down the street, they waved from a car.

Tumbler Ridge was such a great town. I had many experiences here. Above all things, hockey is the best. My host family, who was a hockey coach, recommended me to playing hockey. I never thought that I'd play hockey, and I was really worried about it.

However, my host father said to me many times, "No one does very well at first. It's common to fall down many times at first, and then everyone gets better by degrees."

After I heard his words, I decided in my mind I would try. I can't play like my friends at first, it's no wonder that I'm inferior to them, but I'll get better by falling down many times. I'll catch up with them one day!

I have started playing hockey with this attitude. I have fallen down so many times. As I tried new things, I fell down more, but my host father never laughed at me, and I got back up.

When I improved, he always said to me, "Right on! Keep it up!" My friends and other coach said to me, "Mayu, you did a good job and are getting better!"

When I was at a deadlock, they always supported me. I tried my best and finally, I got a goal. Now that I looked back, hockey and the growth of my English are similar: falling over and making mistakes were the first step of improving. Before I came to Canada, I was passive and shy.

Now, I'm not afraid of challenges and change. Needless to say, my personality has changed and grown. I have tried things like camping by canoe for ten days, volunteered at the library and events, curling, leadership at school, accompanying choir on the piano and so on. My host family is very active so they supported me a lot.

Thanks to them, they reminded me to be active. Above all, I must never forget about last summer's events. The school board informed us that I wouldn't be able to stay in TR anymore. I didn't have a problem with the host family and the school, but it was an economical problem of money for them. I had just a one percent possibility of staying.

When I heard this news, I cried and was depressed every day. However, my host family argued with the school board for me to stay a year in TR. It took a month and the people of TR joined with them at once. I had friends who said, "Don't leave from here."

Thanks to them, I could stay in TR for a whole year. I was so happy to stay here. I'm full of gratitude towards my host family, friends and the people of TR. They were so kind to me, who was just one person from Japan.