AY2019 of Winter Interns

Short Report 1 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(14 Jan. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

Good afternoon! I safely arrived in San Diego on 10th January.
The room I rented for my two-month stay here is in the University City, San Diego. It is not very far from the Center of Mindfulness _ the place where both of my training courses are to be held for the coming eight weeks. On 11th January, I went around the city for observation.
In addition, I have already bought a SIM-card to get a phone number in the States. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program week one started this afternoon on 12th January. There are two instructors for this program - Cheryl Shah and Helen Davis. First, the instructors informed us about what we needed to expect from the program, the outlines of the upcoming eight weeks, and the attitudinal foundations necessary for the mindfulness practice. We also had to practice sitting meditation, body scanning, mindful eating, and yoga during the very first class. Both didactic and experiential learning were introduced in the class. After that, there were group discussions among the instructors and the participants. It was a very wonderful experience. I hope the program will be very helpful not only for conducting my own research but also for cultivating my meditative awareness and reducing my emotional reactivity in my daily life.

Short Report 2 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(14 Jan. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

Last week has been a very busy week for me. I attended the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) five-day intensive course from 9 am to 5 pm during the weekdays and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course at the weekend as usual. During the MSC five-day intensive course, 27 practices of Mindful Self-Compassion were trained by the two experienced instructors, Noriko Morita Harth and Megan Prager. Twenty participants were taught on how to cultivate self-compassion via three core practices – affectionate breathing, the compassionate body scan and mindful movement. It was a delightful and fantastic experience for all the participants in the class. We felt very grounded after that intensive course. In addition, on Sunday, there was the second class of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. It was also an awesome experience as usual. Walking meditation, some introductory yoga practices, and mindful meditation practices were taught this week. From the two courses of the second week, I gained valuable knowledge and practices which will be very much useful for my current research.

Short Report 3 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(4 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

I have just finished the third week of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. And, as usual, the training of this week was also enjoyable and fruitful. 
The main topic of the third week was the body scan meditation - the body scan as a purification process. While scanning the sensations in our own bodies, participants were instructed to cultivate mindfulness by paying close attention to moment-to-moment experience while not getting caught up in our ideas and opinions, likes and dislikes. Along with that body scanning practice, the two instructors also taught us that we, human beings, constantly judge and react to both the inner and outer experiences. And that habit of judging our experiences lock us into automatic reactions that we are not even aware of and that often have no objective basis at all. This practice allows us to become aware of the constant stream of judging our own sensations in our body that we all normally caught up in, and learn to step back from it. The objective of the practice is to suspend those judgments intentionally. As mentioned earlier, the program provides me the knowledge and insight which is very useful not only for my research but also for my daily life. I wish that all the fellow internship friends are doing well in their respective countries.

P.S. During the third week, I also got a chance to visit the eminent La Jolla Cove during a lunch break with my classmates. 

Short Report 4 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(15 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

I hope everything is going well with you all.I have just finished the fourth week of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. And, as usual, the program for this week was knowledgeable and marvelous. The following were the exercises of the fourth week.
-Alternating the 45-minute sitting meditation with either yoga/walking or the body scan for 6 or more days/wk. 
-Completing the Difficult Communication Calendar similar to the Pleasant/Unpleasant Events Calendars format. Beginning to bring mindfulness into our interpersonal relationships. 
-Choosing an event each day in which a difficult communication arose…cataloging it by following the prompts on the form.
-Bringing awareness to moments of reacting and exploring options for responding with greater mindfulness, spaciousness, and creativity, in formal meditation practice and in everyday life.  
-Remembering that the breath is an anchor, a way to heighten awareness of reactive tendencies, to slow down and make more conscious choices.

Short Report 5 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(19 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) week-five has finished as impressively as usual.
However, unfortunately, I was in a car accident last Monday, on 10 February. Around 7 pm that day, I came back from the campus by bus, got off at the bus stop, and walked back to my Airbnb room. I was trying to walk into the crosswalk when a car accidentally hit me, and the front wheel of that car ran over my left foot.  The bystanders then drove me to a local hospital for emergency care. The hospital said that I had sustained fractures to the third and fourth metatarsals of my left foot and also the evidence of lumbar strain. They discharged me with a referral to orthopedics for follow-up regarding my foot fracture and outpatient follow-up as well. Now I am walking with the crutches to go to the classes as usual. I hope my fellow internship friends can pursue their internship safely in their respective countries

Short Report 6 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(25 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

Good day! I hope everybody is safe during the outbreak of Coronavirus.
We didn't have to attend the MBSR class in the Center of Mindfulness last week. Instead, we were invited to participate in the MBSR day of Mindfulness All-day session which was held at UCSD Jacob Medical Center on February 23. The session was from 9 am to 4 pm. We engaged in a variety of practices throughout the day including different types of meditation and mindful yoga practices. We were required to be in silence for the bulk of the day, in other words, to reframe from interacting with others, including through eye contact. The intention is to allow ourselves to be fully within ourselves and to simply notice the habitual tendency to act in certain ways and what it is like to notice that tendency. It was a very wonderful Sunday.
During the weekdays, I also got the chance to go around the city with the kind help of a local friend. I visited the USS Midway Museum and downtown San Diego. I hope my fellow internship students are doing well in their respective countries.


Short Report 7 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(3 March. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) week-six has finished. The main topic for this week was mindful communication. The class started with the group discussion on stressful communication calendar. In addition, the circle of awareness was also introduced during the class. The most interesting part of the class was the art of mindful listening which is one of the most fundamentals in cultivating skills for effective communication. The instructors emphasized how emotions can hugely impact what we listen to and how we listen.  We learned how mindful interaction can stimulate mutual understanding and dissolve any fear or anger that might influence the interaction. We learned how to cultivate beginner’s mind so that we gain deeper messages which cannot be seen or heard with our habitual way of filtered judgements.

Short Report 8 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(3 March. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) week-seven has already finished. The main topic for this week was mindfulness in daily life. Ways to reduce stress during our workdays were elaborated during the class. How to bring mindful attention to moments of reactivity was emphasized during the class. The instructors requested the participants to have an intention to integrate informal mindfulness practices into their daily activities. During the class, the participants were invited to practice formal sitting, yoga, the body scan, or walking on their own without the guided audio recordings. As usual, it was a wonderful class with so many insights.

Short Report 9 (from U.S.A,PHYU PHYU ZAW)

(16 March. 2020, Internship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD))

It was my very last week for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in the UCSD Center for Mindfulness (CFM). In this last class of the program, all the formal and informal practices that were learned in the previous seven weeks were summarized. The two instructors also suggested ways to keep up the momentum and commitment of daily mindfulness practices developed over the past seven weeks. And the participants were also informed local and online assistance that the center can provide to deepen our mindfulness practices in the future. It was insightful to witness the awakening awareness of not only myself but also the other classmates of the program during my nine-week visit in San Diego.
I came back to Japan on March 10 and get back to Higashihiroshima on March 11.
I hope my fellow participants can also finish their internship in their respective countries fruitfully and successfully.

Short Report 10 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(24 Jan. 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

Warm greetings from Zambia. This is the first report from Yoshie Okata, working for The University of Zambia (UNZA) as a Japanese teacher. I arrived here last Saturday after more than 30 hours journey and started my internship from 20-Jan (Mon) at UNZA.On the first day and the second day, I had a meeting with my supervisor and discussed what we would do during my internship period.My class for teaching Japanese will start this evening. I’m excited. My supervisor asked me to support to complete their course curriculum to make Japanese course to the major course in the university.

 The draft was there but no one could finish it up for the long term and now is the last minute for it. It was not an expected task for me to do such a big task but I would like to try my best performance to assist in the UNZA Japanese course.
For this month:
-Make the university Japanese course curriculums
-Make the rough teaching plans for February
-Provide a class for the UNZA short course every Friday
-Promote the enrollment for the university credit regular class during orientation week
Anyway, the weather in Zambia is comfortable and people are kind. I’m enjoying Zambia!! So far!?!?

 Short Report 11 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(1 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki experienced the horrors of nuclear weapons for the first time in human history. This year 2020 is the 75th anniversary of that day. This week I have organized Peace Exhibition at UNZA with JICA volunteers from Hiroshima University. The posters showed the effects of the atomic bomb and radiation, Sadako’s story. In the opening ceremony, we could welcome the Japanese ambassador to have a speech. Visitors told us that Zambian learned briefly about this history at school, but they had no opportunities to know what happened in reality. Therefore, it was a great chance to share the real history that many victims taught us, to think of the importance of peace.
I continue to teach Japanese class on Friday night. It is interesting for me to teach Zero beginners. I'm learning a lot.
For the next two weeks, I have to complete to make curriculums. I will try my best.

Short Report 12 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(8 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

Last weekend I got a chance to observe the Meheba refugee camp and shortly visited there. It was the first time to see and hear the real situation. Many children lost their parents in front of themselves and escape to Meheba where the north broader area of Zambia.
I can’t still find words to express my thoughts but the moment was considerable for me to know the current situation and to meet those who work to support them. I was deeply impressed. 


For my internship, I continue working for the curriculum making since I got the additional one and teaching Japanese class. This week 3-7 Feb we have held the 5-day extensive class as a trial of Japanese course and I worked as a TA. The final day, 7-Feb, we had cultural experience class and I demonstrated a Japanese tea ceremony and introduced its sprit “
一期一会“ and also origami workshop.  Keep going!

Short Report 13 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(14 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

From last week, there had been no water in my room. Finally, I got it last Saturday! But unfortunately, with the recovering high-pressured water, the water pipe has been broken, then water came out into my bathroom and room… It was a kind of African memorial experience. (Now it’s already repaired.)
Anyways, my internship continued. University regular class started. It seems like a slow start in Zambia. Professors and Administration clerks said maybe from next week students would come and register. So, this week is relatively slow for me, too. Therefore, I could finish my assignment for the curriculum. I want to make time to consult about my research with my supervisor here for the next two weeks.Next week, as an outside activity of University, I will visit a private primary school to teach Japanese culture for children. I’m looking forward to seeing local school children.Keep trying!

Short Report 14 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(21 Feb. 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

Yesterday, I visited a private primary school, named JESNA school near Olympia to provide an easy Japanese class. The children were so cute. It was an amazing experience for me.The school has a longtime relationship with Japan, so they already know some easy Japanese greetings. I hope they enjoyed today's lesson and some of them will have interests in Japan and continue to learn Japanese.
This time I have re-learned the importance of making a teaching plan, considering their interest and understanding level. I brought the flip chart of Greeting, Color, and Numbers. In the lesson plan, I added some activities of physical exercises, bowing, color finding games, origami, jump & clap hands to keep their attention and concentration. It was a quite different lesson plan that I do at UNZA, but through both lessons, I could realize that I liked teaching!!
One month has already passed. Time passes very rapidly.I'm a little bit tired with hot temperature but I have to activate the rest of the stay!!

 Short Report 15 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(28 February 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

This week there was a teacher strike because the salary for January didn't pay off. Because of the teachers' low motivation and absence, students could not attend their classes, and they also demonstrated against the university. As our Japanese class is also managed by the university, all the class has been canceled on Thursday and today.
Even if the university academic calendar has already started, it seems not to function well so far. But they say it is a normal situation for the Zambian teachers and students…  It is also my Zambian experience!  Be patient!! Keep going!

Short Report 16 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(7 March 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

I feel time passes rapidly. My internship end is approaching. This week the teacher’s salary has paid off then finally teachers came back to their job. I discussed the difference between Japanese and English with my supervisor here, Dr. Ngalande, who knows the Japanese language. And for the regular class, I started to present some Japanese information (Culture and Language) in the first 10-15 min part of the class schedule. It became a good time for me to re-consider my own culture. This week I also participated in the Japanese embassy event, Japan Day with our Japanese course students. We presented Origami, Calligraphy, Kimono.

Short Report 17 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(14 March 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

Since this week we had two national holidays, I visited Livingstone to see Victoria Falls. It was a very spectacular sight!! On the other hand, at UNZA, the teacher held a demonstration again. And many classes have canceled. Still, the situation is looooooow!!
I had to schedule a makeup class for our missed class before two weeks because of the teacher’s demonstration. Our course is finally 1 class left, an examination and completion ceremony. I made examination sheets and planed some cultural presentations for the completion ceremony.
My return flight has been canceled because of Coronavirus and changed the transit place from Korea to Bangkok. The situation is really serious and spreading widely. Best wishes for all of my G.ecbo members, friends, families.

 Short Report 18 (from Zambia,OKATA Yoshie)

(22 March 2020, Internship at the University of Zambia)

This is my final report from Yoshie Okata. I left Zambia on Saturday. My departure became one week earlier than I had planned because of the current situation, COVID-19. The University of Zambia has also closed by the guidance from the Ministry of Health on 20-March-2020.Fortunately, with the support of the G.ecbo administration and travel agency, I could manage to arrange the return ticket to Japan. Thank you so much.
There are many things left for me to do, but, anyway, it was a precious opportunity to think about teaching Japanese on-site. The final day we held a farewell party and cooked and ate Japanese food with students. We made Okonomiyaki for regular class students, and I made Japanese tea for short course students after the examination.
These days were not calm in my mind since the world situation changed rapidly, and I had to rush back to Japan. But before school closure, we had to finish many things; the exam, corrections, and also making certificates and reports for the university.
So, I would like to calm to look back on my internship period for closing it in Japan and make a report.Now I’m in Bangkok for transit to Japan. All the best wishes for your health and peace of mind. Best regards,

Short Report 19 (from Philippines,KAKUJO Ryusei)

(19 Feb. 2020, Internship at Non-profit Corporation IMAGINUS )

Good morning. I arrived at the IMAGINUS office located in Zamboanguita, Philippines on 9th February. Here I can find nice beach sound, starry sky and biology. My internship has been started since 10th and it will end on 6th March, thus my stay here is 4 weeks. We are trying to open a café which has two functions as (1) a hub where local people gather and socialize and (2) a financial resource for local NGO namely B.L.U.E. I am currently tackling a cashflow calculation and strategy of the café. The café open day will be tentatively on 28th February however, our progress is not ideal so far. Hence, time management and task allocation are highly required. I am learning how I can manage the project with coworkers who have different perspective, perception and attitude. Aside from the café project, I am observing the traffic in Zamboanguita. Trycicles, vehicles with three wheels and a roof, are common for travel. There is no traffic light so that a technic to go across a road is needed to survive here.

Short Report 20 (from Philippines,KAKUJO Ryusei)

(24 Feb. 2020, Internship at Non-profit Corporation IMAGINUS )
2 weeks has been already passed since I arrive the internship place. I am continuously tackling the café project. Here several critical problems are addressed before opening the café. First is kitchen issue. We cannot put kitchen inside the café, thus we are supposed to use a  kitchen at the internship place. However, we found the kitchen can not be used because the kitchen is used for internship people. We are looking for alternative kitchen place. Second, human resource is problematic. We are hiring two people including shop keeper and chef, but we did not take unexpected things such as being sick into consideration. We are solving the issue. Third issue is menu. Our menu list is not enough to catch repeater. Therefore, we are developing additional menu.Many things still remain for café opening.

 Short Report 21 (from Cote d'Ivoire, TAGUCHI Taishi)

(5 March 2020, Internship at NTC International Co., Ltd.)

I have arrived at Ivory coast last week. It has so humid and hot. But I was wondering when I get off the door of arrival at the airport. I saw the Burger KING. It was amazing my stereotype's understanding.
I have attended the security meeting at the JICA Ivory coast office. Then, I was heading to Yamoussoukro by the JICA car. Yamoussukro is the capital city of Ivory Coast. But, this city is quite calm. It doesn't have governance facility. It is just capital. I am going to stay Fanon Hotel. This accommodation is my regular accommodation. This room has an air conditioner. I was so excited, it is easy to sleep during the dry and hot season.
The first workday, I went to the project office and took briefing about the project from the Ivorian counterpart, then afternoon we went to the project demonstration field.  It was a good time to understand the project and field condition. Next day, this was the weekend I went to supermarket on foot. And, I have been to the biggest church in the African continent. Monday to Wednesday, I observed farmers, millers, and distributer. They are important stakeholders of the project. I talked somethings for understanding project and their role in the project.  Next week we have a big program, I  would like to do my best for preparing for that.

Short Report 22 (from Cote d'Ivoire, TAGUCHI Taishi)

(12 March 2020, Internship at NTC International Co., Ltd.)

From this week, my work was starting in earnest. Thursday and Friday, I summarized that about the credit work report from the financial institution. I and other intern cleaned the store and checked inventory.
In this Friday, I challenged to go to a bar in the hotel to drink beer alone. It was a big challenge for me, I am a beginner of a French speaker. But I achieved to order and transact the beer only myself without English. It was a wonderful time.
We have held a meeting on Saturday afternoon. After the meeting, we are going to team dinner. I thought I almost completely drink all type of beer in this time. I think It has remained one kind of beer that is called ''Flag''. I am looking forward to seeing you.
I saw the young people weaving traditional textiles on Sunday. It is traditional cloth in this area. They are Boule people. Yamoussoukro is their land. This place has a big meaning for them because of the birthplace of the first president of Ivory Coast.
On Monday and Tuesday, I was cleaning and checking inventory and making documents. And, we have been toe very huge milling machine which was built by Indian donation and governmental storage. It has a very high capacity, it can mill the rice 5t per hour. however, this is not different just stature. Ivory Coast government, they first construct the facility, but it does not improve to the human capacity to handle that machine. I was surprised in a double sense, I have never seen that size of milling machine in AFRICA, the other is spider web nesting with the machine. I have wondering Ivory coast government system.
This was the main activity in this internship. It was held the plat-form workshop in the Wednesday in the project office. It doesn't have much work for an intern. Almost all works were managed by Ivorian counterparts. Their effort made this workshop. I had many things to learn from their work!!

Short Report 23 (from Cote d'Ivoire, TAGUCHI Taishi)

(21 March 2020, Internship at NTC International Co., Ltd.)

Suddenly, my internship term has finished the last Wednesday. It was decided to go back as soon as possible by JICA. So, I felt some complicated mind. But, it could not be changing the flow of the times. US peace corps, KOIKA volunteer and also JICA volunteer have to return own their country. I haven't bought souvenirs for giving my friends for these unexpected situations.
It was some busy weekend, I have been to Abidjan for some meeting. We met JICA officers, diplomats in the Japanese embassy and an officer of the ministry of agriculture. And, we attended a farewell party for a diplomat of the Japanese embassy and his family. I am really interesting the chance which has come suddenly. If I would like to work that work. I need to adapt that kind of event. It was a nice time to learn new things.
During the week-day, I have tried to make an analytical report of the correlation repayment rates and some other elements. However, I could not finish this report, I just finishing the analytical part. I  send this result to the project member. So, my internship suddenly finished. But, I understand, the end of things comes suddenly. I have been a good time. I am looking forward to writing my final presentation and report.

 Short Report 24 (from Nepal, MD.R.A.KHONDAKER)

(16 March 2020,Internship at FORWARD, Nepal)

I arrived at Kathmandu airport in time (18.05) and went to hotel by prepaid taxi.
I was in Kathmandu Hotel.
I came to Kathmandu airport from hotel and arrived at Bhratpur airport at 11.37 AM, went to hotel Immage Palace and at 20.05 I meet with FORWARD person.
That day was Government holiday here due to Holi festival. I was at hotel.
2020/03/10 (Tuesday) 
I came to FORWARD, Nepal office at 8.40 , meet with Dr. Sen sir and other officers of the organization. I joined the monthly meeting and Manita san explained very widely about FORWARD activities. Yes, I got a nice desk for my study and research.
On that day, I visited a day care center nearby FORWARD office which is run by Rotact club of Bhratpur. It is a center of 40 children between 2 to 4 years of poor family. They are given daily meals from here without any cost.  
I visited a sanitation program run by RRN(Rural Reconstration Nepal ) which is 12 KM from FORWARD office. It is a WASH (Water, Sanitation and hygine) program. They provide materials for toilet making to the poor households at free of cost. I collected some data about this program
2020/03/13( Friday)
Today I went that day care center at 10 AM. Only 16 children were there in this morning. I measured their Weight (kg), Hight(cm),Date of birth for nutritional assessment. I also took their previous data of 6 months before from their record. I will study their changes on nutritional level.

Short Report 25 (from Nepal, MD.R.A.KHONDAKER)

(19 March 2020,Internship at FORWARD, Nepal)

1) On 16 March; Monday
I was at FORWARD office for all day long. I studied about last two year report (2019 & 2018) and also FORWARD stories of success .
2) On 17 March; Tuesday
I visited a rural development project which is related to dairy development. i interview some farmers and took information about their socio-economic condition.I am very glad to find that FORWARD activities is directly related to rural development.
3) On 18 March; Wednesday
I visited another rural development project which is related to dairy cooperative named Annuporna. It is a very successful cooperative and FORWARD supports this kind of rural development activities. I took information from some farmers and chairman of that cooperative
4) On 19 March ; Thursday
Today I visited day care center again and collected some data on nutrition of there under 5 children. At 4 pm, I received farewell from FORWARD
Now , in unavoidable situation , I will come back Japan on 21 March.
Tomorrow I will come to Kathmandu. Thank you all.