Blog

Calendar

<<  April 2015  >>
SMTWTFS
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Categories

  1. Career
    1. My One and Only
    2. Interning at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
    3. S. Takata Memorial Research Library and My Research Theme
    4. Building a Career in Japan - Don't let the Japanese people beat you in linguistic skills and cultural comprehension -
    5. 67 years after World War II
    6. What is a life plan? From the National Bar Exam to becoming a painter
    7. Job-hunting experience note -Receiving a job offer from the first-choice company is not a dream-
    8. Job-hunting experience note -Self-analysis is about "Constructing one-self"-
    9. The skill-levels of world-class top talents are extremely high. That is why, in order to compete against the world, ambition and aspiration is necessary.
    10. Japan's passport did not come falling from the skies. Fight now for the respect of the future Japanese.
    11. OECD Internship Report
    12. Settling down in Waseda
    13. Be true to yourself, boldly step forward into the things that excite you!
    14. Job Hunting experience notes
    15. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    16. Using My experiences from Waseda,
    17. Waseda:An everlasting bond
    18. Recent report from Denmark
    19. Submission from WiN member (Recent Report)
    20. Memories of Waseda
    21. My experience at Waseda
    22. My time at Waseda University
    23. Teaching Position at Korea University
  1. Event Reports
    1. C21 Tokyo Challenge
    2. Enjoying a taste of South-East Asia: Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwiches and Milo
    3. Looking Back on the "Go Global Japan" English Presentation Contest
    4. Student Visa Day at the American Embassy
    5. 3rd Place Finish in the "Hong Kong Cup"
    6. Students' Day at the American Embassy
    7. ASIAN STUDENTS ENVIRONMENT PLATFORM 2012: Environmental field studies by students from Japan, China, and Korea
    8. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 2: Non-academic conference learning
    9. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 1: Academic conference learning
    10. The 7th Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition: Waseda University student performers' questionnaire interview
    11. [Event] Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 at Waseda University - ended in a great success!
  1. Gourmet
    1. What Do You Do With a Major in Ramen?
  1. Others
    1. "Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP)"
    2. Exchange Students from US Reunite at Waseda after 30 years
    3. "Like" WiN on Facebook!
    4. WiN Blog starts
  1. Sports
    1. Learning How "To Think" Through Waseda University's Track & Field
    2. Participating in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
    3. "Participating in the XXV Winter Universiade Games (2011/Erzurum)"
    4. My experience with Waseda's American Football Bukatsu
  1. Study Abroad
    1. Shifting Cultivation and the Challenge of Sustainability in Mopungchuket Village, India
    2. Building the TOMODACHI Generation
    3. Kakehashi Project Report
    4. The Double Degree Program at Peking University
    5. Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada
    6. An Encouragement of two-stages approach to study abroad
    7. Studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia
    8. A new kind of Study Abroad
    9. 14-Day Short term Study Abroad Program in Chowgule College, Goa - "What can I do? What can they do? What can you do?"
    10. From Tsugaru strait to the African highest peak Kilimanjaro
    11. PIANO LINE -Seattle Study Abroad Chronicles-
    12. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    13. What I learned about China through Shanghai Fudan University
    14. Why are those who've experienced study abroad programs a little different? -Full Japanese SILS student reveals the whole story of studying abroad -
    15. China, The Neighboring Country You Do Not Know ~ My Encounter at Peking University ~
    16. Study Abroad Experience Notes
    17. C'est la vie! This is life! Work hard, Play hard.
    18. Study abroad @ Taiwan
    19. Study abroad @ Beijing
  1. Study in Japan
    1. Visiting the Prime Minister's Residene
    2. IPS Summer School 2016: Culture Meets Culture
    3. The World is Smaller than We Think
    4. Waseda Summer 2016
    5. The Opportunity of a Lifetime
    6. Experiencing Village Life at Kijimadaira
    7. A Fantastic Opportunity
    8. A Rewarding Experience
    9. An Amazing Experience
    10. Take Me Wonder by Wonder
    11. I Couldn't Ask for More
    12. Another Kokusaibu Story
    13. SAKURA Exchange Program in Science
    14. I Want to Go Again!
    15. More than Good Sushi
    16. Immersive Experience into the Japanese Culture
    17. 40 Years of Memories in a Photo
    18. Experiencing Everything First Hand
    19. Waseda Summer Session wasn't like any other Summer Camp
    20. Looking Forward to the Past
    21. Weeding a Rice Paddy ~Field Trip to Niigata~
    22. Japan Study Students to Waseda: A message from the class of 1983-84
    23. Developing Medical and Welfare Robots ~The Challenges of Kabe Laboratory, Faculty of Human Sciences~
    24. Recollecting experiences of Exchange Programme at Waseda
    25. Kuroda Kazuo Interview: About Studying in Japan
  1. Volunteer Activity
    1. Taking the first step in volunteering
    2. "Volunteer experience in earthquake-hit area Natori"
    3. "The Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Volunteering"
    4. How my perspective changed through volunteering
    5. Tohoku Volunteer
    6. Great East Japan Earthquake    "Fumbaro East Japan Support Project"

Archives

2017
03
2016
12 11 10 09 08 06 04 03 02
2015
11 10 09 07 06 04 02 01
2014
12 11 10 08 07 05 01
2013
12 10 06 05 04
2012
10 09 08 07 05 03 02 01
2011
12 11 10 09 07 06 05 04 03 02 01
2010
12 11 10 09 08 07 06
RSS

Blog

Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada

Name: Shohei Hayashi
Nationality: Japanese
Status at Waseda University: 1st year at the School of International Liberal Studies (SILS)


As part of an environmental education course entitled “Critical Looks on Education”, I participated in a two-week (Feb 11 to Feb 26, 2015) camping trip in Alberta, Canada.

I once saw a documentary in which the director said something like, "As the technology around us develops, our lives have become more and more convenient in various ways. To give one example, our houses all contain 'pipes' of various kinds. When we turn the tap, we have fresh drinking water; when we start the stove, gas comes out and we have fire for cooking; and when we use the toilet, various pipes carry away our waste and dispose of it. But if even one of these pipes were severed, our lives would be thrown instantly into confusion and panic."

While it is true that, thanks to technology, our modern way of life has become more convenient, at the same time I think it has also become more fragile. But are humans really fundamentally such fragile creatures? Feeling more and more concerned about this supposed fragility, I made a decision to camp out in a wilderness far removed from modern technological comforts, and to find out just what kind of a person I was and what I was capable of. 

After arriving in Canada, we spent four days preparing for the trip along with students from Alberta University. In that time we attended lectures on leadership and camp rules and regulations; talked together about our respective cultures and cross-cultural problems; and prepped the provisions and equipment for the trip.   

Once our preparations were complete, we headed into Lakeland Provincial Park. In order to move from place to place, we carried our tents and provisions on a sled and wore traditional Canadian snow shoes. Every day we moved to a new area, pitched our tents and slept there. And every night, once our tents were safely pitched, we huddled inside and listened to the Canadian students tell traditional winter tales. For our part, the students from Waseda gave various presentations about Japanese leadership, religion and appreciation of nature. During our trip, we were also encouraged to head out by ourselves into the forest for periods of“solo time” which I think was a special experience for all of us. 

In the midst of that frozen world, with temperatures reaching down to -32℃, we learned directly from our senses what it means to be alive. I will try to recreate some of those sensations I experienced at that time.
 

吹雪.jpg

Pulling our sled through the snow to the next campsite.
(Photo by
Professor Morten Asfeldt, University of Alberta, Augustana)

昼間.jpg

A picture of “Beaver Dam” where we camped on our second night. The black logs sticking out
everywhere are fallen trees. I was struck by the beauty of these trees, even though they were dead.

(Photo by
Shohei Hayashi


                                ***

It was a blood-freezing night. The sensation of the wind blowing against us felt less like cold, and more like pure pain. The snow around us was piled high enough that your legs would be swallowed up with every step. I was wrapped in a silence so deep that not a single noise from human or animal reached me.

As long as I live, I will never forget the night we sat on the frozen ground gazing up at the sky above. The sky that night was covered with an uncountable number of brilliant stars, and the way they were shining seemed somehow less like twinkling and more like breathing. And then a human voice broke the stillness and echoed across the tundra, “The Aurora!” It was like a curtain of blue and green shimmering far in the depths of the sky. For the first time in my life I felt overawed by the immensity and beauty of nature, and felt like I could understand my place in it.

 

陽光.jpg

I was very moved by this beautiful sunrise. The previous night temperatures had reached
a low of -32℃.
(Photo by Emily Cole, University of Alberta, Augustana)

From my departure from Narita to my return only two weeks, a mere 336 hours, had passed, but in that short span of time I felt my values, and my whole take on life had been fundamentally shaken. Never had I been so amazed by and grateful to nature. Never had I experienced the sensations of cold and warmth so deeply and emotionally. Never before had humanity seemed so beautiful. Never before had I been able to express myself so openly, to laugh so easily, to praise others and accept praise so freely. Never in my life had I experienced such utter, heart-filling happiness.      

During the day we carried our own gear, set up our tents, chopped and split wood for fuel, made our own fire and cooked all our own meals. And at night, huddled around the fire, we discussed leadership, religious outlooks, and the relationship between man and nature, and enjoyed traditional Canadian folk tales.
And when we left our tents and sat under the night sky which stretched out in all directions, each of us was touched so deeply by the sight of the aurora that we hugged each other for joy.


テント内.jpg

The inside of our tent, where we held discussions and told winter stories. We kept the cold
at bay with the wood-burning stove in the middle.
(Photo by Professor Morten Asfeldt)

And each morning we jumped out of bed into the freezing air, relit the fire which had long since grown cold, had breakfast, quickly packed our tents and headed off to our next campsite.
In the depths of such extreme cold I felt incredible warmth, for in such conditions you become sensitized to the smallest heat source, not only from the fire but from people as well. I felt the silence there not as empty but as saturated with the breath of life itself. And finally, I felt how rich true simplicity can be.

                                ***


Through this experience, I realized how much happiness can be found in nature.  Looking at my Canadian friends who had been raised in the midst of all this natural richness, I felt I could see the true beauty that human beings possess. I realized the importance of caring for others, of being true to oneself, of being considerate and humble, and of enjoying life to its fullest. Whereas previously I thought of these ideas merely as banal platitudes, I feel that now I feel them more fully and take them more seriously. 

I would like to thank Prof. Takako Takano of Waseda University for planning and organizing this trip, Prof. Morten Asfeldt of Alberta University and Emily and Ally for their support and help, the 8 participants from Canada for accepting me so warmly, the 7 Waseda students who accompanied me on my journey, and everyone else involved in this project. 

夕暮れ.jpg

A picture of a snowshoe lit up by the sunset. The evening sun would often set the entire plain ablaze.
(Photo by Ally Saunders, University of Alberta, Augustana

 

 

Top of page