At last! Going to Japan!

At last! Going to Japan!

From K-li Mortimer Westhaver

Its been ten years since my last adventure in bright and beautiful Japan. I've been accepted into a summer study program and afterward, I will go backpacking to all the places I've wanted to go to, over the past decade.

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Recent Updates

Update #4

about 2 years ago

Thank you to everyone who has gifted me money for my trip, and to those of you who shared my lil campaign. I love and appreciate all the help!

Your money helped buy me a JR pass, and will also be put towards food :D
I promise I will take all the pictures :)

(I LEAVE IN 3 DAYS!!! AAAAAAAAAA)

More Info

Ten years ago, I went to Japan to visit family living on the Iwakuni military base. That trip had left a lasting impression on me as a teenager, and when I returned, I took Japanese lessons outside of school with a private tutor. I continued my studies casually for the next few years, as I finished my associate’s degree in and my trade certification in Jewelry Design. After completing those two milestones, I realized that my heart wasn’t totally in it. I was missing something. And after a long, grueling 2 years of I came to the realization that studying Japanese was the missing link, hiding in plain sight all along. So to get to my goal of exploring Japan, and becoming fluent, I started working and attending night classes at Howard Community College. I worked at a local Japanese Café, where I got some speaking practice in occasionally, and then after moving on from HCC’s curriculum, I transferred to the University of Maryland’s Japanese Program. I’ve worked as a temp for two summers at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, a Japanese company based out of Kyoto, and thoroughly enjoyed my time working, growing, and building there.  

I have a plethora of hobbies, but one that stems back from childhood is collecting dolls and puppets. They’ve always had a special place in my heart, and the fact that Jim Henson graduated from my university is one of my favorite little factoids about my school. When I heard about the Tonda Bunraku Summer Program from my Sensei, I jumped at the chance. This is the perfect opportunity! I can practice my Japanese with a host family for two months and cultivate a long-time hobby. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited for summer, for the chance to play with and to learn as much as I can.

The program coordinators suggested I stay a week or two after the program finishes to explore Japan. So, this is why I made a little funding page. I’ll be staying an extra two weeks after the program ends to go backpacking to different parts of Japan. been ten years, might as well explore and get as much out of this trip as I possibly can, right? I will need help with funding things like: My rail pass ($426USD)Food ($500)and lodging. (cheap hotels are abundant, I averaged it at roughly $55/night, with some wiggle room just in case… so around $800.) Japan has these nifty little traveler’s train passes for foreigners. Since I plan on crawling all over the country, I figured it would be cheaper to buy one of those instead of a bunch of separate tickets. My itinerary so far is not set in stone, (I just got my acceptance letter yesterday) so keep your eye on this space for updates. As of right now I am compiling a huge list of and will whittle it down into a fun-packed 2 weeks. Every little bit of help counts, seriously! ありがとうございます。 (Image courtesy of Holidify (dot) com)

Interested to learn More about Bunraku? check out here and here

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K-li Mortimer Westhaver posted a new update:
about 2 years ago

Update #4

Thank you to everyone who has gifted me money for my trip, and to those of you who shared my lil campaign. I love and appreciate all the help!

Your money helped buy me a JR pass, and will also be put towards food :D
I promise I will take all the pictures :)

(I LEAVE IN 3 DAYS!!! AAAAAAAAAA)

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K-li Mortimer Westhaver posted a new update:
over 2 years ago

Update #3

Hey guys! the amount needed for this fundly has gone down significantly (bless tax season) but I still need a little bit more help! please share this campaign around and get the word out-- thanks!

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K-li Mortimer Westhaver posted a new update:
over 2 years ago

Update #2

As of today I am "Officially attending the program."
I talked with my theatre professor and she is going to help me secure some kabuki tickets in a few months-- so when I land in June, I'm going to see my first live Kabuki play. Ever since I was super young I've had a fascination with Kabuki plays, and have always wanted to see a performance, so this is going to be absolutely huge for me. I'm so, so, excited. thank you to everyone who has shared this page, and donated-- it means the world to me <3

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K-li Mortimer Westhaver posted a new update:
over 2 years ago

Update #1

it's official! I'm going! I'm SO excited omfg

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