Maria Kong Mei Ying, a Year 10B student of St. George's School, was selected to participate in the JENESYS 2.0 Program organised by JICE (Japan International Cooperation Centre) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam.
Below is the journal of Maria Kong who had diligently recorded her experience and thoughts throughout her trip to Japan.
JENESYS 2.0 science Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths and technology: 14th Batch Environmental Technology (June 2-10)
JENESYS is an acronym for Japan-East Asia Network for Students and Youth.
It is a new youth exchange program designed for students of Asia and Oceania and aims to promote interest as well as awareness and understanding of Japan and Japanese values.
This program is focused on the area of science and technology.
JICE (Japan International Cooperation Centre) is the organizer of this program. JICE is responsible for conducting the program in cooperation with various local governments, schools and international exchange organizations in each area.
The group was led by Omar Arif Abdullah Lasit, Deputy Principal of Anthony Abell College as the Head of Delegation and Nazirah Hj Mohammad, an education officer at Meragang Sixth Form Centre (PTEM) acting as Assistant Head of Delegation.
During the stay in Japan, we were led and accompanied by 2 coordinators throughout this programme. They were Ms. Nishikawa Satoko and Ms. Nakahata Reini.DAY 1
The group photo we took shortly before our departure appeared in The Brunei Times.
News reporters from The Brunei Times captured our pictures and interviewed us.
Flight from Kuala Lumpur to JapanDAY 2
7:20am - Arrived at Narita International Airport.
An orientation was commenced about the JENESYS program.
At precisely 6:30 we congregated at the hotel lobby to walk to a nearby Indian restaurant, 'Bombay's Palace' for dinner.
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel, to plan a proposal and organise our presentation for the forthcoming workshop to be held at Nagasaki University.
It is comparatively evident Japan does not have terrible traffic congestion unlike various other populated cities around the world.DAY 3
We went to the SHIBAURA WATER TREATMENT CENTRE. It was extremely interesting to see how water is recycled in Japan and how it is distributed. The treatment centre is the third oldest water reclamation centre in Tokyo. At the top of the water treatment facility, they are reconstructing a modern and colossal water treatment facility that is more adequate and economical, using the latest technology.
We experienced a traditional Japanese dinner. The meal consisted of various Japanese cuisines and delicacies.DAY 4
We were fortunate enough to visit the MITSUBITSHI NAGASAKI MACHINERY ENVIRONMENTAL.
It was an informative visit as the development of Mitsubishi and Japan's leading manufacturers showcased how innovative technology is in Japan.
We held a presentation about Brunei Darussalam and entertained the students of Nagasaki University by performing a cultural Malay dance. Subsequently, we got an inside tour of the university by the students of Nagasaki University.
My group and I visited many chemistry laboratories as Nagasaki University is one of the world's leading universities for chemistry, and to obtain a better understanding of each faculty.DAY 5
We were given a descriptive tour of the KEN-O-KEN-NAN WATER FACILITY (Municipal solid waste treatment facility). It was exceptionally impressive to learn of the methods in which rubbish and waste undergoes to turn it into a new and reusable product at minimal cost and with minimal effort.
The museum and the Atomic Bomb Peace Park act as remembrance to the second atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August at 11:01:35am.
This is what was left of the Catholic cathedral. Most of the settlements were completely destroyed by the atomic bombs of the World War 2.
The "Fountain of Peace" was constructed in August, 1969, as a prayer for the repose of the souls of the many atomic bomb victims who died searching for water, and as a dedication to world peace.DAY 6
My roommate and I were very grateful as we were able to live with a Japanese host family who took great care of us during our 2 days stay at their home.
They brought us to the well renowned Nagasaki Park as well as the Isahaya Park. The most attractive part of this park is the Meganebashi or 'Spectacles Bridge'.
Despite the fact that it was scorching hot that day, right above this patch of lovely flowers, there were lots of vendors selling ice-cream, Japanese snacks and drinks.
Subsequently, we were fortuitous enough to catch a meagre glimpse of a baseball game from the bleachers.DAY 7
We delivered a performance on the Malay culture of Brunei. It was performed in front of our host families.
A workshop was held to propose an action plan using the summarised knowledge and findings acquired through the programme to further improve and strengthen our country.DAY 8
We attended a workshop focused on what we have learnt about Japan as an innovative country.
We learned the various ways of using that perspective gained to improve and further strengthen our country.DAY 9
This picture was taken at Narita International Airport as we were checking in our baggage. This marked the final leg of our trip to Japan.
I came on this trip not knowing much about Japan as a country. Nonetheless, I have learnt and acquired a vast amount of knowledge on the Japanese culture, history and most importantly, their innovative attitude towards everything especially concerning technology, during the span of my stay here in Japan.
It was way beyond what I had in mind and expected. I have gained a humongous perspective of Japan in the most positive way.