I’m an exchange student from Taiwan 🙂 During the spring break, I spent 3 weeks in this farm. I made this decision because I wanted to know more about Japan’s agriculture, and practice speaking Japanese. Besides, Okinoerabu Island’s weather during spring was just fine!
The Attractive Part of Working Here…
1. People are very very friendly. Including the couple with 2 kids, few long-term staffs, and 6 or 7 short-term workers. Although I speak poor Japanese (about JLPT N4 level), everyone is patient and kind when talking to me. Moreover, they taught me a lot of Japanese, which are useful in daily life. Whenever I asked questions, they were willing to answer me, and tried their best to let me understand.
2. Lived a simple life, and enjoyed the natural. During these 3 weeks, I felt so close to the natural, the field, the ocean, and the mountains. At first, I felt that this was an boring island, but soon after, I realized that fancy stores and tourist attractions aren’t necessary for daily life. The important thing was to experience the lifestyle on Okinoerabu Island.
Furthermore, the lunch box and dinner made by farm staff are always super yummy that I feel like eating at restaurant everyday. I am glad to have the chance to try so many Japanese dishes and local ingredients. There was also one day that we had barbecue at the potato field, which was a lot of fun!
During these days, I was very lucky to join the biggest annual event on Okinoerabu Island, the jogging event. This event was held on March every year, including 3 km, 5 km, and 21 km course. Although I’m not very interested in jogging, I enjoyed the 3 km “walk” with amazing scenery and the traditional music performance.
For me, as a foreign student in Japan, the most precious thing I received is the chances to make Japanese friends. It was quite difficult to join in a group of Japanese students, since they all have their own circle of friends already. But when staying in this farm, everyone came from different places alone, I feel more easy to join them.
The Difficult Part of Working Here…
1. Harvesting potato was simple, but when carrying them, it was a tough work for me, because of the heavy weight. However, other people always help me when I’m in trouble!
2. This island is quite far away from the place I live, which spends time and money to go to. However, it’s my first time taking ferry for so many hours, and I actually feel good without sickness.
Nothing really difficult actually! Since people are kind, they have always been taking good care of me!
Overall, the 3-week experience is really amazing. I would say this is the most impressive days during my exchange life so far. A lot a lot a lot of thanks to all the people I met!
很幸運農場的人都非常非常和善，包括農場夫婦與兩個小孩，兩三位正職員工，以及六七位打工換宿的人。我的日語說得不好(日檢N4程度), 因此常常聽不懂大家的對話內容。不過，當他們對我說話時，都很有耐心，也用各種方式幫助我理解(充滿感謝)! 我問了許多關於農業的問題，大家也都很熱心幫我解惑。能從大家身上學到許多農業知識，以及實用的日語會話，真的非常開心!
在打工換宿的期間，很幸運碰上沖永良部島的年度盛事「路跑大會」。每天三月左右，跑者從各地來到島上進行3公里, 5公里, 或21公里的慢跑活動。雖然我不熱愛慢跑，但我很享受的「走」了3公里，搭配沿路的海景以及藍天白雲。路跑結束後，島民還準備了非常精彩的傳統音樂及舞蹈表演! 非常佩服沖永良部島能籌備如此有魅力又完整的大型活動!