August 22nd, our day off in Tokyo.
Finally, the delegates can have fun without having to worry about final forum sagging over their heads. Of course, the delegates had their groups mostly decided, but I grouped up with Caitlin, Reg, Yuichi, and Yuri, most of whom I have interacted with, but have had little time to get to know. We went to the Pokemon Center, the 8 story animate complex, and the various Nike Stores on a wild adventure to find floral-print Nikes (in a men’s size 12 no less) in Ikebukuro (we are kids after all), and ended in Shinjuku for some last-minute shopping. Coming back to the Olympic Center, I realized that tonight, as the last night, would be the night of reflection. We gathered and had our few hours (which I’m not allowed to write about), but I noticed how real this experience has been. Everyone put their heart and soul into JASC, with mixed results. No one could have predicted the outcomes of these last 3 weeks, but I’m glad I got the chance to spend it with the people I did.
I leave JASC proud of my personal growth, and a better understanding of myself that can only really be found through perseverance. I’ve made friends who will undoubtedly achieve amazing goals, and friends who are just now becoming comfortable sharing their ideas. Regardless of our spats or disagreements, I recognize that I was given a great gift, and mourning it’s loss, though inevitable, would deny the once-in-a-lifetime-experience it’s power. Thank you, JASC.