I came to Japan on August 24,2001 from Malaysia.In fact,I was a little afraid before I arrived in Japan because it was the first time for me to visit the country.I thought about many things on the plane.I asked myself a lot of questions.Where am I going?I have read a lot about Japan,but I had never been here.I wonderd what kind of country it was,and I never thought that I would understand Japanese.So I was worried.
I think the most difficult part of my life in Japan was eating.Food in Malaysia and Japan are so different.I brought foods from Malaysia that would last at least one month.For the first three months,I did not eat much Japanese food.But now my eating habit is the same as that of a Japanese person.I think I have become a Japanese person.
Among many things that I encountered,I was impressed most with the quality of living enjoyed by the disabled in Japan;it was far better than that of the disabled in Malaysia.Japanese people with disabilities can learn a better life.They receive support from the government.They have a lot of job opportunities and chances to engage in sports activities.Japanese have good manners and their technology is much advanced.Japanese people support the disabled in various ways.For example,there are barrier-free train stations and buses.Station attendants will help you move about.It is a wonderful thing.
I studied Japanese for about three months after I came here.I knew nothing about the language before I arrived.I never thought that Japanese was important because I thought one could communicate with anyone in English.It was wrong.At the beginning I had a hard time communicating with others.The Japanese language course started in September.It was very difficult for me to learn the language.I was never good at learning hiragana and katakana.The three Japanese teachers were nice people and gave us a lot of support to learn the languages.Thanks to their effort,I improved my Japanese little by little.Now I speak Japanese Fluently.
The three-month intensive course of Japanese was not the only chance to learn the language.I visited different places and learned a lot,all in Japanese.My friends always talked to me in Japanese,so I was able to practice it.If I made a mistake in Japanese,they would teach me how to correct my mistake.This is how I improved in my Japanese.
After completing the three-month language study we went to different places for invidual training.I visited a number of places and received my individual training in these places.
I received two sessions of indivisual training at Taiyo no Ie in Oita:sports for the disabled and repair of wheelchairs.I do sports activities,but I had never seen severely disabled people doing sports in my country.In Oita,people with different types and levels of disability actively participated in sports activities.I learned a lot of from them through sports activities.There are many types of good wheelchairs designed for sports.Although I play basketball and do a marathon in a wheelchair in my country,the quality of wheelchairs is not so good.In Oita I had a chance to use a nice wheelchair when I played basketball and other sports.I felt great.I think I can be a sports coordinator in my country.
I studied about wheelchairs at Oita Taki in Oita.This training was very important.Shigeru-san was my teacher.The wheelchairs available in my country are not good in quality.They are very heavy and large.A disabled person often has trouble with his wheelchairs but repairing it is not easy.There are only one or two factories where wheelchairs are repaired.Because they are large and heavy,people with severe disabities have a hard time moving about in their daily schedules and it is not easy to go out.So people in wheelchairs stay in home all the time.This is the reason I decided to study about wheelchairs.People in Oita Taki helped me a lot,and I studied hard about repairing and manufacturing of wheelchairs.They gave me two wheelchairs.
During my stay in Oita,I appered in a local newspaper.In Malaysia I have appeared in newspapers and on TV,and have given lectures at high schools and colleges.But such experiences were limited in my country.Since I came to Japan,I have talked to a news paper reporter and in front of many people in different places.I think it has truly been a valuable experiences.
After completing my training in Oita in February,I went to Tokyo,where I learned about homepages from two teachers,Takahashi-san and Matsuhashi-san.I decided to study about homepages because I wanted to make a homepage for centers for the disabled in my country.Now I have my own site in the Internet.
After the three weeks of training on homepages,I went to AJU”Jiritsu no Ie” in Nagoya,where I learned from Yamada-san about DPI.At AJU Samaria House(Pier Nagoya)I studied about planning of sports events,fund raising,and operation from Edo Tooru-san.During my stay at AJU they gave me a lot of support.They were nice people and helped me learn a lot of new things.I made a lot of friends in Nagoya,too.I also participated in sports activities.I ran a marathon there.Tooru-san gave me a wheelchair designed for use in marathon.I was very happy.I visited many places in Nagoya.I went to “Aichi Taiyo no Ie”.At the end of my stay in Nagoya,I went to a house in the mountain with people from AJU,where I really had a lit of fun.For the first time in my life,I tried the meat of some forest animal.I thought it was beef,but it wasn’t.I don’t know what I ate,but it was good.
The training in Saitama started on May 7,2002.The name of the place I visited is Nissin Automobile Company.I learned many things from Kameda Fujio-san and the other people at Nissin.The reason I wanted to learn about automobiles is that in my countory modification technology of automobiles for the disabled is not developed and costs a lot.I learned a lot of skills.I had never done welding and had never made things by myself.But now I can do some manufacturing.Since I came to Japan I’ve learned that there are many types of automobiles for the disabled.These automobiles are much better and developed compared to those in my country.
In Japan,I learned about wheelchairs and automobiles for the disabled.I hope to establish a small factory in my country and share the knoeledge and skills I aquired in Japan.I would like to give opportunities to people.This is what I really want to do.
We went swimming in Japan.I was not able to swim in Malaysia.I was afraid when I jumped into the water.When I arrived in Japan,Ms.Masako Okuhira told us that we would have a swimming class.
I was interested,but I was scared.Murakami-san,Morita-san,Bara-san,the swimming instructors,encouraged me.Now I am a good swimmer.
We went skiing on Decenber 25,2001.We don’t have snow in my country.I saw snow on TV only.In Japan I went skiing and touched real snow.I skied for the first time.After skiing,we went to take shower.In my country,we take showers alone,but here in Japan people enjoy taking a bath together with other people.We went to a hot spring.At first I was a little shy,but later I found it exciting.When I skied,I realized that a disabled person could do any kind of sports.You can do whatever,if you can do it.
After the skiing,I went to stay at Kobayashi-san’s house in Shizuoka.My host family is very nice.I learned a lot from Kobayashi-san and her family.They gave me a lot of presents on New Year’s Day.We made a lot of rice cake and ate it.I felt as if had been with my real family.Just like my real mother,Mrs.Kobayashi took good care of me.I was very happy to have spent a few days with the Kobayashis.I feel grateful for this opportunity.
I have just completed a one-year training program,which started on August 24,2001.I am very fortunate that I was chosen as a trainee.I think I was able to do as much as possible of what I wanted to do.I would like to thank the JSRPD staff and training coordinators for their advice and considerate care.I would also like to express my gratitude to people at the AINOWA Foundation and Duskin and all those people who have generously supported us.I am sure the countless experiences I had on this program will have a great impact on my life.They will be nice memories for sure.I think every person has great experiences,skills,knowledge,and ideas.You have to believe in your possibilities.The point is that you have self-confidence.You can start to change things in yourself.I learned this attitude and philosophy from the founder of Duskin,Mr.Seiichi Suzuki.Mr.Suzuki and I seem to have a lot in common in our ways of thinking.
I have learned in Japan about sports activities for the disabled,repairing of wheelchairs,and modification of automobiles for the disabled.I talked with many people about ways to convey all the skills and knowledge that I acquired in Japan to people in my country.I would like to teach what I have learned in Japan to everyone.
However,I still have to continue to be an activist in the movement for the disabled.I hope to use the knowledge that I acquired on Duskin Leadership Training Program to improve the life of other disabled people.I know that I will have to take action.I would like to get cooperation from many people and engage in activities to change the life of the disabled in my home country for the better.