|Four interns: Teppei (top 2nd from left), Sei (top 2nd from right), Atsumi (top right), Chiho (front 3rd from left)|
I unfortunately did not get to know the two interns from LTSC as well, but the two who were at the Okinawa Association were simply the best. Did they do much work? No. That was a point that was not lost on any of us. However, what I think they did get was the chimugukuru - that Okinawan spirit - of the Uchinanchu community here in Los Angeles. From all the ladies who would take them out, shower them with gifts, take them to their homes... to the younger members of our association that went out of their way to gather for dinner, karaoke, late night donut runs, shopping and even a film shoot... to the families that hosted them and treated them at fancy places.... They certainly met an array of folks. It touched my heart to see members and leaders of our group really step up and show our interns such hospitality.
There's something about watching young 20-something students who are still growing up, still trying to make sense of the world that brings pangs to the heart as well as a general excitement and anticipation at their potential and the thought of the growth they will encounter.
I really wish I could have spent more time with them, but my life has changed much in which my time is occupied differently. I mourn that part of my life sometimes, like times like these, but know that I did what I could and that I hope that I was able to make an impression on some part of their lives.