My Precious Experience with Annie from the Philippines

    My family accepted a girl from the Philippines as a host family from July 29th to the 30th.  Her name was Anne, and her age was 16 years old.  She came to Nagasaki to learn about peace.  She was a representative of the schools in the Philippines, so she had already learned about the world peace there and have been learning about the atomic bomb in Nagasaki.
    My house is on the hill, and we can overlook the Urakami Area of Nagasaki city, where the ground zero is.  Seeing its night view, I pointed the direction to the Peace Park, and she said, "Those areas were all burned out and many people were killed, weren't they?"  Hearing her words, I was moved and happy because it was the first time for me to hear such words directly from not Japanese people, but people from other countries in Nagasaki.
    The next day, I took part in the party with people from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Korea who took part in Asian Youth Peace Seminar.  Each country's songs and dances were showed and it was a pleasant time.
    This time, I had small conversation in English with a few words I know.  I couldn't speak English well, but I think Annie and I could understand each other.It was just a short time, but I had a very good time.  However, looking back these days, if I had been able to speak English better, I could have talked about peace and each culture with her more.
    This time I experienced a small international exchange, and I learned the necessity of English which is the common language in the world.  I want to do my best to study English in the future, making the most use of this experience.

Sayaka Ihara 
Junshin Girls' High School