Ayano, Amelie, Rodrigo, Keishi, and Paula pose for the compulsory Disney photo.

Oh, Orlando!

Hey! My name is Keishi, and I’m from Okinawa, Japan which is a little island surrounded by ocean.

Last month, I went on a trip to Orlando with four other exchange students. Amelie is from Germany; Rodrigo and Paula are from Spain; and Ayano and I are from Japan. During the trip, I experienced a lot of things which are unforgettable.

We went to Disney World for one day and Universal Studios for two days. Disney World was one of my favorite parts of this trip, because it was during the week, so there were not a lot of people in the park. This means we could try many attractions.

Still, one time we waited for about two hours for a roller coaster that lasted just three minutes. Also, everything in Disney was very expensive except for the water fountain. For example, a balloon with a picture of Mickey Mouse was $15.

We also went to Universal Studios’ Horror Night. There were a lot of haunted houses and scary zones. My favorite memory in there was “Fast Pass.” Since Rodrigo hurt his ankle, he was using an electric wheelchair. And when we waited on the line, staff came to us and they allowed us to go in front of the line. Staff treated us like we have a “Fast Pass,” so we can try many kinds of attractions.

On the last day of the trip, we borrowed a rowboat and had a lot of fun on the lake. Also, we went to a little island and took many pictures like fashion models or something. We could take nice pictures with beautiful sunsets in the background.

Through this trip, I met great friends who talked about their cultures, school life, hopes, and everything else that’s going on in their lives. Also, I learned Spanish from Rodrigo and Paula. Sometimes, I asked them about my Spanish homework, and when they answered me I felt a connection with them. I spent a really good time with them, and I made unforgettable memories. Thanks to my community coordinator Roxanne Lau for giving me such a great opportunity to meet them!

—Keishi (Japan), hosted by the Wegener family (GA)