Sharing the Ordinary: Mia & Jodie

TOKIHA 18' Counselors

TOKIHA Summer Camps are built and developed by college students with an extraordinary passion to make an impact in the world. Each year, students from varying universities such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Davis gather together to build innovative workshops and camp activities for high school students in Japan. Our team is able to turn our ideas into reality during our various camps that happen throughout Japan. Students from various walks of life come together and build something beautiful for students to experience.

Outside the camps, our counselors delve into various passions, interests and stress relieving activities. We’ve started a series “Sharing the Ordinary” so that we can share a glimpse into the lives of some of the them, this time, Mia and Jodie.

Mia Santos: She dreams of seeing the world and wishes to be influenced by unique experiences and cultures.

As an environmental scientist, naturally I want to study abroad and explore as much of the world as I can. A very important goal of mine is to study abroad in Spain or Latin America to learn while also immersing myself in their culture. While I was in college I had several Latino and Latina friends that I instantly connected with. Being around them so much, I unknowingly adopted a deep love for Latino culture. I love their colorful, vibrant lifestyles, the boldness in their cuisine, their rhythmic, reggae music, and of course, their beautiful and poetic languages.

Last year my best friend and I decided to travel to Mexico together, which is where my Spanish speaking journey began. Before visiting the country, I practiced speaking Spanish every single day so I would be able to order food and have conversations with the local people. Eventually I became fluent enough to help Spanish-only speaking customers at my job. I discovered my Spanish speaking abilities were actually pretty good, so I’ve turned it into a hobby! In my free time I enjoy expanding my vocabulary so I can be as fluent as possible when I work, travel, or study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. It is astounding how people from different communities and cultures can come together and exchange ideas through language.

Mia & her TOKIHA family

This is the beautiful thing about TOKIHA — It allows campers and counselors alike to see life through the perspective of one another. It really creates a bridge between Americans and Japanese students looking to open their mindset and broaden their horizons. It shows how all people are interconnected and can learn so much from each other.

Jodie Sakazaki: Seeks to empower others through the power of education. Also loves calligraphy and fresh fruit ❤

Preparing for the new school year always brings me joy. I love buying fresh, new notebooks and planning out my academic year. But, during the month before school starts, I find myself getting very antsy in anticipation of the start of the academic year. My university, UC Davis operates on a quarter system, but most of my friends attend schools on the semester system. So, I feel lonely during the month of September at home while most of my friends are starting their busy, fun college lives.

Jodie’s custom decorated bullet journal: “Only those with tenacity can march forward in March.”

Out of my feelings of anticipation and even impatience for the school year to start, a new hobby was born: bullet journalling. I created my own personalized academic planner from a blank notebook. I designed the pages, added dates, and labeled everything with my lettering. I really enjoy bullet journalling because it allows me to be creative while I plan ahead for the future. It also helps me relax. Being able to organize all my thoughts and reminders in one place has really helped me as a student.

Jodie and camper Marin at TOKIHA 18'