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Thriving Together 5: Getting Creative During the COVID-19 Pandemic

My name is Daito Mitsumiya and I am from Tokyo; Japan and I am here for an exchange program. I arrived at Campbell River in January 2020, so I have been here for about 6 months. I hope to stay till December 2020. I love it here. Tokyo is a very big and busy city so it is like an opposite of Campbell River. I love nature here; the trees, water…I love the nature activities. The people here are nice, always greeting and they always start up conversations with me. They are very friendly.

My typical day is spent mostly studying because of my program however, due to COVID, I have been socially distancing. My school in Japan encourages us to volunteer and I would love to do that. I have visited the Volunteer Centre downtown and the staff were really nice. I am looking for volunteer opportunities. I am particularly interested in the aquarium. I know someone who volunteered there last year and he recommended it to me because it is a great experience so I am looking forward to that.

For extracurricular activities, I play soccer a lot. Before COVID-19, I used to play soccer almost every day. We go to the Community Centre to play soccer with seniors. Also, with the Timberline School students as well but due to COVID, I have mostly played by myself. That has been pretty hard for me. The people I play soccer with are very kind and friendly. I talk a lot with them. The high school soccer community has been good to me. I have made a lot of friends from there as well. The school teachers are so supportive. When I came in January, I could not speak English at all but I have been learning a lot. I can now have conversations and express myself well.

Thankfully, I have not experienced racism in Campbell River. I attended the Black Lives Matter protest in town and it was very nice. It was so peaceful. I really don’t like discrimination. No one deserves to be treated badly. I totally support the human rights of everyone.

My host family has been amazing too. We have gone camping and hiking too. This is a really good community. People are kind and friendly. COVID-19 has encouraged me to try new things too. I try to wear masks to keep safe. I even made some masks. I’m not really good with sewing but I have made some pretty good masks. My host family also has a son that I talk to so it has not been too boring with the pandemic.

I like to listen to music. I listen to some Hip Hop. I like Travis Scott. I listen to some American music, Drake, etc. The Japanese restaurant food is cheaper in Japan than here though. I miss them just a little bit. The food here is very nice too. I am planning to leave in December but I would love to come back here, especially with my family and friends from Japan.

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Immigrant Welcome Centre

We provide free specialized services for immigrants, refugees and newcomers in Campbell River, the Comox Valley, and northern Vancouver Island.

Immigrant Welcome Centre

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers in Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River and northern Vancouver Island.