41. Mr. L from Guatemala, why did you choose University of Yamanashi?


Enjoying both study and respite! A passionate student from Guatemala!

 Today’s guest for our interview is Mr. L, an overseas student who belongs to ICRE, a special education program of International Research Center for River Basin Environment Science in Graduate School of Medical and Engineering Science, Department of Education, University of Yamanashi. He came here in September 2013, and now is in his first year of the master’s course!

  —Introduction of “ICRE” (International Research Center for River Basin Environment Science)

The following researches are being undertaken energetically to resolve problems such as the depletion of water resources, flood damage, deterioration of water environments, and illnesses caused by water and research which combines these to provide prescriptions to resolve water problems closely related to the lives of people in individual river basins, along with activities necessary to form an international network of water experts. http://www.icre.yamanashi.ac.jp/


 We have overseas students from all over the world in this university. Mr. L is from Republic of Guatemala.

 He studied Engineering at a university in Guatemala. He is a little shy, but his smiling face is very charming♪

 We had a lot of questions (!!) such as “What brought you to Japan?”, “Why the University of Yamanashi?”

 He is from the country famed for an authentic coffee, but we were brave enough to serve him with our “barista” coffee for “O-mo-te-na-shi”.

 Let’s start an interview over a cup of coffee!!


Q:Welcome to Japan! Firstly, what is your impression of Japan?^^


A:I think Japanese study a lot and work a lot.

 It seems that they have less time to spend together with friends and family. Guatemalan people spend more time with family (Oh! Sorry for being outspoken from the get-go.)


Japanese couples don’t look like couples. They must be dating, but they don’t look so. It’s like “Are you really in love?” In my country, even when in a group of people, lovers would hold hands, or keep staying close to each other or looking into each other’s eyes.


 Y, yeah… In Japan, couples do not do such things when people are around. They may be reserved, or paying attention to the situation… They may be different when they are by themselves (lol). 


A:A cultural difference, it is.

Q:Don’t you have any hardship in daily life? Do you live by yourself?

A:I live by myself, but in the university’s dormitory, so there’s no problem. There we share a kitchen, so we can cook together with friends, or enjoy friendship with students from various countries.


Q:How nice, you can cook too! Do you like Japanese food (washoku)?


A:Yes, I like washoku. I like gyudon best! I often cook it myself, with beef, onion…but without eggs.

     The Japanese foods I don’t like are, natto (!) and horse meat, maybe. (Horse meat!! Because he is an overseas student in Yamanashi prefecture where raw horse meat can be eaten.)

I was surprised by eating rice in Japan. Guatemalan rice is not glutinous but the Japanese rice is sticky when cooked, which was quite new to me. But I think it is delicious too, and I like it


Q:Is that so? But it is good that you like it!

 I am not familiar with Guatemalan food, but could you introduce us to some of it? What is your favorite?


A:I like tamales made of chipilin.

(It is a steamed dish of kneaded corn flour wrapped in a leaf, like chimaki in Japan.)

Maybe this is the most famous food in Guatemala. I haven’t seen a similar food in Yamanashi, and I can’t get chipilin in shops here, so I cannot make it nor eat it. But when I went to Nagoya to meet a friend of mine who is working as an engineer, he took me to a Latino-American restaurant, and I managed to eat one there!


That was good! But it’s a pity that you cannot eat it any time you want….Well, isn’t there any restaurant in Yamanashi to serve it?? I’m going to search for it!


A:(lol) Thank you for your help!


Q:There are many universities in Japan. Why did you choose the University of Yamanashi?


: What I want to study is the field of “Environmental Science”. For that study, there were three candidates in Japan. I chose this university because I thought its research covers the widest range of environment and water, not only in Japan but also for overseas.

After I came here, I found the study difficult but very interesting!! The faculty staff are also quite interesting and friendly!  I am happy to have chosen University of Yamanashi.


I see. I feel happy too to hear that you are enjoying your studies and the studying environment as well♪


Q:How do you refresh yourself when you can’t go on with studying? 


:I play bass guitar, and watch DVDs with friends. The latest show was “The Lone Ranger”.


Bass! Wow, you are cool! I haven’t watched “The Lone Ranger”, but I hear it’s interesting.

 Studying, relaxing, associating with friends — it seems that Mr. L is taking good balance in his life. He is a good example for me to follow^^;


Well, so much for today! The sequel of this interview will be about what he is striving for!


The town from where Mr. L is: Panajachel