We finally arrived at Narita International Airport in Tokyo!
After the long 14-hour flight from Los Angeles, we made it!
We were warmly welcomed by two of our Japanese hosts, Taka and Yumika.
Despite the long trip and time difference, everyone was in high spirits.
We got on the bus for another 2-hour ride, sang a few songs in Japanese, and admired the night lights of Tokyo City. We also passed the Tokyo Tower as it was beaming bright in the night sky. It was amazing to be able to see these city highlights in real life after only having seen them in pictures on the internet. Some commented that it looked shorter than they had thought!
We had lots of fun on the colorful bus!
We ended this long day with gratitude for having arrived safely in Japan and with hope and joy, knowing that we have a great adventure waiting for us the next day!
Participants close the night in prayer and gratitude.
Karen and Jermaine, members of CARP Los Angeles (LA), served as emcees for the trip orientation prior to take-off. They welcomed the 36 excited participants from all over the nation who will be joining this cultural exchange to Japan from May 25 – June 6.
Purpose of the Trip
The group met in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 24th and reviewed the resources in the booklets that had been prepared with much love and care the day before. These booklets included the purpose of the trip which is to:
Visit Japan where the founder of CARP (Rev. Sun Myung Moon, affectionately termed our True Father) spent much time, devotion, and prayer, and
Experience a cultural exchange by learning about the traditions of Japanese CARP students, and
Share CARP America’s support, friendship, and best practices.
During the last two days of the trip, students from CARP Korea will also join to take part in an international conference. The purpose of this two-day conference is to provide an opportunity for students from Korea, Japan, and America to connect, network, and learn from each other to create a common vision for the future together.
Welcomed with Love and Care
Founder of this Intercultural Exchange, Naoko Hiraki, beams with joy during the Orientation.
Naoko Hiraki, the main organizer for this trip and Advisor for the CARP LA chapter, shared a few words on the importance of this trip:
“Thank you so much for coming. When you go to Japan, you will feel the difference. There are many difficulties there, but I want you to encourage CARP Japan. That is the greatest goal and motivation for this trip. Japan has a lot of history, so we also want to inherit the spiritual treasures in Japan.”
CARP members who had flown in from different regions all over America to attend this trip were warmly welcomed and participated in ice breakers by teams, giving participants the chance to meet each other, introduce themselves, and assign roles for the trip.
Tour Through Japan
The emcees explained that our American CARP students will be able to meet Japanese students in different cities, chapters, and regions in Japan. The group will arrive in Tokyo, spend some time sightseeing with the students and then do similar activities with CARP students in Kyoto and Osaka. The group will then return to Tokyo where students from CARP Korea will also join them for the 2-day international conference. Part of this experience will be visiting Waseda University where True Father studied as a student.
The orientation ended with a touching prayer, moving the participants with gratitude for being able to go to Japan and spread joy and hope to the CARP students there.
Day One – Our Journey Begins!
LAX Airport – Take-Off Testimony by Nina Urbonya, Trip Coordinator
“Today is finally the day that we go to Japan. Some students are teasing and laughing at each other’s passport photos. “You show me yours, and then I’ll show you mine!” Others are talking about their favorite Japanese food. Everyone is impressed with the amazing customer care displayed by Japan Airlines. The agent even came out to personally escort us to the check-in desk. We are already feeling the warmth of Japan, where the “customer is king.”
While waiting in the security line, I got a chance to talk to Ilya Hack from CARP Las Vegas. When I asked him what inspired him to come on this trip, he replied with two main reasons:
“To meet CARP students in Japan and learn about the foundation of CARP established by our founders in Japan. Also, my mother is Japanese, so this will be a good opportunity to understand the culture and better understand my mother.”
There is only one hour left before we take off. Those who missed the orientation from last night are being briefed on the schedule now.
One by one, the students take out their snacks and pass them around; we had chips, chocolate and, combo rolls. CARP is all about sharing and these students are really embodying that!
Everyone is tired from all the preparations and traveling but you can see the excitement in their faces pushing past the fatigue.
Our journey begins with a 13-hour flight on Japan Airlines. Guessing from the customer care at the check-in desk, we will be well taken care of on the flight. It will be a time for fun but also reflection as we prepare to meet our friends in Japan.
Please send your prayers and support. We’ll continue to keep you updated along the way! 🙂
It’s 6 pm on Monday, May 23rd. The lovely California sun is still shining brightly. There is soft Ghibli music playing in the background competing with the sounds of a printer that is hard at work. Five diligent CARP students have been working hard since morning. All day, they’ve been printing and binding booklets that will be used during the upcoming Japan trip that include reading material for morning devotion, the schedule, and song lyrics in Japanese, Korean, and English.
So many preparations to make and so little time left!
The printer rumbled several times as if to protest that it’s working too hard. We had to give it a break every 20 minutes. We were only halfway done and the printer was already tired! But patience and good team work got the job done.
An American flag and beautiful sakura flowers grace the covers of the booklets. These two symbols, representing America and Japan, demonstrate two nationalities, two cultures coming together.
Despite the long printing process, there was constant laughter. You could feel a sense of excitement in the air, knowing that in a few days, we will be flying over the Pacific Ocean for a 13-hour flight before arriving in Japan, half way across the world.
We ended the day with a well-deserved break with boba tea and a great feeling of accomplishment 🙂
Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24th, there will be an orientation for those from America going on this Intercultural Exchange trip.
Every Thursday we’re presenting a blast from the past, a ‘throwback Thursday’ edition to celebrate, honor, and remember CARP’s rich 50-year history. Check out our Facebook page ‘CARP Life’ for more updates!
Here is a page from “An Introduction to one of America’s most Significant Collegiate Organizations,” that summarizes CARP’s programs and purpose. Renowned CARP lecturer, Beverly Berndt, is pictured on the bottom left sharing about the Parallels of History and the significance of the time we’re living in.
In the May/June 1982 edition of CARP Monthly, we found this page where the caption reads, “above: Blue Tune Band in their Deutschland-Tour. (This photo was used for greeting cards). below: Lead singer, Joe Taylor (middle) with Blue Tune in a professional setting.”
Akiko Ikeno takes the mic at the Pure Love Alliance Benefit March in Washington, D.C. on November 28, 1997. Thousands of young people attended the event which promoted purity and family values.
Upon reviewing archives, we found a copy of the CARP “World Student Times” from April 1976. The editorial at the top, “The New Tradition for Youth” is transcribed here.
Here’s a flyer from the first CARP chapter in the United States, Columbia CARP! We found this gem in our archives and we think it’s from the late 1970’s. It’s refreshing to see we’re still teaching about how Unification Principles develops us as people who care for others.
Our Elder Brother Hyo Jin Nim delivering his passionate speech at the Berlin Wall Oktober 1986 telling the CARP members and all the people gathered that there is room for everybody in God’s Heart.
CARP speaks out publicly against communism at the White House 1983.
National Director of CARP, Joon Ho Seuk delivers his message during the “Unificationism and the Martial Arts” tour in 1983.
After a successful event, Henri Schauffler, Mike Smith, Dan Fefferman, Tiger Park, and Joon Hyun Park lead a victory cheer.
David Eaton featured in “The people who join CARP” in the World Student Times