Former student says ‘aloha’ from Norway

Nobukazu Ueno, a former Hawaii Community College Intensive English Program student  and a 2011 graduate of UH Hilo with a Political Science degree,  is now studying at the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Tromso in Norway. He will be getting a Master’s of Philosophy Degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation.

Photo of Nobu

His wife, Chisato Sakaguchi, was also an IEP student, then went on to graduate from Hawaii Community College with an A.A.S. Degree in Hula. Chisato was very active in campus activities and the Japan Club at Hawaii CC. After graduation, Chisato worked for a year in the Intensive English Program’s Support Office. Chisato and Nobu moved to Norway in July 2012.

Here is a recent message from Nobu that was sent to the staff at the IEP:

We’re glad to hear you and Bodhi are doing well. We were talking about you and saying you must be really busy, with lots of things to do.

We’re definitely getting settled here, but we miss Hilo at the same time. We miss the food, the air, the people, and everything. I often check out some Hawaiian radio online, like KWXX and KAPA, so I can see what’s going on in Hilo right now. Oh….we had a chance to listen to the IEP Radio Show the other night. I think it’s such a great opportunity for those who are learning English because they can see what they can do with the skills they learned. It can be their motivation that pushes them more for studying. I wish I could have had it when I was there. Hahaha… We just got started learning Norwegian language recently. I remembered when I started learning English at junior high for the first time. It’s going to be a long time till I can be a good Norwegian speaker!

Chisato is always saying to me she wants to visit Hawaii sometime. She might be visiting Hawaii next summer for the Okinawa Festival in Honolulu. She might be playing Koto at the festival. We brought the Kotos here, but don’t have much time to play them so far. However, we are planning to play them on the street sometime.

Yes, please go ahead write for the college newsletter and use the picture of us. That sounds wonderful.

I like the warm climate of Hawaii, but I also like winter because my hometown in Japan is in the country, with a little snow in winter. No worries, but the climate here is almost similar to being on the top of Mauna Kea at night. What I’m little bit excited about more than snow is the long dark days for 2 months. For 2 months, we won’t be able to see sun. That’s a kind of extraordinary thing that we can only experience here.

I would appreciate you telling people about the Master’s in Peace and Conflict Transformation program here. I will send you further information about the program later.



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