Thursday, September 27, 2007

Am I interested in international cooperation?

Am I interested in the field of "international cooperation" or "international health"?

The answer is yes, and also no.

Nowadays, an increasing number of young people talk of wanting to become involved in international cooperation. Of course, it sounds interesting, and I'm sure it is. You can definitely use your English skills for those who are good at it, or it'll still give you opportunities to train it if you aren't as good. You'll probably get to travel overseas and get to know many people from other cultures and backgrounds too.

But, there always has to be an objective, I think. At certain points in our lives, we find things that we want to do. Things we want to devote our time, energy, and the resources that we have in. And I think these are the things that we truly yet naturally feel that we should do. If that's something that involves a country other than your home country, that's something "international", right? If that's a not-for-profit kind of work you do with people from other countries, that can be called "international cooperation", right? If that has something to do with health care, that's "international health", right?

The point I want to make clear is that when I talk of "international cooperation", it's just a character of the picture I want to be a part of. We're doing things that we want to do and as a result, that could be seen, or classified in other words, as "international cooperation", but I think there's nothing more to that term. It's just one way of categorizing.

To make a long story short, my interest is in using health care as a tool or a catalyst to bring a people together and bring more happiness. This I'll probably talk about another time... but anyway, if this thing I'm thinking about is outside Japan, then I guess it can be called "international health", but it's not because it can be called that way that I'm interested in this. :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lunch time in Japanese med schools.

Lunch time in Japanese medical schools is interesting.

Our university is in a highly-developed area, a very urban area, so most of the students go out and buy their lunch. We have an extensive selection to choose from... many kinds of food, meaning a wide range in prices too. Students with relatively more cash don't hesitate to and tend to hop into relatively high-class restaurants, while the ordinary (like me) are always trying to find the cheapest food around. Sometimes is fine, but sticking with with those affluent people for lunch everyday would easily put me into bankruptcy in a matter of days.

So what happens is, rich students tend to hang around with rich students, and ordinary students tend to hang around with those of its kind. And they become good friends... not that it is causing any problems (so far), but I just thought it's an interesting phenomenon... :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

About myself.

Global social issues, especially environmental issues and peace-building, were of my greatest interest when I was young. Choosing health care came only after graduation from high school when I started to feel a strong desire to interact more with people and be at the forefront of social issues.

Since then, I have seen health care in various socio-economic settings, and I am strongly moved when a people becomes able to address the issues in the community they belong to and tackle together with their strength and resources, an idea which I believe is what empowerment is and leads to social development.