Saturday, June 12, 2010

Living Abroad, By Brandy Patricia Koslowsky, Age 11

My name is Brandy P. Koslowsky and I am 11 years old. I was born in Yuma, Arizona, on December 21, 1998. In 2000, we moved to Okinawa, Japan. I've lived here ever since. Living abroad my whole life is very interesting. I learn new things every day about Okinawa and its heritage. I get to go to new and very different places. When you are living abroad, you can do many different and exciting things than other people in the world.
One thing I did that other people may not have done is wear a kimono. A kimono is a very fancy dress. Just to tie the dress, you need three ribbons. The fabric is really soft and brightly colored with different images such as flowers, dragon files, and different birds. When you wear a kimono, you usually put up your hair in a very high bun. Kimonos are most commonly used at very special occasions like tea ceremonies and weddings. When I see people wearing kimonos, they look extremely pretty! Another thing I did was go to an underground cave. Once I reached the cave, it was very damp and cold. You will definitely need a jacket. Drops of ice cold water started to drop from the roof of the cave. If one lands on your head, make a wish and for the rest of the day, you will be so very lucky! In the cave, you will see different lakes of water. The water is freezing cold and shallow. In the water, you will see a lot of species of fish, eels, spiders, and scorpions that are running about. When the cave ended, a beam of light hit my eyes. I could barely see because my eyes got used to the darkness of the cave. Going to the caves was very fun! There are a lot of breath-taking places in Okinawa.

When you are living abroad, there are different cultures to learn about. In Okinawa, they have many different foods and techniques to make food. When they eat their food, they only use two sticks to eat their delicious food. These are called chop sticks. When you first use the chop sticks, it is very frustrating and very confusing. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier to use, but be careful. The food could slip! Most of Okinawa's foods are eaten with rice. They also make balls of rice into different shapes, such as triangles, squares, rectangles, and different size balls. Sometimes, my mother makes me a "bento" for lunch. A bento is a lunch that has different things in it, such as rice balls, vegetables, and a different variety of meat. The package the food is put in is a box or a rectangle. After that, the Japanese culture is to rap the box or rectangle in a handkerchief so it is easy to carry from place to place. Bento is one of my most favorite things to eat for lunch. Another kind of food is "ramen" and "soba." Ramen is a long skinny noodle. With the noodles are soup, egg, and different healthy vegetables. Soba is similar to ramen. Soba is a fat, soft, long, and silky noodle. The noodle has soup with it, too. It also has meat, kamaboko, and ginger. Kamaboko has different things in it such as vegetables for adults and pictures of cartoons for children. My family and I eat soba on New Year's Day at midnight. We do this so we can have a lucky year, but if you cut the noodle in half with your teeth before it is completely in your mouth, you will have a shorter life and some bad luck. I would very confidently say that Okinawa's main food source is seafood and rice.

Okinawans speak either Japanese or Okinawan. The Okinawan language is almost a dead language.

In Okinawa, people come and go. I know people that traveled through the original thirteen colonies, London, Paris, and other famous and popular parts and places in the world. They bring different lifestyles with them. Their lifestyles are very interesting. They bring different stories and legends with them, too. They have different accents and foods. They speak and pronounce words a little funny sometimes, but we just smile and say it correctly or "keep on trying, you will get it right.” Living abroad has been an exciting experience for me and my family.

I am proud of my father for serving our country and families. I am proud of the United States military and I am most certainly proud of serving my beautiful country.

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Julie Rahm

Mindset means everything. And no one knows this better than Julie Rahm, aka America's Mindset Mechanic. A former naval physicist, Julie applies physics to the energy of human thought and the results thoughts create. As a military daughter, spouse and mother-in-law she has experienced the challenges of deployment separations, frequent moves and telecommuting careers while remaining happy and achieving her dreams. With her passion and people-loving style, Julie has provided the metaphorical tools for thousands of people to bridge the gap between their thoughts and their lives. Julie Rahm, M.S., is a certified Frame of Mind Coach who has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts, including The Phil Knight Show and ABC affiliates. She hosts The Mindset Mechanic LIVE on Saturdays and Sundays on FM107.1 WTKF and AM1240 WJNC in Eastern NC. Her weekly column The Mindset Mechanic appears in The Pamlico News. She has been quoted in numerous newspapers, and on the web at and Julie is an inspirational keynote speaker conveying life lessons through a blend of intuitive success strategies, enlightened wisdom, humor and fun. She is the Champion of Military Kids around the World. Julie's latest book is Volume I of Military Kids Speak.

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