How would you describe the internship in three words?
Challenging, Fulfilling, and Inspiring
What were your expectations from the internship before you came to Obubu?
I held a fairly open mind before arriving at Obubu; I had daydreamed since my elementary school days of living an agricultural lifestyle in the Japanese countryside, so I was ready to experience whatever Obubu had in store for me. I hoped to learn about tea chemistry, manufacture, and culture directly from the farming families themselves and to have an immersive, hands-on experience right alongside them.
Did the internship meet your expectations?
If you can change anything in the internship, what would it be?
I would like to see the educational aspect of the internship program to develop more structure; perhaps future interns will gain more knowledge through a set curriculum with texts and hands-on experiences that align with specific learning goals.
During which period have you been to Obubu?
Which year have you been to Obubu?
How was a typical day during your period?
There was variety to every workday; I would often work through different combinations of tasks (harvesting tea, presenting tea tours, processing tea, packaging products, shipping products) all in a single day. In addition to these daily work objectives, there would also be unexpected and exciting tasks to accomplish, whether it be providing off-the-cuff hospitality to travelers passing by, experimenting with processing methods in order to have a black tea competition, or hosting community events with locals in another town (among many other examples).
What was your best memory at Obubu?
After spending all day harvesting tea up in the mountains and then processing it through the night, finally drinking a cup of that day’s work with AkkiSan and HiroSan in the factory before sunrise…. Despite being sweaty and dirty and achy and exhausted, watching AkkiSan grab a handful of finished product out of the final processing machine and make three cups of tea right there on the factory floor for us was one of my most inspiring experiences.
What do you do now?
I am currently attending university in Tokyo, Japan.
Did the internship help you to reach your goals?