Okinawan intern hones English skills at Kadena

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Maeson L. Elleman
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
For the second year, an intern from Okinawa, Japan, is working with the Airmen and locally hired staff at the fitness center here.
Ryo Oshiro, a17-year-old student from Kagamigaoka Special Education School, is working for the base to gain further knowledge of American customs and the English language.

"I like to use English, and working at the (Kadena fitness center) gives (me) benefits like practicing my skills with Americans," Ryo said. "I like speaking in English. In the future, I want to learn to use English in Okinawa."

Despite his disability -- he has Marfanoid hypermobility syndrome, which limits the mobility of his hands, lower back and legs, and requires the frequent use of a wheelchair -- Ryo perseveres with his English training, because he aspires to use his skills in the future.

"I think this internship will motivate me to go to a university, (to) work at an international place like the airport and in daily life," Ryo said. "I appreciate working on Kadena. My English is not (good), but I must work hard to know it for my future. I want to be like the Japanese staff in the (fitness center). I respect them."

Though Ryo will finish his internship with the fitness center on June 17, Narita Meana, the director of the fitness center, said the staff has enjoyed their time working with him.

"We are honored and privileged to have him here so he can work on his skills," Ms. Meana said. "This gives the military organization the ability to extend hands to the Japanese community and allow students and the forum to open up. I hope that (Ryo) has enjoyed his time here, and hopefully he will be able to take back what he's learned to his school."