MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- The Marauders Spouse Club hosted a sushi making class for station residents, Feb. 22, 2014, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
Keijiro Akiyama, owner of Akiyama Sushi, along with other Japanese volunteers, donated their time to teach spouses how to make Norimaki.
Norimaki is a type of sushi consisting of rice, seafood and other foods rolled in dried seaweed sheets.
“It’s a great opportunity for the spouses to get the chance to learn how to make sushi and learn about the Japanese culture,” said Teresa Castaneda, Marauders Spouse Club president.
Sushi is one of the most famous Japanese dishes from Japan and one of the most popular dishes among the Japanese themselves, according to http://www.japan-guide.com.
“What I discovered here is that if it involves the Japanese culture, the spouses tend to come out more,” said Lidia Gonzalez, a Marauders Spouse Club member.
Gonzalez, a long-time military spouse, explained that there is more focus placed on camaraderie between spouses overseas than back in the U.S. Spouse bonding becomes less of a priority with the extra distractions, more comfortable surroundings and a life outside of the military gates.
“As a club, we focus on bettering the spouses experience out here in Japan,” said Castaneda. “We are kind of isolated in a foreign country and getting to know our fellow spouses and our community makes it easier to adapt to a new place.”
Although the club membership is exclusive to spouses of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, the event was open to spouses and guests from all units aboard station.
“Iwakuni is a very small base, so befriending spouses from other units is inevitable and they can benefit from these events also,” said Castaneda. “We only started inviting guests to our events a year and a half ago and so far, it has been an extremely positive experience. I am very supportive of all my fellow spouses and enjoy the opportunity to share with the spouse community.”
The Marauders Spouse Club is able to provide the spouses with these opportunities through the generosity of members and volunteers.
“We’ve gotten pretty lucky with the spouses in MALS-12. A lot of them have jobs, but still choose to volunteer,” explained Castaneda. “It’s a big thing because it’s taking time away from their families and time to relax, but they decide to come out and support the unit and the base.”
For most people, it’s not a simple task to just pick up and move to a foreign country, but the Marauders Spouse Club uses their time and energy to try to make the transition for spouses smoother and the experience better all around.