Saturday, June 26, 2010

Break, Camp, and Homestay

Anna, one of our Japanese translators, took a few of us girls out shopping and for lunch on our day off before camp! It was so much fun…and so necessary. We really needed to get out of our isolated camp area. That’s Anna and Amazing curry and nan (bread)! She also took us to a photo booth; what day of shopping is complete without one?

I didn’t know what to expect concerning the first camp. My teammates and I felt pretty unprepared; we had 5 new people join our team (to make about 17 of us) a day before camp started, and we didn’t have many details from the school regarding rooming lists, schedules, or expectations. However, I was really nervous for other aspects of camp; namely, would the kids actually like me, or would I just be that awkward counselor that everyone dreaded having?

When the kids came, in all honesty, the nervousness disappeared. Being a camp counselor is the most fun and freeing thing that I’ve ever done. It gives me the excuse to be crazy, to sing and dance and encourage other people to come out of their shells, and to find those kids who are like me (more quiet), earn their trust, and let them know that I think they are absolutely wonderful.

This was a predominately boys school, so in my rotation, I had all guys groups, but that made me very happy. My first group was a bunch of shy, intelligent boys that would barely talk to me at first, but by the last campfire night, they were singing, dancing, and smiling with me. My 1 minute drill group (memorizing English phrases and saying them in 1 minute) guys were good, too, because they not only improved, but I was also able to convey to them WHAT they were actually learning, and I think that they actually enjoyed it. My camp skit group was amazing! We won =D They were a bunch of crazy boys, so we did Mario and Luigi off to rescue Princess Peach (Peach even borrowed a girl’s skirt and hammed it up.) It was so good…they got so creative with their costumes! The Boss (bowser) made horns and spikes…and he gave them to me as a present as he was leaving. So cute!

It was definitely some of the hardest days of my life; trying to get the kids to speak English was at times like pulling teeth. Most of their English levels were very low. But it was incredible to watch them warm up to us; when we first started singing camp songs, they would just stare at us, but by the end of camp, they were all singing and dancing and going crazy! For some strange reason, they loved the baby shark song, the banana song, and La Touche. Gigolo too…although they made it dirty really fast.

Here are some pictures of my boys! Shoya, Fumiaki, Mazaki, Tadashi, and others…they all love doing the peace signs in pictures.

Group C…cam p skit group winners!!! Princess Peach (Arashi) on the top right, Teppei (Boss) on the left, Luigi (Tadashi) in front, and Ryousuke (Mario) Yoshitaka, Ryouta, and Yousuke on the right.

Team Awesome! My serious boys who are very calm and collected…but it made my life to see them dance with me!

incredible team…I love them so much. Everyone is so different, but we all complement each other so well. Job well done for Camp 1.

Now I’m at my homestay, which I was originally super nervous about. However, I had no reason to be, for my family is wonderful. Isoji, the mom, is super driven a get-it-done person, and she is hilarious. Masakazu, the father, is so sweet and tries to speak English with me when he can. The kids, Hidei and Haruka (27 and 16) are shy but so sweet.

The parents took me to see the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum today, and that was so sweet of them. It was hard to be there…but a good experience.

It was within a mile of where the bomb hit, and it stopped at 11:02, the exact minute of the explosion. On the drive home, they also pointed out to me the exact place where it hit; it’s hard to put into words what you feel when you see something like that…so I’m just not going to try.

After that, my family took me out to lunch, where I had Eudong and Tempura, which are Japanese noodles and fried vegetables.And guess what? *gasp* I liked them! Mom and Aunt Michelle, I even took pictures to prove it! Oishi! (delicious)

I’m just relaxing a bit now….not quite sure what these next few days here will hold, but I hope that I won’t be too much of a burden on my host family.

Please please please facebook me or email me ( and let me know how I can be praying for you. Tell me how you are doing! I will try my best to answer while I have internet here.

And this picture just looks cool.

1 comment:

    you are adorable and i miss you like crazy.
    i already left a long note on your fb so i won't clog up this too...but i love you.
    i'm proud of you.
    you are so adventurous and i am so excited to read more :)
    i'm updating my blog to, so you can keep posted.
    besos and BRAZOS (teehee) from minnnnneeeesooohhhhhtahhhh. :)

    arg i misss you.