Tuesday night I met the majority of my team in
However, two others and I needed to be back at
The next morning we headed off for a short 2 day camp up in the mountains near Fukuoaka. The view was incredible; pictures never do it justice. This time we were counseling our first elementary school, Kaisei, which brought a group of about 50 10-12 year olds. We actually didn’t do any English lessons with them, instead just interacting in English. We did a 3 hour orienteering hike, and my group was wonderful: I had three adorable boys and two amazing girls.
We hiked up mountains, through forests, and up and down way too many steps; it pretty much gave my knees a death sentence *laughs*. But it was fun! And just when I thought that my knees couldn’t take the last hill, my kids yelled, “Snake! Snake!” And sure enough, a 6 foot long snake was chilling on the hill above us; I call that God’s providence, eh? *smiles*
That night we had a campfire, and it was wonderful. It is probably my favorite activity from every camp, because I can just sing and dance and have fun trying to get the kids involved and make them smile. It’s not something I’d naturally do; I always think of how I appear to everyone else, and that makes me uncomfortable. However, I always had wanted to just let loose and have fn, so I’m glad for an opportunity that is conducive to craziness. I think the fact that I’m doing it for the kids, not for myself, makes getting out of my comfort zone even easier. When you see the really shy kid start doing the hand motions and singing along, you know that it’s a job well done. Oh, there was a quick break to get rid of a poisonous snake halfway through, too; it was a reminder that this is
The next day, we made curry and rice with the kids for about 4 hours! There were two big outdoor cooking areas with 6 sets of sinks and fireplaces, and we went at it.
Let me tell you, my kids and I can make some mean curry. So when I come back, if anyone wants curry, let me know! I’m in love with it right about now.
One thing I both respect and detest about the Japanese culture is its thoroughness. It took us an hour to clean up after ourselves, scrubbing the pots until they were absolutely spotless. We even had an inspection by one of the facility members before we could put our pots and pans away; I seriously felt as nervous about it as I would a midterm, due to the stern look on the man’s face. Good thing we passed ;)
Isn’t it funny how you can get attached to people so quickly, and then it subsequently feels so unnatural to leave? I’ll miss Saya and Ayami, my two wonderful girls. Saya even wrote me a letter! *cries* I hate thinking that I’ll probably never see them again; however, it definitely puts things in perspective to live in the present and for eternity, not for past and future.
Friday was wonderful. I got to sleep in, and then my host mom and her best friend took me over the mountains to see this adorable church and other cultural things. Most of it was in Japanese, but the landscape was absolutely beautiful. After, we ate ice cream and just chilled at a table overlooking the ocean, and it was wonderful.
They are two of the sweetest ladies EVER; Masako, her good friend, even bought me a going-away present! I’ve just been showered in love, and I feel so incredibly blessed.
On Saturday, my host dad, mom, and her best friend took me to Obama (city, not the president…although fun fact: apparently he did send the city a letter after his election to thank them for supporting him), where we visited the
After that, we stopped at a small supermarket, where a Japanese man (either a creeper or very enthusiastic about practicing his English on a white person) proceeded to follow me around and try to sell me his products. At everything I looked at, it was either “Oh, dewecious!” or “Buudeful, no?” I smiled and responded and then found solace in the indoor part of the market. Or not…he followed me, saying, “Hot, no?” *laughs* My host dad just laughed at my predicament.
We continued on, eating lunch at a quaint restaurant, and then arriving at the
We were there for twenty minutes, and then the rain started. However, it was a beautiful place. On the way back, we stopped at a small outdoor foot spa, which was incredible.
We also stopped at an old Samurai street, saw a castle from afar,
and ate the best vanilla soft serve ice cream that I’ve had in my life. No joke. I’m thinking that
Aunt Dawn, I heard “
Since I'm leaving my host family tomorrow, I probably won't have much access to the Internet. So this could possibly be the last blog update, but I might be able to find an Internet cafe, so we'll see. Regardless, I hope you all have a fabulous two-and-a-half weeks =)