Well friends, I write to you today to recap what has been one of the best weekends of my life here in Japan so far.
Friday I woke up with the sun streaming in the window. The air was still really crisp, leftover from the Typhoon but I packed up my stuff and headed to my smallest school (Little Mountain School).
I spent the morning playing with my Grade 1/2 class. The class has 2 students in it, Akari and Kai who are absolute sweethearts. I spent some time teaching them yoga a few weeks ago - (They get a super huge kick out of doing the "Tree" pose). According to one of the teachers there they've been talking about it a lot.When I got into the room they all jumped into the pose, with buckets of giggling and falling over following.
During the lesson we learned (I say "we" because I like to use the lessons as a way to try and learn the vocab in Japanese) names of different kinds of vehicles - Car, Truck, Ship, Helicoptor, Train and Airplane.We did a pretty ridiculous gesture game where we got to act out different gestures for each one - for example,I would yell "Helicoptor" and the kids would run around acting like little helicoptors, etc.
Grade 3/4 we did Supermarkets and building names - I got to talk for awhile comparing Canadian Supermarkets to Japanese. I really like the 3/4 class there - there are some really smart cookies in that classand they seem to get my jokes a bit better than other classes. (plus Fuka-chan who is one of my favorites - hey as long as its a secret in my head I can pick favorites ) Its also one of the bigger classes there, 7 or 8 kids.
Grade 5/6 was cute as well - we did place names and events. I was mostly the human tape recorder for that class, but sometimes thats fun as well.That class has 3 boys in it - 2 Grade 5 s and 1 6er'.
While its not that cold yet here in Japan, everyone has decided that WE MUST CRANK THE HEATERS in all the schools. The teachers room has been positively boiling lately (and everyone is weirded out by the fact that I keep wearing T-shirts and kapris bah haha). Around 2 pm I started tuning out a bit the air was so warm and i was soooo sleeeeepy.
Luckily though, a very natural wake up cure was provided - the school was putting on an obstacle course for the 6th period. I'll be honest - the reasons for it was explained to me in Japanese but I legit had no idea what they said.The entire school (all of 20 people including staff) got together and participated.They asked if I wanted to join, or if I wasn't comfortable I could only watch.I think they were a bit surprised to see I was already in the process of tying back my hair and rolling my sleeves.
It was all through the gym - crawling through a tunnel, hopping over mats, throwing balls and running along a balance beam.
So maybe kind of a small balance beam, but hey the concept is still the same
One thing that was so amazing for me to see was how INTO it all of the teachers were.When you were running through the course each team had a little Halloween esque headband - devil horns, witch hat etc.I had a really good laugh then the principal of the school jammed a pair of red sparkly devil horns on his head and took off down the course while the kids laughed and cheered.
Not that it matters but my team totally won and kicked everyones asses, just by the way.
After work was finished I cooked up at delicious salmon with broccoli and drove in Otofuke to find my Halloween costume.I ended up picking a quirky Witches Hat and a long black cloak for 2000 yen so I was pretty pleased with myself.
From Obihiro, I drove into Memuro for an all girls sleepover. To quickly recap - the night was wonderful and long, and a lot of white wine and gossip was had. Pretty terrific.
I woke up at 6am pretty wired, despite not have gone to sleep until 3 or so. Because I had a Halloween party later that day I opted to sneak out like a ninja, head to 7/11, pound a nikuman and a hot milky tea then drive back to Shikaoi.
I spent most of the morning wondering why I wasn't really tired.Then I commenced with more extreme scrubbing and cleaning of my adorable 2 bedroom house, did a junktonne of laundry and cooked some noms. I did relax and read Harry Potter for an hour or so, then I got to head off to Satsunai for a Halloween Party!
I volunteered to help out with this event a few weeks ago and originally I was supposed to set up a touch station for the kids. Due to some planning complications though the party ended up taking a different shape.
The Days Events
We did a big Halloween Storytime, Song and "Make a Mummy Game". This was followed by Bobbing for Apples (ngl I think this is the grossest event of all time now). and a Pinata. We started the event by putting on our costumes then hiding in the close. While that sounds effing weird, the plan was to jump out and scare the kids.
The organizer was unsure of how many kids we'd have. I'll admit I was a bit worried til we all popped out of the closet and saw this.
So Cute I almost died. No Seriously ..
The day progressed fairly smoothly - The Halloween Storytime thankfully had an Japanese translation following so the kids didn't get too lost, and the Song "Go Away" was a bit hit.
"Go Away Big Green Monster Go Away! Go Away Scary Witch Go Away!"
My kids in Shikaoi are used to me jumping in and dancing around with them and singing the songs.These guys well it took them a few minutes and I got some pretty wide eyed stares for abitthen they finally realized that I was just another nutty foreigner and decided to jump in with me
The Apple Bobbing was.well the kids had a lot of fun and I was simultaneaously grossed out and entertained watching it. Its a pretty unsanitary event - I watched one kid dunk his head in like 3 times, then cough and hack back into the pool. Not to mention all the spit thats going on. Yech.
We then had a Pinata - ok, so not the most attractive of pinatas, but still pretty fun
We took turns blindfolding the kids and letting them take a whack at the Pinata. The kids went from youngest to oldest (which was good cause all the under 5 s barely hit it - one or two got off a soft "boink' if you will haha.Anyways after (several) well placed whacks ..
We did a quick cleanup, then I was off to Obihiro to pick up some friends.
(Will continue the weekend recap Tomorrow)