Sep 15, 2013

MEMENTOS: of High Summer

Wearing a red yukata for the Nanao Odori Festival.

Omori-sensei - Japanese tutor, fluent English speaker, Salad Bowl leader (intercultural foreigners group), and the wife of the Sanno Shrine's priest (who also happens to be a former Olympic runner).

Not only is Omori-sensei a public figure, she's a friend. I study Japanese from her once a week in the old Sanno Shrine across from my apartment. On the night of the Nanao Odori festival, she not only arranged for the Salad Bowl group to dance in the Odori circle, she also took a few of us on a tour through the back of the shrine, with rooms that dated back to the Meiji Era. It was an incredible and very rare opportunity. Thank you, Omori-sensei!


The Day the Koreans Came to Town...

When is a work day not a work day? When it's spent at the beach! All the ALTs under City Hall were invited (read: expected) to help out when a troop of South Korean middle-schoolers and their teachers arrived to meet their Nanao middle-school exchange partners. It was the ALTs job to pick up the ice and sports drinks, transport equipment, and watch the kids.

Where did we get ice, though? There's not exactly a Rite Aid down the street. Why, we went direct of course, straight to the ice manufacturer themselves! Another item under the "things I never thought I'd be doing in Japan" list.

Ice manufacturing plant - a large, rusty, and formidable building.

Blade saw to cut giant blocks of ice.

After a quick lunch of "broken hamburger" we were ready to hit the beach. I noticed the South Korean middle schoolers were not as shy to break out their English. Japanese students often don't try to speak out of intimidation that they won't be correct. It was very refreshing to yell out a few English battle cries or phrases, and the South Korean kids would respond. That said, you don't need a common language to have fun at the beach.

Notojima Beach! We rode on a banana boat (nearly fell off!), went kayaking, swam past the coastal seaweed, and had massive splash fights.


And, the moment you've all been waiting for...

My new car! <3 I put the umbreon I won inside, so now it's name is the pokéball. I just need to paint the bottom half white, haha. 


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