Around a month in...
Trip Start Jul 24, 2010
53Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Los inn Kochi
I attended a neighboring towns festival (I understand the overwhelming amounts of festivals, but it is what they do here during the summer) in the town of Shishikui. The festival was quite entertaining and I got to meet a local celebrity
The next festival was in None, but this one was a bit special because I was asked to participate. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous (ref. video). They provided me with the opportunity to lead my preschool kids in a small parade through town. The problem arose when I arrived because I was just asked to show up and was not given any details as to the extent of my participation. You can imagine my shock when I was given a large decorative pole and dressed up in strange attire. I have to admit it was one of the best times I have had thus far and made me reminisce about being a teacher back home.....
This brings me to my next topic of isolation. The home sickness has begun to sink in a bit and it has made me reflect a lot about myself as a person and the actions I perform. I won't go into much detail, but I did realize how much my family and my friends mean to me. I'm often referred to as a kind of nomad who will leave all at the drop of a dime to follow a dream or adventure. This has its truths, but I feel people sometimes overlook or choose to ignore the deep love, respect, and admiration I have for my friends and family. My friends are something that I cannot put into words, something that I wish I could describe in words
There was a desperate attempt recently at surfing and I probably need a bigger board. The buoyancy of surfboards here are a bit different....or I'm eating too much rice! Unfortunately, I did not succeed in my first outing at the difficult sport. I have decided to try to take some lessons in a week or two. The summer month leave the water crowded and puts myself and others in danger when my surfboard has a mind of its own.
Since I have arrived I have only been working directly with the preschool kids. It is not easy simply because of their high energy and eagerness to play games. I have tried to make some of my short English lessons as fun as possible, but kids will be kids. Yuzu and Natcha introduced me into a very awkward game. Apparently in Japan, children play a game in which they attempt to poke each other in the butt.... Yes, the butt and it doesn't end there because the poking is not intended for the meat itself. A good poke must make it as close to the opening as possible. You can imagine my surprise once this introduction took place. I tried to explain that this game was not something the I enjoyed, but the more I resisted the more kids that armed themselves with their index finger
All the people in the Japanese Teaching Program that are located in Kochi got together in the city for a conference. It was a great time of socializing and sightseeing. The conference consisted of some fun evening outings and a scavenger hunt through the city. It was a difficult task because of the aftermath from the night before and running around a city in 100% humidity is not fun and dehydration was surely taking place. I was also introduced to Rugby and I believe I will be playing on the rugby and ultimate Frisbee teams out here. Something to keep me busy. My most joyous moment was when we took a trip to EON Mall! There is an international store there and I was able to find some products that truly reminded me of home. The best one was definitely the can of Hormel chili. I bought a couple of cans to calm me on those lonely nights. I wanted to buy more, but at $5 a can....I have to be smart about this.
Some things to look forward to:
1. I'm planning a River Float in a couple of weeks. Wait for pics.
2. I hosted my first home party and it was a success. I will describe more with some pics in the next entry.
3. School starts!
4. My garden should be coming to life by the time the next entry comes about.
Thanks for reading and I miss you all. Please feel free to communicate with me at any time. I always look forward to hearing from my friends back home.