Japan 2012; an epic adventure post 16 2/2

From the journal of Christopher Sanford Beck on October 25

Now it was time for lunch. Yuta took me downstairs to the kitchen so that I could see what we were having, it looked great. Udon (thick noodles), stew, vegetables and milk. After going back upstairs, a few kids from the class went down to the kitchen, picked up the lunch and brought it back to the classroom. They then proceeded to put on gloves and hair nets. I was wondering what they were doing and hopped that everyone didn’t have to do that, since I didn’t have any gloves or hair net! Luckily, we didn’t. The kids who where dressed like that had lined up behind the food, which they had laid out on a table in front of them, and were serving it to the rest of us who went up with a tray, plate, bowl and chopsticks. It was very interesting for me and I thought it was a good way to build leadership skills, as well as friendship. Needless to say, the lunch was delicious as anything else that I had tried in Japan but it was also very filling! Once everyone had finished their lunches and cleaned up their desks, we were all handed mops, clothes, brooms and other cleaning items. Curious, I asked Yuta what we where doing and he told me that all of the classes helped keep the school clean by doing their part in cleaning up the halls. I got to clean the floors with Yuta and one of my other friends and we turned it into a race!
Next on the agenda was calligraphy. I was really looking forward to learning this, since it is such a cultural thing in Japan. Anyways the teacher lent me a calligraphy kit which included everything I would need including an ink well, brushes, ink, etc. the teacher drew the Kanji (Chinese Character) that we were to paint on the black board and we set to the task of copying it. The translation was Na Ka Ma (friendship). The first sheet I got had dot the dots that made the symbol so that I could get the hang of it. Then a practice paper, then a sheet for the one to keep. Mine was way worse than the rest of the kids’ but they all said that it was great. It was such a fun day that I felt really sad that I would soon have to leave. We had a recess and I played outside with all of my friends until the bell rung, signalling that it was time to go inside. Once inside everybody packed up their bags and got ready to leave. I got up in front of the class and said a big thank you for letting me come and experience a day with them, and they all thanked me for coming. Leaving the school, something surprising happened. All of our classmates walked with Yuta and I and they gave me gifts to remember them! They gave me a signed baseball, a crystal, paper cranes, a note book, a pencil, erasers, a drawing mat, and a very nice note! They were all so kind and generous to me. After walking back to Yuta’s mansion and dropping off our stuff, we headed back to the school yard so that we could all hang out and play for a while longer. All of the kids from Yuta’s class, and several kids from other classes all came to play with each other and me and we had a great time playing everything from soccer to basketball to just walking around the neighbourhood until it got dark! Then they escorted Yuta and I back home and waited outside, calling up to us on his baloney until we had to go inside. I will miss them all and remember them for ever. After supper at Ayako’s, Catherine came and picked me up. I thanked Yuta and Ayako and told Catherine all about my day. I think that I am going to write a thank you note in Japanese for the class and teacher!

Thanks so much for reading!
Chris
P.S. I did end up writing a letter, with much help, and the teacher and class were very pleased that they had such an impact on me.
P.P.S. The picture is of ,y calligraphy

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jacquee on March 10, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    WOW!! I just read about the 2nd half of your day & was blown away that the first thing you talked about was the caligraphy which I just asked about in your last entry! Your heart must have swelled with emotion when you received those gifts. I’m not wanting to leave this experience as well! Makes me wonder what’s coming next. J

    Reply

  2. Posted by jacquee on March 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    SCHOOL IS FUN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J

    Reply

  3. 🙂 Yes, all very true! I miss them so much now.

    Reply

  4. Posted by grandpa on March 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Hello Christopher, Have you heard any more from any ot the kids that you met in Japan?

    Reply

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