Today the Japanese students shared six different cultural arts. It was a great opportunity to experience fun, challenging, and beautiful arts.
First we watched a Rakuto performance where an actor sits on pillow and acts out an entire comedic play with two props: a fan, and towel. They might use the fan as a tootbrush, chopsticks, or pen and the towel as a book or paper.
They showed us lots of different ways of doing Cat's Cradle with string and of course many kinds of amazing origami.
The students did a demonstration of kendo, a martial art with sticks, and some karate poses. The we got to try all of these things as well as kendama where you try to catch a ball in a stick/cup (I'll bring some back so you can try) and we learned how to do beautiful calligraphy of our name in Japanese. It was great meeting people from all over the world and learning about the culture. I think we're all excited to go back to our homestay and eat some home cooked food.
Today we had a really busy day. First thing we had the Japanese tea ceremony. A tea master showed us how to make tea and then everyone got a chance. Then we toured the "oldest public school" in the world. It was a really beautiful building and interesting to imagine students having class in it 400 years ago.
The big event was orienteering which was really a three hour hike and competition to get the most stamps from different stations. It was a lot of fun but really tiring and sweaty.
The reward for finishing the course was getting to play smash the watermelon. Kind of like a pinata but hitting a watermelon instead. It was so cold and sweet!
Tonight we had a campfire where they kept adding logs and kerosene to make a very tall fire. A little scary but fun!
Now we are at a camp with many Japanese students and several students from Australia. It is a lot of fun meeting everyone and learning about where they are from. This picture is my group at camp, The Awesome Possums, making our team flag.
Today we did lots of getting to know you games, an obstacle course and presentations about our country.
I also snuck off and went swimming in the river next to the camp and when I came back I found out there were poisonous snakes in it!
It took me a while but I finally made it to Japan. The trip usually takes about one day but because of weather we got stuck in Detroit for a day and had to wait another day before we made it to Japan. I am very excited to be here and many many new people. I'm also excited to go back to where I used to live and see old friends.
This is a picture of the family that I'm staying with in Osaka. The parents are Takaaki and Kanako. Their children are named Marina (5 years old) and Manami (3 years old ) The kids like to take me around and show me things.
I've included pictures from our trip to Kobe yesterday. Kobe is another big city on Osaka Bay that was one of the first places foreigners lived when the country opened up in 1868.
I liked reading Kimberly's blog and hearing what you did each day. I will try and make a blog entry everyday if I can. Talk to you soon!