Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Last visit to Mishima.
From Wikipedia: Tanabata is a Japanese star festival, which celebrates the meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar.
Basically, at lunchtime we made origami to decorate the tree where the kids had already hung cards that had their dreams/ambitions written on them. The maths teacher, who speaks a little English, made the kids each teach me a different origami piece (luckily there are only 4 kids). After school we hung the origami in the tree.
After the origami hanging we had a 'farewell ceremony'. The 9th grade girl had to give a short speech, and then each kid had to ask me questions about my plans are back in Australia. For dinner I met the Elementary and JHS teachers at the restaurant that is open for dinner (the other one is open for lunch). We had a bit of a party - though didn't stay out too late because all the teachers start work really early (earlier than I get up most days if I'm honest).
Then today at the Elementary school we had a double English class. We started out by making fairy bread. The kids just PILED the sprinkles on to fat slices of sweet Japanese bread - all bread here is sweet, even if there is vegemite on it. One of the girl's thought she was making cake - so piled butter on top of the sprinkles for decoration!
After they kids had pigged out on sugar we made paper aeroplanes, and had competitions to see whose would go the furthest, and finished off the 'party' with a bunch of games that invovled the kids running around like maniacs - maybe not the best idea given how hot and humid it is everyday, but they seemed ok, though dripping with sweat afterwards!
These 'farewell events' were just the kick off to a long string of farewell parties to come. I am kind of annoyed that I couldn't just organise one party - basically people don't like to mix with people they don't know, as a result there are heaps of farewell parties. Also, I really prefer to have the farewell party and then leave - the string of parties makes it feel like it is still ages until I leave.