Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Hate It When This Happens...

It's too hard to decide where to start for this week's adventures, but I guess the beginning would make sense. I had my last class with my other elementary school this week and it was sad. The school system in Japan is slightly different than the school system in America. First of all, the school year starts in April and finishes in March; that's why I'm finishing a lot of my schools right now. There is a pre-school/kindergarten type school that kids can go to followed by six years of elementary school (grades 1-6). After elementary school, there are three years in junior high school (they call them junior high 1, 2, and 3) and three years in high school (they call them high school 1, 2, and 3). In Japanese it's pretty easy to follow, but I still like the whole K-12 names a lot better. Anyways, the last grade of each school has a special graduation; Emily spoke about how they do things in high school in last week's post. I'll speak about some of the other graduations as I experience them. Just before the school year ends, the last grade hosts a meeting called a "shionkai," which is a special meeting where the last grade students (elementary sixth year, junior high third year, and high school third year students) give thanks to all of the teachers at the school. I had the opportunity to go to one of these shionkais at one of my elementary schools because I taught the sixth year students. Here are some highlights...
Each class prepared a game or activity. This video has the losers (5 teachers) and some students (to make the teachers feel better) dancing and lip-syncing to a famous girl band's song. It was pretty funny to watch, and I'm glad I didn't lose.
The first thing we did was eat. It may not look very appetizing because it's all still wrapped up in saran wrap, but it was awesome! We had fried chicken, oinari sushi, melon flavored bread (melon pan), fried potatoes, fried shrimp, yummy salad, fruit salad, and some other stuff. My table was the only table that ate all of their food including all of the parsley. We had a kid at our table that loved parsley... and it wasn't me. :P
These are some of my kids. They are so cute! Anyways, part of the game this class did was hold up a picture of the back of someone's head and we had to guess who's head it was out of two kids. One of the teachers who was almost bald stood up to answer and said, "that was me when I was in elementary school!"
Every Friday the missionaries hold a Family Home Evening at the Church for anyone that wants to come (members, investigators, etc.). We would go every week, but sometimes it conflicts with date night. :) Anyways, this past Friday they held a special Musical Family Home Evening which ended up being a musical talent show. Emily and I were asked to perform something. We played a really short song that was pretty goofy. Although our gig wasn't that great, Emily accompanied two of the other performances. It was a really fun night!
This is Emily accompanying Papa Haga. He played "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" on the sax. 
This is Emily accompanying a quartet singing "Nearer My God to Thee."
This was the last act in the Musical Talent Show. Steve played conductor and split up the crowd into three parts; the drums (clickity-clack-clack), the sopranos (m'm-toot-toot), and the basses (m'm-beef-stew). If you watch the video, you'll understand. ;)

We had some spare time on Saturday, so we decided to go window shopping. One of the shops we went to was a pet shop. We were walking around and I heard a voice say "ohaio" (means good morning). I looked around and the only person around was Emily and I know she didn't say anything. I told Emily, "I think this bird just said ohaio to me." She came over and we tried talking to it. It eventually responded "arigato." Emily was cracking up. (Emily's note: I swear that bird spoke better Japanese than I do...ridiculous.) We should have taken a video of it, but for some reason it escaped our minds. How cool would it be to own a bird that speaks Japanese?

This has nothing to do with our window shopping adventures, but I'm going to put it here anyways. This is March's bulletin board that Emily put together. She changes it every month at school. So pretty!
Today marks a year from the time Japan had the major earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku area of Japan. Since we live in the Tohoku area, we are constantly hearing about it. Today we were invited to a special Hawaiian and Hula Concert that was put on to help ease people's minds and hearts. As the concert started, we had a minute of silence for those that had passed on from the disaster a year ago. Here are some pictures and videos from the concert (sorry for the poor quality).
No, this is not Emily with an awesome tan. Just outside the concert hall were a bunch of booths set up with Hawaiian gear. This was one of the dresses that Emily really liked. 
The concert was about 2.5 hours long and featured local hula groups as well as some people from Hawaii like Makaha Sons, Jeri-Lynn Koko, Shadow Koko, and Anthony Kawenaulaokala Mann.
Short video of almost all the pros performing together. It's hard to see, but the Makaha Sons are singing and playing while Shadow and Jeri-Lynn Koko are dancing.

On the way home, it started hailing/sleeting/raining pretty heavily. We decided to bike home anyways holding our umbrellas in one hand. Although we were still getting a little wet and getting really cold, we hung in there... until... the wind destroyed Emily's beautiful umbrella. I tried offering my umbrella, but she said she was already soaked. By the time she answered, I was already soaked too, so we just rode home in the sleet and got drenched. I would say that it was fun, but it wasn't... :P We did make it home safely and all of our clothes are hanging up in front of the heater trying to dry.
I hate it when this happens... 
We love you all very much and hope that you will have a good week! Stay tuned for our upcoming adventures at the slopes!

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! The school part and the concert sound fun. The bike riding would have been the death of me! Thanks for sharing.