Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another group arrives....

About a week before each group of junior high school students arrive I receive an envelope with "profile" sheets written by the students. These include a photo, and a brief self introduction etc. When we first started having groups to stay I used to read these thoroughly, trying to remember important things about each student and made a rough picture of what they were going to be like and therefore what they might enjoy based on these profiles. Now that we have been doing it for a while I look very quickly at the pictures and sometimes scan the information then throw them in the bin.. well not literally... but in effect. It is not that I am lazy, it is just that so often the profiles and then the actual students that arrive are so different! I think the school has a set format that they have to follow and it just doesn't convey the real students. This was the case again today when I picked up my 5 recruits - they looked very boring in the profiles, but have turned out to be very enthusiastic (if very LOUD whenever there are bugs around) and seem to be having a good time.
I picked them up at 1:30pm and we managed to make muffins, dig some baby bamboo, peel some baby bamboo, pick some loquats, get veges for salad, get the rice, work out how old Japanese locks work, play in the river, make pizzas, play with the chickens and have a soak in the hot springs - well they did... I couldn't face bathing with them today so sat in the quiet resting room waiting for them. Oh and of course we spent some time watching the fireflies too which are now out and about in quite large numbers around our house. Whew... now we just need to fill in a whole day tomorrow and the next morning too.... here's hoping they get at least a few hours sleep!
In answer to Kevin and thefukases comments relating to our rice planting season... this is the general time of the year for sowing the seeds around here - and then we plant the actual rice plants in the middle of June, with harvesting in October. We only get one crop a year. It sounds like things are done a little differently in Nagano. Perhaps I should come and practice there each year before we do the planting here!


  1. The picture of the girls making the pizzas is really cute because it looks like they were having a really great time. I bet they enjoyed that a lot. And the looking for veggies for the salad must have been fun for them too (you know when I was growing up my parents always had me run and get veggies from our garden too and I always liked that part :). And awww, soaking in a hot spring sounds lovely, gee I haven't soaked in the hot springs in a long long time. Think I could totally go for that. I think they will go back and tell their parents how much fun they had with you and your family at your place!!!

    PS: fireflies rock! They're really fun to look at during the night time. : )

  2. The student were very happy because they practiced agriculture and English.

    I have learned new words, "firefly" and "loquat". Thank you.