Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tearful farewells

I try so hard not to generalise about Japanese people, but... one thing that I really find hard to deal with is the lack of ability of a lot of Japanese people to show how they are feeling. A lot of the junior high school students that come here are so hard to get any response out of, but go home and write wonderful letters about the great time they have had here. I usually spend half my time worrying if they are really enjoying themselves, have had enough to eat, are about to jump off a cliff etc. simply because they are not good at telling you how they are feeling. The latest group wasn't too bad at this, in fact they were one of the nicest groups we have had. But the time was so short that I thought that they had had fun, but due to rain etc. it hadn't been an amazing visit... until they went to get on the bus and I spent 5 minutes in the pouring rain trying to get them to stop crying and assuring them that they could always come back if they wanted to! I guess we had more of an impact on them than I had realised.
With every group it seems to get a little easier as I get a little more organised. This time we did some potato digging, met some of the locals - the old lady in the group photo is 95 years old and is still going into her garden up the hill every day, spent a lot of time with the chickens, picked lots of zucchinis and made them into delicious chocolate zucchini cake, chopped some more wood, looked at the fireflies etc, etc. Small things like working out how to open an old Japanese style door also became entertainment for them. I also seemed to spend forever taking photos... with their cameras.... each of them had a camera as well as the school camera and they all insisted of photos on their own camera....... To see any of the photos here a little better just click on them and hopefully they will come up a little bigger.
After farewelling them at 1pm I raced back home, picked up my teaching things, picked up my children then went and taught my lovely class of 23 three to ten year olds... only ended up with one child throwing a tantrum under a chair for basically the whole class so not too bad after a busy day! Next group arrives on Friday... boys for a change!


  1. Ooooh, chocolate zucchini cake?! Would you mind sharing the recipe, pretty please?

  2. Wow. Is this the inaka-taiken season or is it like this all year? You seem to be non-stop kids!

  3. I think it's sweet you made an impact on this group and sorta cute that they cried. Hopefully they'll come back again.: )

    Next group will be boys? That sounds fun! I'll be looking forward to reading how it goes! : )

    And I agree zucchini chocolate cake sounds yummy. Zucchini is my all time favorite vegetable. Hmm, I really should try and grow them again this year. I grew 2 last year, but 1 plant was eaten to death by bugs. : ( The other plant survived. Ha ha ha. : )

  4. Their smiles look very good. You did good job, I think.

  5. I am loving the blue outfits the girls are wearing! No way in the world you'd get a group of girls in NZ wearing that!! If i can sit on the ground when i am 95 i will be a happy happy person! Hope you are not exhausting yourself too much - although sounds like you are!