Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009 –

You’re going to laugh at my schedule when you hear what I did on my first day of classes. First of all I biked the 7-kilometer (that’s just short of 4.5 miles, FYI) trip to Bato KouKou with two of the boys staying at Sasayaso. It was a decent descent on the way there but it was hell going back uphill on the way home. There’s literally a kilometer long hill that winds its way up to the onsen that made for a fun trip down but required almost a 12-minute walk back up. The biking aside my day has been incredible. My schedule went as such:

Today I had..
  • 2 hours of Knot Tying, literally learning a dozen new knots to use out on the water. I couldn’t stop laughing at the idea that this was what I’m going to be learning this year
  • 1 hour traditional character Calligraphy with the whole black ink and huge brushes on handmade Japanese paper
  • 1 hour Math. This also proved to be quite humorous because it took a team of 4 or 5 math teachers to help translate my workbook page on functions and graphs.
  • Lunch in the classroom with my new classmates who were very welcoming to me, then 15 minutes of cleaning the school.
  • 2 hours of Diving and Snorkeling Class outdoors in the school pool. I didn’t have a swimsuit today so I basically sat outside by the pool for two hours talking in Japenglish with Tanaka-Sensei. He is the Fish Products and Manufacturing professor and the school archery coach. To give you an idea of Tanaka-Sensei, think of a Japanese John Daniels. They look alike, sound alike (minus the accent), and laugh alike. It kind of felt like I had a friend with me again, so thanks JD...or Tanaka-Sensei... Anyway, he invited me to the archery club practice after school so after the last bell he took me out to the archery fields on the school grounds and I hung out there, getting to shoot an arrow or two until the two boys from Sasayaso finished their clubs and we biked (the mountain) back home.
Back at the inn I was puzzled to find a bright gold gift box waiting for me with oversized plastic flowers taped to the outside. I hesitantly opened it, expecting it to be for someone else but inside were twenty little Origami cranes and pinwheels made for me by the young kids of the inn. I finished the night eating a delicious meal of breaded pork cutlets called Tonkatsu, and taking a dip in the Onsen with the guys. It’s a relaxing sort of life. The best term for it is - 気持ちいい - Kimochi ii – A good feeling!!

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