I would like to take this time to fill you in on the past couple of weeks.
I am starting to get into a routine here which I am so thankful for. With that being said these past few weeks have been very busy. Two Saturdays ago we had a children’s program for kids in the community. We taught them how to make bread, naan, and Miso soup. The kids in my group taught me words for everything that we did that day while I taught them the words in English. It was awesome! I will say though that it was a bit disconcerting watching a seven year old cut carrots with a huge knife and not being able to fully communicate with her. Luckily there were two other Japanese young adults in my grew and they had everything under control. When we finished all the cooking, eating, and question time, we played games. This was the first experience I had of playing Japanese games with kids of this age. We played something like red light green light and another form of rock paper scissors. What a day.
On Sunday I went to St. Mathew’s Cathedral where we were holding the ELCC (the other youth center that I will soon work with) sports day. This day was full of field day-like games i.e. there were many relays. We also were given the privilege to watch some of the older Filipino girls dance to a pop song as well as watch the 4 year olds sing. It was priceless! Present that day were Filipinos, N. Koreans, and I am told Brazilian children. It was definitely a multicultural event.
After the Sports Day I went to St. Mathew’s parish hall for an event about Kani Mission. Kani Mission is a church that is mostly comprised of Filipino families. They do a lot of work for/with immigrants and migrant workers. That day was to bring more awareness about the Mission. We also made stars that are a used as decorations during Christmas. I met Anglicans from all over the diocese. I also met many foreigners that regularly attend the English service at St. Mathews. There were many complications while making the stars. Of course that just made the event all the more entertaining. Many jokes were made about our inability to easily make this craft. In many ways it was pathetic but we had a blast doing it! Sometimes success is measured by the amount of fun created rather than the end result.
That next week I continued with English and pre-k classes. On Thursday I went to the food service for the homeless. We arrived at a building owned by the Catholic Church, in time to help with last minute preparations. Around 6:30 we left for the food service site. The first hour was for pure entertainment. We had a table with Japanese chess and Go, another for Karaoke, and another for a slots and marbles game. I met a university professor of social work who told me that most of the men here live in a dormitory and that this was the only entertainment that they get. After that hour we served food. I was a part of the dish washing station. This night was overall a wonderful experience. I had many conversations about language, culture, and baseball. There was so much love in that place.
This past Saturday we had a Halloween Party for the English classes. I tried my best to dress as a mummy. Sadly gravity took over so the toilet paper that was wrapped around my legs fell to my ankles and become more like leg warmers. Anyway we decorated a few corridors so that the children could have as an authentic of a trick-or-treating experience as they could. The children came in all sorts of costumes. My favorites were Darth Vador, Nemo, a samurai, and a ninja. They were so adorable. We played several games, made popcorn, and even had a scavenger hunt.
After the party I went to a refugee food festival. They had a lecture about refugees here in Japan as well as food from 6 different countries. People of all ages were there. I met many college students involved in the association. It was an enlightening experience. I now have so many more questions to ask about policy and hopefully soon I will be able to fill you in.
|Green tea ice cream!!!|
|A skeleton and a mummy in the office...oh my!|
|My trick or treating doorway|
|My favorite building in Nagoya...I believe it is a Technical College.|
Well that about sums up the past few weeks. I hope that you all are well. I also hope that you are engaging in conversations that inspire you.