Monday, 23 July 2012

Watermelons, Ramen, & Stories

This is an attendance board so to speak. Each month
the teachers made something completely different and
equally elaborate.
This past week I had my last classes with Mitsuba. We sang some of my favorite songs and for snack time the mothers joined us as we ate watermelons. It was the perfect way to send the kids into summer vacation. It took a lot of work not to burst into tears when some of my favorite kiddos gave me hugs goodbye. After Tuesday’s last class the teachers and I had a little tea party. It was incredibly difficult saying goodbye to the teachers as well. They have been like mothers to me. I am forever grateful to them. They gave me all the photos that they took over the past year with me in it. The pictures brought back a flood of memories. In honor of this ending I decided I would share some stories.

One day I was sitting next to Kazuki (one of my favorite three year olds) during snack time. In front of him was a plate with a cute picture of animals jumping ropes and birds flying about. When we were about to pray Kazuki turned to me. As he was pointing at his plate he asked me something. I had no clue what he was saying. I kept telling him I don’t know (in Japanese) but he wouldn’t take it. He just kept repeating whatever he was asking me. After the fifth I don’t know Kazuki burst into tears. Being the three old that he is, he definitely knows how to cry. After we finished the prayer one of the teachers asked him what was wrong. He pointed at his plate and in very clear Japanese said “this is a bird, right?” The teacher assured him he was right. He immediately stopped crying and carried on as if nothing happened. I sat there amazed at what just happened. Kids have an incredible ability to change emotions in an instant. 

This same child also thought that when we would end the prayer with “Amen” we were actually saying “ramen.” So he would very proudly and loudly say “Ramen” at the end of prayers. When one of the teachers corrected him he said “but I like Ramen!” I wanted to join in him in saying Ramen but I was scolded before I could even try. 

A mosquito net a.k.a tent that we
"camped"in during Mitsuba
Speaking of mispronunciations, another of my favorite kids had a lisp. Therefor any time he would say sensei (meaning teacher in Japanese), it would come out “shinshei.” Basically it was the most adorable thing.

There was a little girl named Maria. Now up until a month ago I didn’t hear her speak more than two words. But then I found out that the one thing that gets her excited about life is bugs! If she finds an ant or rolly polly she becomes the most talkative kid. In fact you can’t get her to be quiet.

Miki, another three year old girl, already had three boys fighting over her. One of the boys literally would burst into tears when he didn’t get to sit by her. The attention that this girl received never seemed to faze her. She was the sweetest child. Anytime someone was upset or sitting by their self she was quickly at their side comforting them or including them in a new game of tag. 

There are so many more stories to share but I will save them for another day. I have loved getting to know these children and seeing glimpses of who they are going to be in the future. They will hold a special place in my heart. I am sorry to sound so sappy but it is true. Thank you for tuning in!
The following pictures are of some of the amazing lunch boxes the kids brought on Friday. Everything was handmade by their mothers.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kate - wonderful things and such an adventure. My time in Okinawa was not nearly as embedded as your time and for this I think you will reap huge benefits. God bless you and your journey and God bless the ones with whom you make connections with - adult and child alike.
    Love - UT.