Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Being in Japan

We love Japan!  The people here are amazing.  They go above and beyond when doing anything.  They are friendly, helpful, and will be your forever friend once you become friends.  It is so safe and clean here.  I do not feel weird at all walking at night by myself.  I also know that all the neighbor ladies know what's happening in our household and will watch out for anything unusual.  They have informed friends of mine when we were out of town.  I'm sure they know when Luke is deployed and when he is home.  They sweep the streets and keep everything tidy.  You don't really see much trash on the ground despite the fact that there are no public trash cans.  I have many Japanese friends who have translated all kinds of things for me.  They get text pictures of food labels and Facebook messages with school papers.  I am so thankful for the kind of community we have here.  Even our American friends rely on each other so much.

But lately I have been missing America.  I miss how easy it is to go for a drive or to shop.  I miss wide open spaces and grass and trees.  I miss English.  I miss the Food Network.  I miss Target.  I miss dishwashers and normal laundry machines.

This past weekend, Bronson's school had a Bon Odori festival.  It sounded like so much fun.  They would have dancing and games, and everyone would be dressed in their Yukatas.  Kawaii!

Bronson's teacher, whom he LOVES!

The other American kids at Ayase Kobato Yochien
Bronson's class

LOTS of people


I thought it was interesting how they carried out this event.  It was SO crowded.  The school yard is not that big, and they stuck a big stage in the middle of it.  Add all the teachers, kids, and their parents and siblings, and it was quite the event.  They had games for the kids to play as well.  I was picturing the event to have an organized welcome and program (dancing) for the kids, and then they would be released to the parents to wander and play games.  No, that's not how they do things.  Everything was scheduled out, so that each class walked from station to station to quick play the game under the time limit so everyone got a turn.  Then there was a water break, and the dancing began.  Parents wandered around trying to get a glimpse and picture of their kid as they played each game and then did the dances.  It was crazy.  It was hot too.  

By the time the dancing began, Bronson was quite done with the whole thing.  He spent most of the dancing time sitting and throwing dirt in the air.  I think the crowds and lack of understanding any of the instructions was a bit overwhelming for him, as it would be for anyone.  There were a few kids who cried the whole time and ended up being held by teachers.  That was a huge thing that I thought was different than how an American preschool would do it.  If the kid was upset, they would just pull them out and let the parent deal with it instead of making the kid endure the whole thing.  So funny!

Overall, it was a fun experience.  I love seeing Bronson do and say what they trained the kids to do and say.  They always do a greeting and goodbye, and Bronson knows those well.  He also loves all of the songs that they sing.  It is reassuring to me that he enjoys it and is learning.

And you have to end with a naked baby

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