Monday, September 13, 2004

Finally, Sports Day

We finally had our Sports Day on Monday. The weather was great, well actually it was hot, jungle hot. Anyone who has been to Japan in the summer knows exactly what I mean by "jungle hot". Every part of your body sweats constantly, even if you are sitting there doing nothing, in the shade. The students worked hard to make it a great day and everyone had fun. My team came in first, just like last year, no thanks to me of course. Some of the traditional Japanese sports would be considered cruel and unusual punishment in Canada. My favorite "sport" was this one where there is a big stick placed in the middle of the field and two teams at opposite ends run towards the stick and try to pull it back to their side. So they are pulling on this stick in opposite directions. This is a sport for girls. Basically it is a huge cat fight, with girls hanging on for dear life and getting dragged in the dirt, kicked, and walked on. I'll put up a picture so that you can see the carnage.

The highlight of the day was a visit from a local nursery school. They came to watch the action. I went over to take some pictures and I got bombarded by questions. They were so dam cute I wanted to steal each and every one. They touched my hair, my earrings, my shirt, my camera all the while asking me questions I couldn't understand. Yes, my Japanese is so bad that I cannot communicate with a 4 year old. One conversation I could understand:

Cutie: You are a foreigner?
Me: Yes
Me: Yes
(she calls over her friend)
Cutie: This is my friend.
Me: Hello. Nice to meet you. (we shake hands)
Cutie (to her friend): She is a FOREIGNER!
Cutie: Are you American?
Me: No, Canadian.

I could have stayed with those kids all day. The were so friendly and inquisitive, so unlike the older students. Not that the older kids are unfriendly, they simply wouldn't come up to a stranger and start talking.

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