Matsuri! (Day 1)

5 days of portable shrines (Taikodai), a LOT of men, sake and fun all around!

Last month I experienced my first Japanese Festival (Matsuri) in Saijo and Niihama. Everything began on Thursday morning (1 am). I personally didn’t feel like going anywhere at that time in the morning so I was asleep when my friends came knocking at my door to get ready to go… and I am so glad they came to get me! We walked to a shrine about 45 minutes away from my home along with the danjiris (portables shrines, covered with lanterns). They bring the danjiris up to the shrine and is incredibly beautiful to see all these shrines covered in lanterns coming up the hill. I have also never seen so many people in Saijo in the whole time I’ve lived here! It was crazy, and sake bottles were passed at me from all over the place. The festivities didn’t finish until 7:30 am, when we came back to my place, slept, ate, got rid of our hangovers and got ready for Day 2.

Keeping you posted!

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Kindy! =)

I love kindy!

As a private school teacher I don’t get to teach at regular Japanese schools too often. As a matter of fact I only teach at a kindergarten once a month. There are approximately 30 children ages 5 and 6, and I teach them for an hour. I teach them the colours, how are you?, I’m from Japan!, animals, the weather, fruits and vegetables, and play and dance and sing with them!

Every monday night before kindy however I feel physically sick. I get so nervous that on the morning of kindy I can’t have breakfast because I feel like throwing up. 5 year old children scare me… the expectation of having their little faces staring at me and expecting me to do something is terrifying!

This morning I had kindy and I sat in the car for 5 minutes before the class just going over my lesson plan and trying to calm my nerves down. Then I walked in and all those fears were gone right away. I couldn’t believe that although they only see me once a month, they remember my name (this is the first time I teach them on my own, the last 2 times I was training). I walked in and they were all saying “Hello, Liz-Sensei!”

I had a great time with them! I have A LOT to learn about kindy but they seemed to enjoy themselves too and that’s what matters. Every time I shook my crazy hair and opened my eyes really big they would laugh hysterically. The most important thing that I have learned from kindy is not to take life too seriously. It is more than okay to act stupid and silly and to have fun… funny how a child can teach you that.

Now I’m starving…

Keeping you posted!