So, last weekend (or rather two weekends ago; this was the weekend of June 17/18) :
On Friday night, there was an Enkai (work drinking party). It was all these neat traditional Japanese foods, and I should have taken a picture while we were waiting for the principal to arrive, and I forgot to. What was nice was that I got a better chance to talk to my JTEs (Japanese teachers of English). I talk to them a lot more than I talk to any of the other teachers, but it`s always kind of neat to get a chance to talk to them outside of the work setting.
On Saturday, another ALT from town and I drove 2 hours away to where they were having an ALT quiz game. The questions weren`t about teaching though, it was all generic stuff, like what colors are Google`s logo, and what was the first Sherlock Holmes book? I didn`t know the former but of course I knew the latter–A Study in Scarlet. At the quiz event too, they had a sort of rummage sale, so people who are leaving in August could get rid of some stuff, and all the money would go to charity. I lucked out and found not one but TWO books by one of my favorite authors in English. I own both of them, but they`re sitting back in the US, so that doesn`t help all that much. So for ￥400 that went to charity (about $3.60 at the current exchange rate) I felt that it was totally worth it to buy them both here as well. Though these were just the paperback copies, and back in the US I have nice hardcover copies.
Sunday was a Girl Scout event. I`ve been looking for Girl Scouts pretty much since I arrived in Japan, since I knew it existed here as well. However, my town doesn`t have Girl Scouts, and hasn`t since the earthquake and tsunami six years ago. So I was–and am–determined to change that. Long story short, the Girl Scouts from Fukushima City (the city an hour and a half away) are holding a series of 4 events here to get people interested in Girl Scouts and to spread the word about it a bit. Only 9 kids showed up to this first event, but we made the best of it. We did games and knot tying, and I taught them to crochet a little, and we made a camping style lunch. We put hotdogs in their rolls, wrapped that in aluminum foil, then wrapped the foil in soggy newspaper, put that inside a milk carton, then set the milk carton on fire. Y`know, Girl Scout style.
After that, I ran over to the craft fair that I`d gone to a couple months ago. I`d missed last month because of my Tokyo trip, and at the very least I wanted some patriotic fabric to make a dress for Rhi. And the people there remembered me! ^_^ They all were really friendly and we talked a bit, and they said they look forward to seeing me next month too. (The craft fair is only once a month).
Then the next weekend (June 24/25) there was an overnight girlscout training that I went to. A lot of it was talking which I didn`t understand all of, but some of it was activities and some things I did understand.
First, I learned that the previous weekend had been in the newspaper. The picture is of them doing the crocheting I`d taught them. ^_^
Then we set up a tent.
Lunch was bentos from the nearby supermarket for convenience sake
We made a campfire that we didn`t light, and torches, then took down the tent before dinner because it was supposed to rain early the next morning. For dinner, we made curry and rice, and I found out that one of the snacks I like can make fake potato salad, if you add hot water. Oh, and the first picture is of a random bird they pointed out to me while we were taking down the tent.
For the night, we stayed in what seemed to be similar to a YMCA type place, where all you got was a room and it was only futons there.
We had hotdogs and salad for breakfast. Then we did a camp craft, which was to make a table. That was kind of cool. All you really need are flat sticks, round sticks, and string or twine. We had bamboo to use.
Before lunch, we practiced how to raise and lower a flag on a flag pole, which I`ve done tons of times, so that was nothing new.
Lunch was miso soup, rice, yakisoba (which required setting milk cartons on fire to warm it up) and banana boats for dessert. Oh, and while we were cooking anyway, we toasted marshmallows. ^_^
And a couple more random pictures.
The building I thought was cool, since they`d built it around the tree. The random bear sticker is actually bug repellent, which was neat.
Overall, despite not understanding everything, it was pretty fun, and I made some new friends, and they`re Girl Scout friends too, which is awesome.