Saturday, July 9, 2011

3rd week in Japan

This week was really the best week I've had here in Japan. I'm familiar with my surroundings, my Japanes has improved and I'm building stronger relationships with my friends and host family.

This week day by day:

Saturday: My host family took me to Nago again. This time not to visit family. They took me to expo park, which was created for the 1975 World Expo which was held in Okinawa. There's a huge aquarium, and a planeterium. The planetarium is the largest one in Asia and one of the biggest in the world. In the planeterium we watched a video about Okinawa on the huge screen. It showed lots of pictures of Okinawa but was in Japanese so I didn't understand most of what was said. After the planetarium we went to the Nago-shi Civic center for a show. It was a huge theater. A theater group from Okinawa was performing. It was some kind of satire-situation comedy and it must have been really funny, since everyone was laughing. I could understand the situations and understand a few words but not enough to find the show funny. Nevertheless, I'm grateful to my family for bringing me and including me.

Sunday: Sunday we didn't leave Kitanakagusuku. My host brother's part of an エサ(ehsah), which is a traditional Okinawan dance/music group. The closest American equivalent I can think of is a marching band but totally differnt music, costumes and dance. Anyway, my host bro's エサ was asked to be part of an Orion (Japanese beer company) commercial and we all went to see the エサ get filmed. It must have been, especially for the adults since they all got free beer curtesy of Orion. Who doesn't like free stuff!? After that my host family took me to a sushi restaurant, a kind of sushi restaurant I dont think they have in America. You are seated at a bar like table in a square with all the other people, and in front of you a conveyer belt moves and on it all different kinds of sushi are available. You just look for the kind of sushi you want and take it from the conveyer belt. At the end of your meal the waitress comes around
and counts the number of plates youve had and charges you a certain amount per plate.

Monday, Tuesday were regular school days

Wednesday was a regular school day but after school I arranged to meet with Brie, a fellow exchange student who lives in the same town as me, only 30min walking. I was very excited and glad to meet an American and an English speaker and someone who understands my situation. I left school excited and got ready for my 5:00 rendevouz with Brie. I walked home from school, changed out of my uniform and headed to Brie's part of town. However, I went the wrong way and got completely lost. I didn't know where I was and ended up walking about 2 hrs. I laugh about it now but I was really upset and on the verge of tears. If you've been completely lost in a foreign country where no one speaks English, you can empathize. I eventually looped back and met Brie albeit a half hour late.

Thursday &Friday were fun and offered a diversion from my school schedule. Grey-sensei arranged for me to spend both days in art class. Wednesday I did traditional Japanese calligraphy, and Friday I made and painted an uchiwa (fan).

Saturday was lots of fun and I even got to go to a new part of Okinawa. Shiori invited me to go to the Kitanaka high school game and I eagerly agreed. We met up at Kitanaka high school and her dad took us to Chatan to the baseball game. There we met up with Maki, Rina, Rino and Serika. Japanese people are very enthused! My school had a lot of people and a lot of school pride. One of my classmates is on the team too. After the game we went to the mall (Aeon) and had udon noodles for lunch. After that we did purikura! Purikura is like a Japanese take on photobooth and its super popular here. We bid goodbye at the mall an Shiori's dad drove me home. I'm glad I get to see them again. Saturday night my host mom took me to a ムーンライト コンサト (moonlight consert).

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