Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cultural Exchange

One of the best parts of my job is the fact that we have opportunities for cultural exchange with local students. Recently a Japanese summer school where the kids learn English asked if we could bring some students out for some interaction. A little bit of the email was lost in translation and we were basically told that "we would play tug of war in a rice patty" and we were asked to bring the rope. With those sketchy directions we gathered 13 kids and headed off for a day of fun.
When we got there we were surprised at how many Japanese students were there. We thought it would be a small gathering. Despite the numbers, they were a very orderly and well behaved group and they had prepared a song to greet us:

After the song our students introduced themselves and we participated in a game of Telephone. Sometimes it would be English words passed down the line and sometimes it would be Japanese words. It was fun to see the kids faces when they didn't know what the person had whispered. Then we played some tug of war. Sadly, we just played in grass. There was no rice patty to be found.

After lots of rounds of tug of war it was time for lunch. Their idea of a picnic was awesome! They busted out some gas powered wok/bbqs and made yakisoba, chicken skewers, and hot dogs.

After lunch there was a rock, paper, scissor tournament where the kids could win prizes.

We took some professional pictures:

After the pictures we headed to the "rice patty" which was more like a mud pit.

The kids started off looking for 30 film canisters buried in the mud. 25 of them were winners and earned the lucky finder a prize and 5 were duds. After about 20 minutes of searching only 2 canisters were found, one lucky and one unlucky.

When the kids got tired of not finding canisters they switched the game to a capture the flag race. It was hilarious! Kids were diving into the mud and going all out to reach the flag first.

The kids were then hosed down, given popsicles to cool down, and loaded back on the bus to head home. Everyone had a great time and, despite our lack of verbal understanding, friendships were formed.


Mandy said...

It all looks so much fun. The song was great. Do those children speak a little English and knew the colours they were singing about.

Tyler Tuszynski said...

This was ...

Anonymous said...

So, is the song like someone telling me in Japanese to clap my hands and stamp my feet? The kids are so adorable. What a fun day. Too bad they couldn't find those canisters-bet they floated down the canal.

Mary said...

Not only did the kids have a good time I had so much fun in the dirty stinkie water. lol... Fun day though....

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about the prevalence of technology in our day to day lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets cheaper, the possibility of copying our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i SDHC[/url] DS FFOpera)