Yesterday I invited the girls (Crystal-lu and Tressa-chan) over for dinner. They both work in the immediate area on Wednesdays and thus it is very easy for them to slip over to my house after work for dinner and mid-week gossip sessions. However, since I didn't have time to go grocery shopping, I decided to take them out to a little restaurant in Shimotsuma that has awesome tonkatsu. (just in case you haven't had the privalage of ever eating tonkatsu... tonkatsu is a breadded (usually pork) filet that is fried and served with a special sauce)).
The reason it is AWESOME, is because it is home made. It may take Grandpa 30 minutes to make it, but trust me... it's worth the wait! The restaurant only has three tables, and last night was the first time I had seen anyone else come in besides my self and my guests. The matron of the family is a friendly woman who is always giving us free stuff to eat. Last night we had ume (a sour plum) gloop, an omlette and mini octopus (I ate a whole one just to be polite) all on the house. The girls loved it and I think I can easily persuade them to return another time.
As for school... today is my last day at Kawanishi Elementary School for the year. I don't know whether to be sad or not. Since I don't know if I will be returning for a second year in Yachiyo, I have mixed feelings about being at school. No matter what, I will not be seeing the sixth graders next year, and this has been sad. On Tuesday, after I had finished my last lesson with the 6th graders we found it hard to say goodbye. Their limited english and my Japanese inexperience in this type of situation all found us lacking for the right words to say. In the end, the majority of the students came up to me and personally shook my hand and told me thank you. The wise-guys of the class, came up to me and said Arigato-Gozaimas Pretty-Jody (which is the name they started to call me after I taught them adjective words).
I guess this is just another part of this job. You meet some kids, you like some... you want to smack others up side the head... but you are with them and then they leave (or possibly you leave)... and that is it. You go your seperate ways and all you can do is hope that you made some type (any type) of possitive influence on their lives. Or in the very wore cases, you hope you haven't ruined their desire to learn english or interact with foriegners.
Japan is a mono-culture, and living in a remote farming town doesn't let the students have very many opportunities (or any ouside of school) to talk with or even see a foriegner in the flesh and blood. Hopefully, by positive interaction between myself and these students we can make a small difference in how japanese people in this community view foriegners. I know it seems like a lot to hope for... but that is my wish and that is my goal in teaching these amazing kids.
Till next time..
Harmony, Peace and Love to all