Our visit to Takematsu was my favorite activity from week 1 in Omura. We were greeted at the school by the principal before students welcomed us with perdonal cards and placemats. I spent the day woth some of the 2nd grade students. They were excited to see us foreigners, even though we didin’t speak much Japanese! We got the chance to attend swimming class, which was a great way to cool off. However, my favorite class that day was music. We played games (rock, paper scissors) with the students. We sang B-I-N-G-O in two languages (both Japanese and English), and head-shoulders-knees-and-toes in four (Japanese, English, Norwegian and Danish)!
Lunch was an experience! The food was prepared in a kitchen, bit it was served our by students and eaten in the classroom. Finally, we held a music event with all the 5th and 6th graders, which was a lot, considering Takematsu elementary had more than a 1000 students. We performed some popular Japanese dances for them and also played some games. They were so excited to have us there, we felt like rock stars, especially when we gave high-fives to every student there! Overall it was an excellent experience for everyone involved as we got to learn about many other cultures.
When I woke up that morning, I had a totally different view of what this day was going to be like. In the morning, we would visit an archaeological site, and in the afternoon, we would meet a doctor who has been treating people in Fukushima after the natural disaster in 2011. Although I study archaeology and I really love history and old things, I felt a pressure before going there, the pressure to make everyone excited for something that is often viewed as dusty and only for old guys. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. I was assigned to help things along when nobody wanted to ask questions, but that was totally unnecessary. The people who explained what they were doing and what kind of things they found, were really clear in their explanation. I was afraid that I would be the only one understanding certain things, because of my study, but they really took their time to show different things, explaining things double when it wasn’t clear, and answering our mundane questions. I think that most of us left the site with a happy feeling, like we really learned something. And even though one of the cars fell halfway off the road, I think everyone thought it was a useful experience. It was just simply awesome.
Marijke (The Netherlands)