Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Caution to anyone coming to Japan: it's very physically demanding. In one week, I have climbed a mountain, helped carry the omikoshi to and from Hachimangu Shrine twice, and helped pull the float down the street.

Here is the beginning of the climb up Mt. Iwate, when we were just leaving the clouds/fog.

Same as above.

About 25% up.

The Yama-Goya (mountain house), where we ate lunch and went to the bathroom. This is at the 8th marker. Others in the group continued on to the 10th. I was done.

On the way down. The clouds receded a little and gave us a view of our path to take.

We arrived at the mountain at 6 am and got back to the base at 6 pm, very sunburned.

I don't have pictures of the matsuri (festival) yet, because they were taken on my camera phone. When I do I'll post and explain those.

Yesterday my middle school, had a holiday, so I went to the nearby elementary school for a day to be the token American there. We mostly played vocabulary games, and I got to see that Japanese children are just as hyper as American ones. Everywhere I went all the kids stared at me, because they probably really hadn't ever seen a foreigner in the flesh. (There are very few foreigners in this town, but the ones that are here we are acquantainces with.) When I smiled at the girls they blushed and turned away, and the boys said "Oh! An American person! Awesome!!!" I would rather go to the elementary school rather than the middle school every day, because the middle schoolers are at the point where they are shy, and more reserved when talking to me. Oh well.

I got my curfew extended! It was 10:00 before, even on the weekends, worse because the bus ride takes about 45 minutes to get home. Now it's about midnight, but I found out that the last bus to go to my part of town leaves at 11:15. I'll just adjust, but its hard being the one that leaves early when everyone else goes home at about 2:00. I'll just have to adjust.

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