Here are some pictures.
This is at the after party. The lady on the right is one of our drumming/dancing teachers.
This is the after-after party. These people weren't in Sansa our night though.
Here's a pic of a random group.
Here's a video from one of the colleges in town. They had really really strict practicing schedules, and it shows because they are all so energetic and don't seem to make many (any!) mistakes. I was jealous, but they've also been doing it for a few years.
One of my friends was in a different college group and I went the night he was supposed to perform, and I could see the end of the group and I kept on running after them, but there were so many people on the sidewalk, it was like NIOSA or worse, that I couldn't get more than a slow walking pace, and I didn't get to see my friend. And he was in one of the groups with the most vibe. I was/am really sad.
This group has the pattern I followed. There are seven different parts, but only two of the arrangements repeat, and every single part has an entirely different dance step. So it's like this: 1-2-3-2-1-4-5-2-1-4-5-2-6-2-1-2-7 You try memorizing that! I made a bunch of mistakes. A lot of times I was too fast or too slow, or I'd get the dance steps backwards and want to face the wrong direction. Also people I knew said they'd come so I spent a lot of time looking in the audience for them. But my mistakes were small, because I was able to correct them in time. And then I found the people I was looking for, and was really happy!
When they throw their sticks in the air at 4 seconds in is the end of the set, so they start a new one right after that. So this video is one full set.
Oh, and here's the uncropped pic from before. Thanks, April!
Also, you see that yukata? That's mine. My teachers bought it for me for my going away present. Aww, yeah! My friend Yuka dressed me and did my hair.
The other day I went to the zoo. Yes, Morioka actually has a zoo! It was actually really depressing. The enclosures were pretty nice, but they were all kinda small, this being Japan. Also since Morioka is such a small(-ish) city, they didn't have the variety most other zoos have. Sure, they had a lion, but only one girl and one boy, and they were seperated by a fence for some reason. So were the elephants. And they only had one rhino, which I think must be so boring and lonely and sad! He was just standing there in the shade for the longest time, shifting weight every now and then. Actually, one of the elephants was walking around in a circle for like twenty minutes. It made me so sad.
The bears seem to be having fun though. Just chillin. He reminded me of Al Bundy or something.
So does this goat in the petting zoo. He was just hanging out. I got to pet a baby goat. He was so soft! I wanted to pick him up.
There was also a parrot that said, "Bye Bye" (in English), "Pretty sister," "Good Morning," made cat noises and a human laugh, which was the coolest. His favorite was "Bye Bye" though, which I thought was very rude.
Tomorrow for some reason the teachers at my new school aren't going to be there, maybe for some athletic meet or something, so I don't have my first day of work tomorrow like everyone else does. I think I'm going to clean my room and go get more contact lenses and film and stuff like that, then I'm going to see the last day of what is supposed to be the best festival in Japan, and the next day is the fireworks show that I had in my blog last year. How weird that I'm covering topics again. I can't believe it's been a year.