Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Third Grade Graduation Ceremony!

11th March

The end of the school year is approaching so every Junior High School has a graduation ceremony for the third grade students who will move onto High School. It is a very formal ceremony and each student receives a certificate. After the ceremony all students move outside and line the path. As the third grade students leave they are given presents or flowers from the first and second grade students. I received a bunch of flowers from the English club students that were graduating. This ceremony is like many others here which just make me realise again how well behaved the students are!

The ceremony

Amazing lunch!

Me with my flowers from the English club and all the English teachers

Plum Blossoms!

8th March

The first signs of spring are the plum blossoms which bloom almost a month before the cherry blossoms do. Taube, Julian and I went to Ayabe mountain where there are hundreds and hundreds of plum trees. I had never seen plum blossoms up close before but they don't just look beautiful they smell amazing too!

The mountain covered in plum blossoms

Taube, Julian and I with the plum blossoms

View from the top of the mountain

Beautiful plum blossoms

These were my favourite

Cute kids posing in the flowers!

Food!! Glorious Food!! February!!

Once again some amazing food and drinks from this month!

Wine in a can from Australia!

Nabe - yum hotpot

Crazy broccoli type vegetable

Amazing chilli and cornbread made by Taube and Julian - my first time- yum!

Yum lunch that my teachers took me out for

Whole fish which tasted ok until I asked Kyosuke why it was filled with white stuff and he said it was a female filled with eggs!

Perfect sushi at the Principal party

Fish and chips!

Lasagne made by Taube!

In our cooking lesson this month we made okonomiyaki which is a savoury pancake

We also made yakisoba which are fried noodles

Special Class Party!

3rd March

For my last time teaching the special class at my junior high school we played pass the parcel and we made fairy bread! The kids here love fairy bread as there is nothing similar here and they really enjoyed pass the parcel too. They are so careful about unwrapping the parcel - nothing like Australian kids who just rip into it! I will really miss this class as 3 of them are in 3 grade so they have graduated now. If I go back to the school I will get to teach the one boy who is in second grade. They are such a lovely class and all have wonderful personalities.

Me with the class and their fairy bread

My favourite student Naoya who was in love with the fairy bread :-)

Snowboarding fun!

21st February

Today we finally got to go to the snow! I have been meaning to go all winter! Anyway we left early on a bus that took us 3 hours north of here to Hachikita. It began snowing about 40 minutes out of Himeji and didn't really stop till the afternoon. Everything just looked so amazing covered in snow! It took a while to get organised but once we had all our gear we headed to the slopes. The lift was a scary experience for me but luckily we got to carry our boards. We had a great time attempting snowboarding and by the end of the day I could go down the beginners slope stopping when I wanted to! I hope to go at least 3 times each winter in an attempt to get better!

Beautiful snowy scenery!

Very scary Kyosuke and I

Rachel, Em and I ready to hit the slopes!

Me ready to go!

The beginners slope!


Kyosuke and I!

And again!

Goggle girls - Rachel, Me and Emily!

Emily and I doing our thing!

Otokoyama fire festival!

18th February

On a mountain in Himeji each year a festival is held to gain good luck for the new year and to burn your old new years decorations. It is an all night festival but we went there after work and enjoyed yum soba noodle soup and mochi (rice cakes) and manjyu (steamed bean buns). There was a huge bonfire going and people were throwing their decorations in the fire. You could buy fortunes and choose a ticket out of a box to win a prize. It was an interesting festival with an amazing view of Himeji castle.

The huge bonfire

Lining up for prayers

Where I got my fortune- it was quite good - I will have good love this year!

Hmm not sure of the chances of winning an i-Pod! Most people won snacks or garbage bags - like me!

The amazing view of Himeji castle at night