Thank you little genki (healthy: energetic: lively) students of Shinnan Elementary School for seven of the happiest hours of my life thus far in Japan. Within minutes of my first class your Hello Kitty trainers and Snoopy socks had trampled my initial nervousness to a paper thin disc and your joyful shrieks rang in my ears like songs.

Special thanks to you little guy, yes you with the train fetish. Book after book you retrieved from the niche in your desk and proudly shared them with me, and together we marvelled over Shinkansen, steam locomotives and Stephenson's Rocket (this latter pointed out whilst shrieking 'Igirisu! Igirisu! ('England! England!). Just as I began to think that you might well be my favourite there was you little girl, you who came to steal my attention, clutching what looked like a chestnut and saying 'mushi' which I knew meant 'insect' yet here you were holding a nut. Ah, the grin in your eyes as you handed me that spiked tool along with another nut and indicated that I prise my way into the shell. I followed your lead and together we demolished the shells of those nuts and inside each, as you said, an insect - a maggoty grub. Oh, the screams of you three girls - hitherto quiet and furtive - when we showed you the wriggling treasure and your wide eyes when I placed mine on my head (why, I can't say) and it fell on the floor and was inches away from being squashed by the tiniest but most determined feet I ever saw.

Thanks to all of you Class 4-A; all you spirited 9 year olds, who laid my lunch desk out with tartan tablecloth, chopsticks and tray and watched attentively to see what I would do. Thank you for showing me how to correctly crush and fold my empty milk carton for recycling, thanks for your patience when I couldn't determine the rules to your strange game involving flat marbles. A silver medal to each of you for learning the rules to table rugby so quickly and a gold one for you little girl - you who could hang upside down from the rail across the windows.

Thank you for just doing what you do everyday, and for your ignorance that for me this was not everyday at all. You couldn't know that I needed to be amongst you so much, to realise my place in this new world, to be beyond myself, to appreciate why I'm here.


Blogger Dave W reckons...

Awww, I love this! What a great day in school. But, heck, there's a typhoon coming. Watch out! (how great and rather silly of me to have read the entries back to front!)

5:50 午後 JST  


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