Friday, July 23, 2010

Natsumatsuri-Summer Festival
What I thought was Etta's third to last day of school (for some reason it sounds funny when I type it out that way) ended up being a no school day followed by a summer festival. Imagine biking to your kids' school two miles away in late July at 2pm. Followed by spending the next 2.5 hours inside the youchien without air conditioning. Needless to say, everyone was slightly hot and miserable, but yet the kids had fun.
It started out with the kids singing and dancing with the teachers. See the next several pictures. I don't need to point out Etta, she's easy to find. Is that racial profiling? Or can we just refer to that as, 'duh'?

The kids all got a collection of tickets to turn in at certain booths. First, the girls headed to decorate senbei . It's a rice cracker that comes in different flavors. I've had good ones and I've had bad ones. This one had an ebi/shrimp flavor to it and didn't go well with the colored crystal sugar that was placed on top. Oh well, the kids liked it. Good thing Etta only insisted I have one bite!
Etta traded in some tickets for snacks, candies, and juice. That is Etta's teacher from last year, Junko Sensei

Even Chloe got to decorate a senbei. Here she is enjoying it. I swear Eric took about 50 pictures of her eating this. They were so much fun to look at.
Etta wasn't so good at this event.

All the kids got to take home three little toys and one balloon filled with water. It was fun watching Chloe scoop up all the toys she could then decide which ones to keep.
Here's Etta 'going fishing'
Last week the moms practiced a dance routine. It went along to some 50 year old song that of course I wasn't familiar with. So, it was much harder for me to learn the dance when I didn't know the song or understand the instructions. Good thing I can watch a learn. Turns out the kids even practiced the same dance to dance with us. Chloe just ran back between Etta and I.
Dancing is done and the festival came to an end. Boy were we hot!
Etta had her last day of school Thursday. We aren't 100% sure if she'll be returning at the beginning of September since we don't know our moving date yet. So, we've been prepping her on the fact that she's done with school, it's summer break, and that she'll be going to a different school whenever we move.
There was a big class party tonight at one of the parents' homes. They gave us a photo album with each page filled out by a mom. I just can't help but think we'll never have anything quite so great as this in America. It's such a close knit family between the kids in each class. Sometimes I have a hard time closing a book when it's done and it's the same way when it's time to move on to the next place. There are somethings I'm not going to miss at all, but I have to say experiencing Japan through Etta has been eye opening. We've really seen how Japanese live because we've connected with so many families.
I'm hoping one of my next posts will be on Eric's next job. Just waiting on the go ahead.

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