So tomorrow is the big day. Jeff got to enjoy his elementary school undokais last weekend, and tomorrow I get to enjoy my junior high's taikusai. Basically the same thing, just a different name (?)
This week, and much of last week has been spent practicing for this crazy event, my personal favorite of the year. The students practiced marching, saluting the flag, singing, standing in rows, doing warm-up exercises, dancing, running, playing class tug-of-war and jump rope, etc. etc. I have been enjoying long days in the warm sun, goofing off with the third (final) year girls. It's awesome because they are comfortable enough with me, and my Japanese is good enough now that we can have pretty decent conversations. My relationships with the students have definitely benefited from this time.
For me, the highlight of tomorrow will be the final event, the third year dance. I will be joining the third years in a traditional Japanese folk dance, the Soran Bushi. It's an amazing (and painful) dance depicting the catching of fish. About 200 of us will be dancing together in rows. Many students will get to wear happi coats (haha...I love that... "happi" coats!) and I was informed last week that my vice principal is borrowing a special one for me! I've spent most of tonight in front of the TV in our tiny living room, watching a video of the dance and trying to get all the moves down pat. I'm hoping to get the dance video recorded tomorrow. And of course, there will be another TON of pictures!
On a side note, we know we haven't been really great bloggers lately. What can I say? Life is really good here. But not always in a "blogging" sort of way. It's just become a lot more like home here this year, with some more established routines and closer friends. But don't worry folks, I'll finish the Kamei sensei story... sometime!
And Karen, you are LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG overdue for a long email from me. Thanks so much for your e-cards and your email. I may not have written yet, but I think of you often. And the mail is coming soon!
Okay, gotta get my pre-taikusai sleep!