On a sunny Saturday morning I joined the small welcoming group to Narita to collect everyone and bring them back to Ashikaga on a charter bus. I am pleased to announce that we arrived back in town without casualty.
One of my duties during their stay was to judge the Gettysburg Speech Contest along with the chaperones from Springfield. Listening to the same speech 31 times was quite the exercise in patience, but I think that the kids had all worked really hard on it. A student that graduated from Yamabe last year was one of the winners. The top six students get a paid trip to Springfield. Not bad at all.
Another interesting footnote was Japan Night. It's a little cultural festival thing held at the local civic center. A few Asian foods were available for tasting, as well as one or two American things. The Springfield kids sang some songs and did a dance. Theirs was much more modern than the one that I was made to do. I think we did swing dancing. Also present was a smaller group of college students from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
A little bit of the kids dancing at Japan Night. Clarence hopped on stage and joined them for some "Crank That (Soulja Boy)".
It is fun to show people new to Japan around as I can share in a bit of their excitement, plus I feel like a freakin' genius when I can order a sandwich and they can't. I was happy to hear a couple of the kids talk about wanting to be an English teacher when they grow up. I am quite the role model (scary, I know).
Not related to anything, but behold! The most awful looking car I have ever seen. Branded as a Suzuki Alto. Yuck!