My Weekend Part I: Friday At Tateiwa
Tateiwa is my mountain elementary school that I visit every other Friday. This past Friday turned out to be a particularly interesting day. I was to teach the first two lessons, and once I got there, I realized the teachers had planned nothing and expected me to basically take over the entire class (usually it is more team teaching – where the teacher forms a general lesson plan and I can just follow along and help out). Fortunately, these were elementary kids, so by me just being there and not speaking Japanese, the kids were getting somewhat of an English lesson. After doing my self-introduction – I was seeing this class for the first time – and then reading a book the kids had picked out about a duck and a goose, I figured it was the perfect time to teach the game “duck, duck goose”, which they loved! It was hilarious and as they had never played it before, they got pretty into it! Next class I taught the kids colours and clothes and they came up with their own outfits (“I have a red shirt, blue jeans, white shoes” etc etc). Then I had a free period and then lunch. After lunch was recess so I went outside and played with the kids on the playground. After lunch I was told in half Japanese half English that some sort of hunter was coming to the school to show us a demonstration (this was all I could gather due to the language barrier). Confused, I stumbled into the gymnasium to watch. What it ended up being was local fisherman who was here to show the kids how they catch fish, how to cut them up, and finally how to cook them. I was sort of surprised that the kids were learning this at this age. The fisherman had this stuffed toy fish that came apart in the way you were supposed to cut the fish. He had a toy knife and showed the kids the correct way to cut up the fish after it’s caught. Then they brought out containers which contained several different types of fish and underwater creatures: squid, octopus, and fishes big and small. The kids got to touch them all (I could too, but chose to avoid it…) and they loved it. What surprised me most, however, was afterwards the fisherman brought out a GIANT REAL FISH and a REAL KNIFE and the kids cut up this fish. Inside the fish were other little fishes, I thought fish laid eggs and I was very confused by this. It was all a disgusting display in general. I thought I may throw up. All the kids’ hands were covered in blood as they chopped up this fish. One teacher came up to me and said “are you okay?” I guess I was looking a little white, but I was just surprised to see this in school! Then, when they were finished, they bagged up the fish and each of us got a huge chunk of fish to take home to cook up. Now this fish was SO LARGE that I literally got about a pound of fish. I ended up giving it to one of my friends because I was not particularly keen to eat it, but it was an interesting experience all in all. My days at Tateiwa always seem to be full of surprises! After getting a ride home from one of the teachers I packed my bag for the weekend and was off Matsuyama for the night, as we had plans to rise early Saturday morning and catch the ferry to Hiroshima!