October 13th, 2004

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Fall festival...

This past weekend was the fall Matsuri (festival) in Kanuma. It was a long weekens because monday was health and sports day. On saturday it was really rainy and windy because of the 22nd typhoon of the season which was passing through the Kanto region. The rain was coming down sideways at times! It was so windy that I closed my storm shutters over the full length glass dores that are the street side of my apartment (both to save them from potential breakage and to help insulate the apt). I didn't go out all day until around 10:30 because it never stopped raining and I thought the festival must have been canceled. When I finally went out after the rain stopped it was still really windy and the streets were deserted. I heard later that the festival had gone on, even in the rain, but I'm still glad I didn't go out in the wet.

On sunday, I ventured out around 10am and found that many people were arriving on the train and the streets were already blocked off. I wandered around a bit and took some pictures of the wooden shrines and some very cute children. Later I met up with Jacq and we watched the start of the parade and then went wandering through the food stalls that were set up along the road (festival food is, of course, very expensive but I love candy strawberries, like candy apples but better!). The parade is basically alot of people, young and old, pulling these wooden shrines on wheels which are highly decorated with carvings and carry other people inside, playing drums and flutes, as well as 4 or 5 on top to blow whistles and pump up the croud. There are about 12 of them, some are hundreds of years old. It's alot of fun and at night they put lanterns all over them and the marchers hold paper lanterns and do it all again. All in all it was a pretty good weekend, even if Lorenzo couldn't make it up. He'll be up here next weekend, barring unforseen circumstances, and that will be good too. Maybe we'll bo to Nikko...haven't discussed it yet.
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Awano....final self intros

I was in Awano again yesterday - this week I taught the first years...my last set of self-introduction classes (finally!). For the next lessons I will be teaching third years and Mr. Noi will fax me information on what I should prepare. We will see how the lesson plans by fax idea works, I just hope I get them in enough time to do a good job.

Edit - 10/25
I just got the lesson plans from Mr. Noi, good thing I don't really have to do anything since they're so late. I go out there tomorrow.
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