Thousands of Miles from Home


Back to School

Thought high school was over, didn't you? However, this school year is going to be much better than "required" high school. Lets see where to begin:
In the morning I rode with a pack of green pants to school along the bike path. In the opposite direction went the blue pants, apparently to a different school in town. It was strangely reminiscent of West Side Story, and I half expected the Sharks and Jets to throw down their bikes and break into a highly choreographed brawl.
Arriving at school I got quite a few stares, but everyone was very eager to say hello (or giggle behind my back, in the case of most girls). I parked my bike, changed into the school sandals, and went to the teacher's lounge. After a quick teacher's meeting I was introduced to the staff. There is an english teacher named John Davey from Toronto who knows a little japanese. After the meeting I went to my home room. I introduced myself to the class, and noticed that the two guys who visited my house are in my homeroom. So I already have a few friends. The class broke into groups which cleaned the school, then filed into the gym for the opening ceremony. Most students sat on the floor, but I had a seat with the canadian teacher and principal on the side. The principal gave an introductory speech, and so did the teacher from toronto (in japanese and slow english). I said a small speech that seemed well received. After a few teachers spoke, I was escorted back to the principals office who introduced himself and asked a few questions about me. Most classes had testing so I rode my bike home for lunch.
As I arrived home I found the front door locked. Zhang Shu (the girl from china who is also staying with the watanabes) and Shoko had gone out for a while, and I had forgotten my key in the house. The watanabes have two dogs. One is very friendly but smells bad, the other does not like me and bites. So I crept, ever so carefully, into the back yard to the porch door, hoping it would be open and I would not wake the dogs. Luckilly, the door was open and only the smelly dog was disturbed. I'll remember to take my key tomorrow.
Around 2 o clock I went back to school because the students were traveling to Uno Station to help with some typhoon cleanup. Andee and I walked together and talked a little bit, then spent the next two hours packing wet magazines and cardboard boxes into garbage bags in a local shop. Andee and I then walked back with some other students from the school and he showed me around and told me about the different clubs. I am thinking of joining Kendo, ping pong, or shogi, but I'm sure I will have time to visit most of the clubs.
Andee and I rode our bikes back home. Shoko had to pick Shun up at school, so Zhang Shu (her japanese name is Jitan) and I made dinner. She is 20, a japanese major in college, and understands english very well but cannot speak much. She also knows chinese. So we had a very multi-lingual time making chicken, mashed potatoes, rice, broccoli, and a salad.
So much fun.


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