It was great seeing the smiling faces of our charges this morning, so many different stories, what they ate, their new extended family, the type of house they stayed in.
Today the students tried on the Yukata (a light, summer version of a kimono) and everyone looked very elegant! The students were dazzled by the brilliant colours and the beautiful patterns on the cotton fabric. Even the boys looked at home in their new attire. We are very thankful to Mrs. Matsuda for helping the students experience something so uniquely Japanese.
The team members shared another delicious lunch with their new Japanese school mates in the cafeteria ‘rest house’ and enjoyed some lively conversation as they showed off their new ‘hashi’ (chopstick) skills.
Afterwards, we boarded the school bus to visit the beautiful Shogenji Temple, just a 20 minute ride through Minokamo. We climbed the moss-covered stairs to meet the head Abbot of the temple in the exquisite old garden. Students were also greeted by many Buddhist monks and nuns who were visiting the temple for a period of special training. Genesis students were joined by a touring student group from Dubbo for a communal tea ceremony with the Abbot before learning some simple exercises. Students enjoyed viewing the basic monastic kitchen and found the head Abbot to be an engaging tour guide! Dalton, Alysshiah and Avery impressed our hosts with a series of polished speeches and the presentation of a small gift.
Students were treated to a brief stop-over at Kenkou no Mori, a large ‘green space’ near the temple with many fun activities on offer. JOE students enjoyed the large, winding slippery slide and the log swings. They were treated to an ice-cream from Mr. Hattori as they relaxed on the lawn and played a casual game of baseball.
We all arrived back at school tired and happy and very much looking forward to another night with their lovely host families. We look forward to hearing of their new adventures together tomorrow morning when we meet them at the genkan!