Saturday, August 29, 2009

"We'll keep on fighting to the end..."

The word for "good luck" in Japanese is "gannbatte!"

Or instead of "gannbatte," I'll hear people say in English, "Fight! Fight!," which I guess to them, is the same as "good luck" or "do your best!" Makes sense, I suppose.

Anyway, I've heard both "ganbatte" and "fight" a lot recently since it's been a week full of competitions.

The week started not with a competition, but with a welcome party for Nate. For some reason, the vice mayor did a cheer/chant for Nate after dinner. Unfortunately, I got only the last part of it on video, but here it is anyway:

They're saying, "Nate, fight, fight!"

After dinner, I ended up in a taxi with the mayor (!!), and a couple of other guys, headed to karaoke. We spent two crazy hours of singing our hearts out, and I did a duet with the mayor, as well as sang some Beatles songs with my Beatles Buddy --the vice mayor who did the cheer for Nate.

Karaoke with the mayor and Mauchi-san, Liz's judo coach who works at the office with us.

On Tuesday, there was big track and field competition among all of the junior high schools in Kuji. Liz and I went to a couple of hours of it, and Liz took this video of her students cheering:

Fast forwarding to today (Saturday), there was even more cheering and competing. Today was Kuji Jr. High School's undokai. If you remember from back in May, an undokai is a sports day/ festival. All of my schools had their sports days a few months ago, but bigger schools (like Kuji Jr. High, which is massive) have theirs later. Here's a video of that to give you an idea of what it's like:

I felt kind of like the paparazzi sneaking photos of Kengo and Masaru, two of the students who went to Franklin back in January...

I just adore these two guys! A few weeks ago, I went to their track practice just to hang out with them. :) Here's a picture so you can see what they look like...

"Fight!" :) Both Kengo and Masaru are excellent runners, by the way.

Back to today's undokai...
I got a great shot of one of the events: group jump roping.

This group--the yellow team--was actually the team Tomoki was on.

That's Tomoki sitting in the left corner of this picture.

Both Kengo and Tomoki competed in the Kuji English Speech Contest on Thursday. I was so happy that Kengo won second place!

Kengo bowed to the Superintendent when he received his plaque. Standing behind the Superintendent is Yamadate's wife, who is an English teacher at Natsui Jr. High, where Liz teaches.

While Kengo won second, you'll never guess who received first place at the contest...

Yep. Tomoki! I felt like a proud mama. (I even had the urge to make him tuck the back of his shirt in before he went on stage, haha.) The three students in the background are my students from Misaki Jr. High who participated in the contest.

While I was so proud of Tomoki, I must say that I was not at all surprised that he won. He's a natural. :) When he started speaking, I saw jaws literally drop in the audience! That's my boy.

However -- this is not really related to anything -- but I was surprised a few days ago, when I walked into the 100 yen ($1) store, and found a whole display of Halloween decorations! #1 It's August! and #2 They don't even really celebrate Halloween here.

I don't think I've even seen so many kinds of Halloween tinsel in America!

Well, I'm off for now. In about 15 minutes, I'm leaving for Noda to go dance with my team.
It's not a competition, but I will fight! (as in do my best) :)


Lauren said...

I loved this blog post! You should be proud that Tomoki on because you taught him most of what he knows ha ha!

Dawn said...

Pretty cool you met the mayor. That is very cool Tomoki won - you should be proud since you were the one to teach him.