So when I found out there'd be another, similar weekend there this winter, I was excited to go back! And sure enough, it was another great time.
It started with some cross country skiing -- something I'd never tried before and really enjoyed.
Looking the part with British friends Anne and Louise.
Anne's little penguin friend definitely looked good on skis...
HAHA! :) Mr. Penguin is actually a backpack -- how cute!
After the workout on snow, we ate lunch and relaxed at an onsen (public bath).
And then after that, we did even more relaxing. (pictured with Alana and Emily)
We met up with our host families later in the afternoon, and I was really happy to learn that I'd be staying with the same wonderful family as last time!
My lovely Japanese mother. :)
Together, we watched a dance performance (that I took a video of, but it refuses to load for some reason.) And then we were invited to wear the traditional Shizukuishi outfit that the dancers wore and learn one of the dances!
I spent the rest of the evening and night with my awesome Japanese family trying my very best to speak Japanese. We talked about lots of different things, such as what we've each been doing since September when we last saw each other, the differences between schools in Japan and America, and why I love Peyton Manning & the Colts. :)
Sidenote: It really about killed me that I had to be in school teaching this morning during the Super bowl!! Aaah! But the vice principal at Osanai Elementary gave me the update on the score between each class. I think all of the teachers felt my pain when I learned the final outcome. :(
Anyway, back to a happier topic...
My Japanese family took me to a super nice restaurant in Morioka (the big city) for a traditional dinner that had about 27 courses.
Ok, really there were only 7 courses. (Only, haha.) But it felt like the food just kept coming and coming. I think they were impressed that I ate every single thing with no problem. :)
A close-up of the first course:
Meat and vegetables were simmering in the individual green pans.
After so much food, I was stuffed and sleepy! I had a great night of sleep, and was ready to go to a snow festival the next day. More about that next time...