Urato Islands! I'M BACK! (Part 2)

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August 26th 2011
Published: August 29th 2011
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We arrived at the school around 8:40. I was happy to see the school remained more or less the same as when I left it (only a few small cracks on the inside). At 8:45 I greeted the students and by 9:00 I was already teaching my first class! The grade 8 class is the biggest class in the school, with a total of 10 students. The TV crew decided they were going to film the entire class so knowing it would be a bit hard to focus, the teacher and I decided we would spend most of the time doing question and answers. For the most part, all the students and their families are well, but some of the students who used to live on the island now live in Shiogama because their houses were destroyed. I also found out that it was only in the past month or 2 that the island regained fully functioning electricity and water! It's hard to fully imagine what life might be like for the people on this and neighbouring islands.
After class I was interviewed by the TV crew (and later that evening I appeared on the news but unfortunately did not get to see it).

Second period I taught the four grade 7 students. Third period I spent talking with teachers in the staff room and explored the school a bit more. For lunch, I felt bad because I was asked to eat in a few different classes but obviously could only choose one. Since the grade 4/5 class asked first I ate with them. Haha, it was so much fun. Those kids are so silly and full of energy. I think they spent more time telling jokes and making me laugh than they did eating. After lunch, I spent some time with the grade 8 students, and then for 5th period I was asked to compose a small additional part for the grade 4/5 Princess Mononoke music. Being a music teacher back in Canada, I gladly accepted the job. After it was completed I accompanied the students on the piano while they played their recorders. We all really enjoyed that. For 6th period, some of the younger grades had finished school for the day, so I played games with them in the gym.

By 2:45 I had to leave the school in order to catch the 3pm ferry back to Shiogama. Everyone thanked me for coming and when I told them I was hoping to return for a bit in the spring, they asked me to please visit them again for a day (if not longer)! I will definitely be going back to visit them!

The rest of the day was a bit of a blurr as it was spent running errands and visiting friends. I finally returned to my hotel around 10pm and, despite wanting to go straight to sleep, I began packing since the following day I would be staying at a friend's house in Natori City. Much later then I would have liked, I finally went to sleep. Another great, but exhausting day!


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