July 21st – 22nd, 2018
After arriving at Minamisanriku on Saturday, we went to Shizugawa High School to meet with the former principal who will lead the “Minamisanriku Junior Academy”. There, we discussed the details and goals of the program, how PTG will be involved, and presented this to the first prospective participant, his mother, and another interested community member.
BY THE NUMBERS
6: Local Children
4: Local Adults
5: PTG Volunteers
The program is set to start the first weekend of August, with plans for PTG members to collaborate and get involved with interactively teaching English during our weekend trips. The former principal seemed very excited and hopeful, and the Minamisanriku Junior Academy will become a significant part of PTG moving forward.
On Sunday we arrived at Asobiba around 10:30 and were met by a small yet eager group of kids. We started with introductions, teaching each person to say “Hi my name is____ what’s your name?” and explaining the importance of eye contact. Some of the kids were shy and unsure, muttering the words quietly, or repeating after Angela one word at a time.
They started warming up as we moved on to watching a song on YouTube about the earth and learning the vocabulary words for the day “earth, planet, world, ocean, land etc.” After explaining each word and giving a Japanese translation, we told the kids to come back later with their notebooks to write them down.
We moved on to the craft for the day- finger painting. Each kid got a big piece of paper, and we set up the finger paints in paper cups on the table. At first they were hesitant to dip their fingers in, but once Angela started to paint they all got involved. Everyone got creative in their art from paintings of music notes and Sakura trees to traffic lights and abstract splatters.
Leaving the paintings to dry, the kids moved on to playing in their makeshift pool- blue tarp set up in a wooden structure. Angela, Lisa, and Leah joined in, stepping into the pool and splashing around with the kids to cool down. Kyal, Masaya, and Angela talked chatted with the adults while Leah and Lisa conducted interviews with some of the participants. After lunch of soumen and a group photo, it was time to say goodbye. Practicing their English, the kids said “see you again!” and waved to us as we got into the car to head home.
Before going back to Tokyo, we stopped in to thank and chat to the owner of the local Taxi company who gives us prizes for Santa Soul Train and provides transport for large volunteer groups.