Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nova & Friends

Yesterday (Friday) was the last day of classes for the current group of students and since I didn't have to work in reception I told them I'd come to the graduation "ceremony" and BBQ with them.  I'd had a crummy night (I had to change rooms in the hostel and didn't get much sleep in the new location), but my afternoon with them was so much fun.  They're such a great group and I definitely enjoyed hanging out with them, even when they chatter away in Japanese and I have no idea what they're saying.  Hideko and Yukiho caused most of our mirth.  There is probably about 50 years difference in their ages, but they have become good friends and are always making us laugh with their banter and Yukiho's crazy antics. She and Hideko would be bantering back and forth in Japanese and then Yukiho would bust out laughing and then proclaim in English, "Generation Gap."
Hideko decided to bring some additional food to the BBQ (corn, eggplant, zucchini, and Mango wine) so we had more than enough to go around and couldn't even finish it all.
 She's very good at chopping vegetables, you can tell she knows her way around a kitchen knife; she told me that it's because she's a housewife.  Yukiho found out that my hair is naturally curly and was of course amazed and then had tons of fun laughing at how crazy my hair can be when it's windy.  She told me at one point that it looked like it had exploded.  Her laughter is contagious, so even when I didn't know what her and the others were talking about I could still laugh with them.  Despite the language barrier smiles and laughter can always translate, and I love that.  At one point Yukiho was talking (in Japanese) and kept looking at me as if she thought I understood and then Shoko said to me, "She thinks that since you lived in Japan you know more Japanese than you let on, so she thought you might be able to understand."  Sadly, I had to tell them that it had been too long and I had forgotten most of what I learned.  After the BBQ was over Yukiho, Hideko, and Ayano were heading to Rusty's market to buy some flowers for their host families and since I walk past it on my way back home I walked with them.  On the way there Hideko gave me a necklace/headband thing (she said I could wear it any way I wanted) with a flower she'd hand-sewn.
 Before we parted ways for the final time I told them all that if they ever visited America they needed to look me up and I would show them around.

I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my emails to find some correspondences from friends (Ruthann) and family (Aunt Gayle) far and wide, and I got a surprise card from my dearest cousin Heather too!  God always knows when to send a well timed pick-me-up.  Volleyball last night was a lot of fun as well.  A bunch of us (Scott, Cindy & her boyfriend, Louie, Light and his wife, Pukari, and I) made plans to go to a beginners ballroom dance class on Sunday night, so that will be interesting.  Pukari did ballroom dance for about 16 years (competitions and all) so he asked if I wanted to learn.  I figured if the guy has to lead and he knows what he's doing, how bad could it be?  We were supposed to go last week, but it didn't work out.  Hopefully it will be even more fun now that we've got a whole group to go with us.  Louie ended up walking most of the way home with me which was a welcome change to my usual solitary walks.  You don't always get a chance to talk while playing, so it was good to have a chance to chat.  He's here on a student visa and is/was studying Agriculture and Horticulture.  His sister is a permanent resident (she'd been at the courts earlier to watch for a bit), but we had to part ways before I could find out too much more. He's Korean, so I've added him to my growing list of Korean friends.  It's still not as long as my Japanese list, but there's still time :)

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