Friday, February 25, 2011

“Niaho Taiwan” Part 4 + Weekend Adventures in Gifu

It felt like we had just arrived and yet we were leaving Taiwan. The last day was spent near the main train station since we needed to catch a bus to the airport. We did some shopping (I bought some good souvenirs that will eventually make their way back to America). On Monday, we realized that we had converted more than enough money to use in Taiwan, but since the exchange rate was terrible at the airport, we decided to spend it all! It was definitely a good decision. We found our way to a massage place yet again, and indulged in a 45 minute massage from blind individuals. It was quite the experience, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Thai Milk Tea. Very Orange. Go Beavs.

After returning to Japan, the week went by super fast. I was at my last JHS and I shouldn’t admit to favoritism but I really love some of the kids at that school. One girl (who is an amazing chef) gave me some homemade chocolates for Valentine’s Day. After the quick 4 day week, on Saturday I went snowboarding with 3 other JHS English Teachers. We went to a resort in Gifu (about 2 hours North of me) and spent the day in clear blue skies. It’s been almost a week since I went snowboarding and I’m still nursing a bruise from one icy fall.

On Sunday, I played golf with 3 other teachers at the only golf course in my town. It was only a 5 minute drive from apartment! The weather was perfect, blue skies and about 50 degrees (such a change from the high 30’s). Playing for the first time since winter vacation, an 80 wasn’t a bad score.

View of the surrounding towns/cities

Par 3: 155 Yards

Par 4: 450 Yards. From here it was a slope of -45 yards!

This week I was back at Elementary School and right now we are about 4 weeks until the end of the school year. You can definitely tell students are going into the spring break mode (and I don’t blame them). However, the end of the school year mode is really affecting the loud and especially challenging classes (the ones I’m not the biggest fan of, but oh well). I can’t tell you how many times I just stopped talking in one 5th grade class and the students didn’t even noticed…I feel really bad for that homeroom teacher, I can’t imagine dealing with them everyday!

On Thursday I had the privilage of teaching 95 1st graders how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. It was awesome, but by the fourth and final class, I was beat. I’m guessing that I played over 400 games of Rock, Paper, Scissors in less than 4 hours…However, even at recess RPS was still a hit and whenever the 1st graders saw me in the hallway, it was “Amanda Sensei…Rock, Paper, Scissors, 123…Oh yes/oh no”. The cutest part was that the kids picked up on the emotions/gestures/phrases of winning “yes!!!” and losing “oh no” and putting their heads in their hands. It is adorable.

This weekend finds me heading towards the big city of Gifu and surrounding areas. I’m going to spend some time hiking, exploring, and speaking English at a normal speed.

School Lunch: Mixed Veggies with some green stuff (I don't know what it is).The brown sludge stuff is pork on top of fried tofu...I tried slicing it open, but there was too much sludge. Slice of orange. Milk. Green Tea. Rice. There was some soup with bacon in it, but I left it where I found it.

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