It was a fun day, this time around I specifically asked for a job to do, as all the teachers and students had one, and I was given the job of yelling "Irrashiamase!" and "Arigato gozaimashita!" at the door to the "flea market" classrooms. I know now a little more about what it would be like to work at a Lawson's convenience store, although I kept my voice deep and did not let it get several octaves higher as the female conbini employees often do. The theme to the festival this year was "Join us!", a little brainwashy-sounding but certainly better than last year's non-sensical "Shining true flowers". At lunch I went outside as it was a nice day but was immediately struck by the scary entering-the-school-cafeteria-alone feeling, worriedly contemplating where and with whom to sit, but thankfully I was saved by a gaggle of third-grade girls from my elementary school, who dragged me over to their picnic area and offered me cookies and invited me to go to the haunted house with them. I love my elementary schoolers who just treat me like another 8-year old, and are so willing to be incredibly patient with my Japanese, explaining what they are trying to say to me 15 different ways until I get it.
The next week was another sports competition, cricket! Phil had organized an Akita team and invited Sendai's team down for a tournament. I watched about 5 hours of it as I was catering as a fundraiser for Room to Read and must say, you know, it's not really an interesting sport to watch. But making hamburger patties kept me busy and the Sendai team was fun to meet.
This was taken from a weird parking lot on the side of a narrow mountain road near Lake Tazawa. After we had pulled in and started taking pictures, a cop car pulled in behind us. The cop got out of his car and started walking towards us and began to pull something out of his pants pocket. We were very afraid and started back towards our car, looking to make a get away. But what did he pull out? His keitai - he wanted to take pictures of the pretty leaves too.
This was at a michi-no eki on the mountain road where they were having an all-out autumn festival including pounding rice into mochi. In the video you can see where some of the glutenous stuff flew out onto my camera lens! Yum.
In Appi pension village, possibly one of my favorite places in the world
At Appi ranch...this is what I think heaven looks like.
These was taken from a bridge described as the best koyo spot in Iwate-ken Matthew, me and Jez The next day at a picnic with our Japanese class fellow folk - since we were further south the leaves were just starting to change
And last but not least, I'm almost out of space on this blog, so I'm thinking of either moving this over to wordpress or creating a new blogger one ie. sophie in akita 2. I've looked a little at wordpress but am not too crazy about it, but it might just be because I'm so used to blogger now. But that 3 G of space is incredibly tempting! I'll let you know what I decide.