Monday, 28 July 2014

june photo diary

It's now a little under two weeks until I return home, and I can't believe it. This last month has been packed with extended goodbyes and just-in-case hugs, since it's hard to know when's the last time we'll see each other. I've been too busy lapping up the sunshine (31 degrees is an average temperature) and negotiating Japanese bureaucracy to blog, but now it's the holidays and I have nothing but time from 8.30 till 4.15 every day. Today my only task was to help with some classes preparing show and tell presentations. After witnessing an elaborate role play involving the personification of fermented beans, I persuaded a tiny, adorable girl that "You bastard!" was not a suitable exclamation for her favourite anime character to make. Another day another dollar.

A while back my Kentucky friends Corey and Danielle had a boozy bourbon afternoon birthday party. We drank cocktails, ate birthday cake, and were introduced to a little device called the shotski. 

Shotski apprehension 

The face Hana gives me when I speak Japanese

Hangover pizza was much needed the next day, and because it's Japan, leftovers were wrapped up like a present with a sprig of parsley. It always reminds me of Love Actually...

Everyday street art

Afternoon light at school

And home

A lot of June was taken up with taiko practice for at least two hours, twice a week. Our festival was at the end of the month and I'll always remember the rain battering off the practice room roof and the deafening frogs in the forest around it. 

One of the adorable older ladies brought as the best sweet corn (it was literally sweet) I've had in my life 
Chilling in my favourite park, out by the mountains, after school

Fun with Line and new vocabulary, as always

Nothing like some purikura on a Sunday afternoon... seriously considering starting up a purikura business back home 

I was so happy to find the great Thai place less than 5 minutes from Miyazaki's main mall. The set menu was so gorgeous and plentiful we literally ate ourselves into a food daze. 

It wouldn't be game night with Noriko without the filthy playing cards. And a bit of Game of Thrones geekdom. 

We had a lovely night introducing Luke's visiting parents to the joys of karaoke and, because it's Miyakonojo, our Backstreet Boys Special. 

Corey leading the group to new heights of musical enjoyment

Jess with the Japanese book cover for Harry Potter 

Adorable student diaries 

I spent a lot of June afternoons playing the stack of records Simon lent me... this guy quickly became a favourite

One weekend was spent in northern Miyazaki, in the mountains near Morotsuka. My friend Ellen was a yoga teacher back in Portland, and she agreed to lead a yoga retreat in a couple of cabins. 

We formed our circle in the meadow by the cabins. Ellen was fantastic and had the perfect soothing voice to guide the beginners! 

The evening was taken up with barbecuing and stargazing (this app is awesome). 

Also with mistakenly consuming chillies... isn't it great to have sympathetic friends? 

As always, we made our own fun. Thankfully this time it didn't involve climbing into floor fridges, only some rather silly card games. The cabins also had an operational stargazing tower, which was amazing way up in the clear mountains. 

The next morning at 6 we headed out to the meadow for sunrise yoga. It was beautifully peaceful, but we all got bitten alive by gnats and mosquitos, so maintaining our zen was quite a challenge. 

Summer had well and truly arrived in Miyazaki.

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