Meeting the City...
Today we started off the day at city hall and I felt like a minor celebrity...We all walk in and all the government workers stand up and clap for us. I am not quite sure why, but I have decided that my students should now do that when I enter the room! It would be rather nice to have my ego inflated every day. I really can not get over how well they treat teachers here. They really respect and understand the job that we are doing.
Anyway, we meet with the mayor and all the city councilmen and their superintendent. I have a nice picture of all of us together and one of me with the mayor! Ha! They talked about the city and the town and we asked questions for about two hours. I think the best part is that I got to meet my host father for this weekend when I do my home visit! He works for the city to arrange travel and tourism. He is sooo nice and I have a feeling that he will be able to show me some good places! I am really glad I met him, because I was a bit nervous about this experience.
We took a bus to a traditional Japanese resturant for lunch. I have to admit that I was a little picky here. We had red meat and my guide forgot that I don`t eat it. Luckily, I had some nice friends who gave me their extra white rice (now how could I turn rice down...it is not like I love it or anything!) and their miso soup (which is a broth with tofu and seaweed in it). We all tracked across the highway to get some food at the gas station...I bought the biggest apple I have ever eaten. I swear it was as big as my head and I have a picture to proove it!
Our group went to a buddist shrine and temple area next. We walked around this area for about two hours and it was very very interesting. It was a living space of monks in the 1600`s and there are now shrines (little buildings) all around with dieties and budhas to pray to. Gorman, I got you your rock and Mrs. Phillips-Brown, I took a lot of pictures because I know you like this stuff. I felt that it was very peaceful and spiritual. I enjoyed it a lot.
Now for the best part of the day.... I ate sushi!!!!!
A few of us walked to a resturant in town. We actually got lost and found a nice man who led us about a mile to the resturant. The people here are just so nice. We ordered over four hundred dollars worth of sushi (thank you, Fulbright!) and tried some adventurous stuff. It was the best sushi I have ever had in my life! My favorite was the toro, which is the belly of a tuna. You eat it raw. Hmmm...I wonder if it came from the tuna I saw at the fish market!
I am going to bed fairly early tonight b/c we are going to the elementary school tomorrow. I figure I need to rest up!
Did I mention that I miss you all!!!??? ;)