Sunday, July 31, 2011
The boys went on a day trip yesterday. Some of them went to Galway on the Atlantic Coast. Some of them went to Dublin Zoo. Looks like they all had a great time. Other news. Colin Sensei arrived safely last night after a long journey. He will be looking after the group this week. Colin is from New Zealand and has been responsible for starting the Tokai New Zealand program which takes place in the spring vacation. Thanks for supporting our program, Colin!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Can you find Hirotsugu in this picture? He wrote this for the blog.
In Ireland it's a little cool. My host family is very kind to me. My activity is horse riding. I rode a horse called High Tower yesterday. He is the tallest horse in the riding school. I enjoyed riding very much and I made a lot of friends (Italians, Germans, Saudi Arabians and others).
I am having a great time in Ireland.
Thanks Hirotsugu. You are the High Tower of the Tokai boys!
Thanks to Kiichi for writing this for our blog. It sounds like he’s having a good time in Ireland.
We talk with Spanish, Italian and Irish people but it’s very tiring. We meet many students in the park. I try to be friendly to them. I want to be funny. Origami is a great way to make friends. Spanish people love it when we make them things out of origami. It’s stronger than a tank!
My teacher’s name is Osan. He looks about 40. If he goes to Japan he’ll be called “Ossan”.
I’m afraid I can’t make jokes in English. I think if I could I would become friends with many students.
Well done, Kiichi!
Yusuke Kun has written this for our blog. Actually Yusuke travelled to England and Vienna with the Tokai Orchestra in 2009 so he has experience abroad:
I'm in Malahide now. It's a little cold but very exciting. I went bowling, danced at the disco and went to many museums. I have made many friends here. I don't want to go back to Japan. I want to stay here more! I danced in the disco for a long time. It was very fun and comfortable. I danced with girls for the first time. I am enjoying my stay here in Ireland.
Thanks, Yusuke. You are doing a great job building bridges between Japan and the wider world.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
One afternoon a week is sports day. Sport is a great way to communicate and break down barriers. Yesterday the boys who aren't doing horse-riding had fun with friends of other nationalities. What's more, they were lucky with the weather. Last night they had a disco so friendships are blossoming here in Ireland.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Well, today was the first day of the horse-riding afternoon activity. Actually this is the first time we have done this sort of thing at Malahide and it's an exciting new addition to the program. Hopefully the course will be a success and the boys will have an unforgettable experience. There are students of several nationalities including Austrian, Spanish, Saudi Arabian and Italian and of course all the instruction is in English so this will be a great chance to use real English to do something fun and challenging. Of course the horses don't speak much Japanese so that might be a problem!
I look forward to seeing how the boys progress.
Yesterday we went to the GAA museum. It is in a stadium. It is very big. It was very fun. There were some games where you have to push buttons quickly. The Japanese students were very cunning and we got the highest score.
Now I will tell you a funny difference between my home in Ireland and my home in Japan. This is about the temperature of the shower. In my homestay the shower starts off very cool. That's normal. After that it gradually gets warmer. That's normal too. It's nice and comfortable. But suddenly the temperature gets very very hot or very very cold. I was very surprised!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Today was the first day of lessons. I spoke to the boys afterwards and most of them found it pretty hard. But of course! This is their first experience of studying in a classroom full of European students. Maybe they are used to listening to the teacher but here they are expected to speak a lot. It's a big change but I know they'll get used to it soon.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The boys spent the day with their host families today and they all seem happy with their new homes. Some of them are in their own rooms and some are staying in a twin room with a student of another nationality. This evening they had a test to decide which level class they will be in tomorrow. Of course it's important that they are in the correct class. After the test we read the rules together and thought about how to make the most of this adventure.
It was great to see Mr. Kitamura's big smile! He is the leader for the first week and speaks great English as well as having spent time in Ireland before and is a big fan of Irish culture Bands like Altan, the Cranberries, and Enya and the literature of Joyce, Beckett, and Yeats.
Thanks to teachers like this who give up their vacation time, it is possible for generations of Tokai students to take part in these programs. Thanks Mr. K!