Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mini-Mini Taiko

From the matsuri. We hope to get involved with this group when our language level increases.

About the boy

Sebastian that is.

Setting the dragonfly free.

Watching the fish jump.

On the way to preschool.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our beach

Here is our beach, as Sebastian refers to it. It is not a true beach of Goto with the famous white sands and emerald water. Instead it is merely an inlet of the harbor and a few minutes walk behind our house.
It is a good place for exploration, for looking under rocks and into tidal pools.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Days

It's full blast summer on the island now. If you want to get anything done outside, it is best to do it before 6 AM or after 6 PM. Those 12 hours between are sweltering humidity that makes you feel as if you are melting. Today, I bought a manual kakigori (shaved ice) maker, my very favorite treat in the summer time.

We actually just returned from our first island matsuri (festival). It was just a little street festival with junk food and kiddie games like goldfish catching but it was a lot of fun. The boys and I got dressed up in jinbei and yukata but Jason's jinbei somehow didn't make it into his luggage.

The view from the bridge. Our house is in the neighborhood on the right of the river. I walk next to this river everyday on my way to work.

Here's us in front on the sneak preview of the big October matsuri.

And here is Sebastian, thoroughly enjoying himself with his shaved ice and goldfish. We almost didn't go due to a horrible meltdown while we were getting ready. After many minutes of crying and a few minutes of exhausted rest, Sebastian woke, cheerful and saying "Maybe we can try again, Mama, now that I've learned something" completely unprompted and unexpected. So I re-did my obi and off we went.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Walk home

This is part of my daily commute.

Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Snapshots of Nagasaki City

It's impossible when walking around modern Nagasaki not to feel a sense of history, a sense of sadness. On our recent trip, we did not make it to the Peace Park or the Atomic Bomb museum but everywhere you walk there are plaques telling you what used to be there. They are discrete about it, they do not state that this building or that was destroyed by the bomb. This is very generous on Nagasaki's part. Nagasaki was a very important port city, extremely international by Japanese standards. The structures that survived such as the former British consulate (the brick building) or the stone Spectacles bridge, serve as reminders of the event. I believe Japanese tourists prefer looking at these places compared to the melted clocks or bells because it is not the destruction but the survival that is inspiring.

Islands along the way

The blue waters of the East China Sea

Looking for whales

The former British consulate


Koi under めがねばし

めがねばし:: Megane-Bashi


Sleeping on the ferry home

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Beginning of なつやさみ*

Yesterday was the beginning of natsu yasami*, summer vacation. The older students at the preschool kicked their holidays off with a bang in the form of a bonfire, fireworks, swimming, and a sleepover.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Brings Us Here

We are brought here by a desire to raise global citizens. To have them understand the world better through bilingualism and interactions within the international community so that they can help their generation work towards a world of peace and empathy.

I am here to understand the Japanese family structure better and how it contributes to producing a society full of considerate, kind-hearted people. I am here to study the role of the child in a proclaimed "child-centered" culture. I am here because here I can do the work that I love and support my family in the process. I am here to work towards a dream of establishing a school where creativity, interactions with the natural world, and the Montessori approach would be intertwined.

Jason is here to explore and establish more connections within a country that he has long admired. He is here to have the opportunity to be with our sons more than most fathers are afforded. Here he can work towards developing himself as an artist. Here he has freedom and time.