Monday, July 7, 2008

Sports camp!

I'm going to be honest and say this first: Sports Fest was hard for me. If you know me then you might be wondering "But Thomas, don't you like sports?" Why yes, yes I do, however two days of sports when I'm tired, in a foreign country and barely understand the language and my team loses a whole lot makes me irritable. Don't get me wrong, I did have fun (in retrospect) but it was hard to go through each game while losing terribly each time. We played sports in the morning, ate lunch and then played again in the afternoon. The evenings were meeting times for the students in Japanese, so the summer workers had our own Bible study/meeting.

My team was great though, even if some of them didn't speak that much English, they tried their best and were very helpful and tried hard in the sports. We just weren't as good in some of the sports and the rest of the teams. I suppose that just made our victories all the sweeter, as rare as they were. In the end, we came out second to last and got some kind of prize for being the second losers, an energy drink that had bits of snake in it, or something. Looking back, it was a good time and the food was great, but losing was hard. Fun stuff.

A big ol waterfall.

One thing that I like to do is go hiking. Luckily, we got to do just that. After securing the release of Carl the Cockroach in an emtpy lot near Mochizuki, we were on our way to Ume Gashima, the plum waterfall. We endured a beautiful climb over rickety rope ladders and steep slopes and were treated to a beautiful view of a very large thundering waterfall. This is not the waterfall, but a picture of another gorgeous river flowing over a cliff.

Of all night karaoke and giant bugs.

One thing about the Japanese, I don't know if they ever sleep. Maybe that's why they sleep on trains and buses and wherever they can, because they're too busy staying up all night doing karaoke. Oh yeah, that's right I said karaoke. Pronounced kah-rah-oh-keh, they sing songs of all varieties until day break. We joined them and it was awesome. There was a free drink bar and I think that's the only way I was able to keep going, with a constant stream of sugar flowing through me.

We sang a large collection of the classic Disney songs, classic rock and more modern tunes, but by far my favorite was belting out Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer. The Japanese are amazing singers, obvisously I don't know much about or Japanese, or singing for that matter, but they sounded great. When we finally got done, the sun was just rising and we were exhausted, but spirits were high all around.

A few days later, we were helping Nagai-san (the boss) with some yardwork and a hornet the size of a baseball flew by. He told us not to kill it (like we could) because it would call all it's hive to come and attack us. Dang. Along those lines, all of the bugs over here are huge. The mosquitoes are big and relentless, spiders look like small dogs, the cockroaches are under your bare feet and ants like to find your scraps on the counter. We don't live in a dump by the way, it's a very nice house, it's just full of people and dirty sometimes. Not to mention the fact that we open the windows to let in some breezes. (It's very hot.) Not complaining though, just mentioning.