Yesterday, I went to Toyohashi School for the Deaf.
Now, in a normal Japanese highschool, kids come to school at 8 o clock in the morning, are force fed textbooks until about 3-3:30, and go home. Toyohashi School for the Deaf, however, is very different. The day started out with us learning how to sing a famous SMAP song (sign language). Oh how I longed for my camera then, but I didn't bring it with me to the music room. . . . shitty.
Up next on the itinerary was 2 and a half hours of cooking. Some of you may be familiar with kyushoku (the lunch provided at Japanese elementary school) but what we made blew fß right out of the water. First, we seperated into 4 groups, one for Gyoza, Tempura, Sushi, and Kimuchi Nabe (respectively).
I was assigned to the Kimuchi Nabe group, it took us about an hour to get everything ready, and then another hour to eat and talk about stuff. And yes, I do mean talk, even though all of the kids were either deaf or hearing-impared, I think I talked to them more than I've ever talked to anyone at my real school. I accomplished this through learning some Kq, (like Love, Flower, and Delicious!) writing down what I wanted to say, or just speaking clearly and slowly. (cause they were able to read my lips, how cool is that?) It was probably the most delicious lunch I've ever had at school, not just because of the food, but because for the first time since I came to Japan, I didn't feel like a foreign kid talking with Japanese kids, I just felt like a kid talking to other kids. It was really amazing how they accepted me into their group, I'd never experienced anything like that ever before.
After lunch, we proceeded to play basketball (which I suck at) but it was quite a lot of fun. Naturally, even though I can dunk, I got my ass kicked, and my team lost every time I think. I played in shoes that were 2 sizes too small, but it was REALLY fun anyway, albeit embarrassing :(.
As the day wound down, everyone gradually got sadder and sadder, even though we'd only met just that morning, it felt like we made a real connection, (yeah, I know thats a cliche way to put it, shut up) and I absolutely did not want to leave.
At the end of the day, we took the customary pictures with peace signs all over the place, and I, naturally, being the idiot that I am, stuck my hand right in front of Ken's face.
This post is dedicated to my dear friends at Toyohashi School for the Deaf, I hope we meet again.
I'm a foreign exchange student currently living in Aichi Japan, and I blog about my life, everyday :)