September was a busy month in Yakumo. I celebrated my 25th birthday on September 6th. On that day, I went to Yakumo Elementary School where I gave a short self-introduction to many classes, who sang "Happy Birthday" to me. It was a wonderful gift.
I have visited all of the Junior High Schools in Yakumo and given many self-introductions. Here is a photo from Nodaoi Junior High School:
I enjoyed Yakumo's Matsuri Festival. I liked the elementary school brass band, taiko drumming, and the junior high school orchestra. The food was also delicious and it was a beautiful day.
I watched my first sumo tournament on TV and learned about the different ranks and techniques. I was cheering for Harumafuji and was surprised that he became yokozuna!
I was also able to see kendo for the first time. I was fascinated and impressed by the big voices, the speed, grace, and accuracy of the participants. Kendo is really cool, but I still have a lot to learn before I can really understand it.
After two months in Japan, I understand much more about Japanese culture! Every day brings a new lesson about life in Japan, and I always enjoy learning more.
Hello! I am Rebekah, the new English teacher in town. I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, one of the northernmost states. 300,000 people live in Minneapolis, and the weather in Minnesota is a lot like Yakumo, with beautiful, changing seasons, and cold, snowy winters. I enjoy the outdoors, and many people in Minnesota enjoy skiing, ice fishing, hockey, and making snowmen. Minnesota is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”! We do not have mountains, and we are far away from seas and oceans, so I will enjoy these parts of Yakumo very much!
My great grandmother lived in Yokohama, and my grandmother was born there before moving to the United States. However, this is my first time in Japan, and I do not know much Japanese, so please teach me! I will do my best to study as much as I can. And please don’t be shy about speaking English around me! Language study makes me think of this quotation by Nelson Mandela, South African politician and Nobel Prize winner:
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
Already, I have met so many kind and interesting people in Yakumo. I am very impressed by the public facilities in town, especially the gym’s underwater treadmills. I can’t wait to explore more of Yakumo, see the famous lantern festival, and visit Hokkaido’s National Parks. Finally, in case you were wondering, I am decent at using chopsticks and I like Japanese food very much, especially sashimi, mochi, and onigiri!