The birds were tweeting their morning song. The sun rising from its slumber. It was time to go. We all met at Yamate Station. It took a long time to get to our destination, Ishikawa, the prefecture of Japan. Once we had arrived from our forever lasting train ride, we were in Ishikawa. The first thing we did was make our way to our hotel. When we had arrived at the hotel we had some time to rest and then we had to do some communication and collaboration activities/games as it was our topic for our school year. We played games such as “what are you doing” and “gibberish”. The games were really fun and interesting as everyone had to come up with their own idea in the game. After we had finished, we ate dinner and went out for a nightwalk in the park. The park at night was pretty eerie as there were skeletons and weird silhouettes that we couldn’t see well. And because the girls were scared half to death, the boys were scaring them and it soon became into a horror movie with all of them screaming. Once we had come back from the nightwalk we took a bath in the onsen and then we eventually went to sleep.
On the next day we went to harvest rice with the local farmers. Once we had arrived we started immediately after they had told us the instructions. It took us a long period of time to even clear out half of the field. But at the end it was fun as everyone helped each other getting out of the mud. After we had harvested the rice we went back to the camp and started pounding rice until it was soft. Almost everybody had a go carrying the oversized wooden hammer and pounding it. We made our lunch which was the rice pounded into mochi which was delicious.
After everyone had their third meal, we were ready to leave. We went on the bus and we were on our way. We went into a dye workshop. We had to make patterns onto a cloth using a unique technique that the people used here. We first were given instructions on how to make unique patterns onto the cloth that we had chosen. We had to fold it in different ways and put rubber bands around it and had to make sure that the rubber bands were tight. Then we had to set it in a bucket of green tea for three minutes and then change over to setting it in mud while massaging it for three minutes and then washing it in water for three minutes. We had to do this cycle three times which felt like forever. Once we were all done we could unfold our cloth and see what type of pattern we made as no one could know when they were folding it. Everyone had different patterns and not one was the same. After we had finished we went back to the hotel and got ready for the night.
On the next day, it was the day that we were leaving. But we had one more trip to make. We went to an elementary school. And as soon as we got there, they led us to their hall where they had prepared a presentation for us. The presentation was very informative on their school and they had even worked on a dance for us. After the presentation was over we played some games with them such as fine the letters and a new game a little bit like snap. Then once everyone was done, we had lunch with them. We split into groups to go into different grades. I was chosen to be eating lunch with the first grades. Once we were done we went to have recess with them and we played dodgeball. Surprisingly the students there in the lower grades were strong and could catch our balls. Then it was time for us to leave. They handed their presents to us which were sushi magnets that they had made themselves. Once we thanked them we made our way to where we started, the station. We went back to the station and went back to Yamate Station. And there was where the journey had ended.
All in all, the Ishikawa trip was a great experience as I felt like it brought the students together as there were many times to communicate and collaborate. The students were also able to grow new relationships with new students and teachers. The activities were amazing as all of them had linked to our school theme and all of them were fun. During this trip I feel like people were more included in activities and thought that it was a great trip for students and the teachers.