Snow ball fighting! March 26th, 雪合戦に夢中!

(by Xinle Su)
Today started off with a trip to the local junior high school! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there but looked on as the school girls bade farewell warmly to the Yap youths. It sure seemed fun!
We went to Tochikubo Village soon after, when it was time to play in the snow! Before we even went to the actual snow playing area, chaos had already erupted as the youths started snowball fights. When we reached the snow area, youths had fun sleighing down slopes, building snowmans and houses, and barbecuing marshmallows. Before long, two hours had passed, and we trudged back to the community house tired but satisfied, ready to fill our stomachs with delicious local food. A kind of food of worthy mention during lunch was fermented soybeans, otherwise known as natto, which can apparently only be found in Japan. The 豚汁tonjiru was filled with much ingredients and warmed our freezing bodies.
130326塩沢中学校2s.jpg 130326イグルーの前s.jpg
At the same community house, we were joined by 4 masters of straw-craft who taught us how to make sandals from straw. While it required much effort and patience to get the technique right, it seems that quite a few people completed making the sandals!

We returned to our lodging after that, at which point dinner preparations started. We had this “competition” whereby everyone in the cooking team had to cook his or her own version of fried rice, with a variety of seasonings offered. One interesting dish was from Christo, who added curry seasoning. Thumbs up for the imagination!

After a brief rest, we had one of our longest meetings! We divided into three groups to talk about experiences in Niigata and Tokyo after a general discussion. The atmosphere was lively and brimming with energy.

Everyone was dismissed at about 10, so they must be really tired from such a long day. お疲れ様でした!

朝、地元の塩沢中学校を訪問。春休み中でしたが、「英語クラブ」の5人らが学校の案内をしてくれました。

次に栃窪集落に行きました。雪がいっぱい。活動場所に行く前から雪合戦が始まって大騒ぎ。森を抜けた先にある広い場所に行き、ソリ滑りや雪だるまづくり、雪の家づくりなどで2時間があっという間に経ちました。たき火であぶったマシュマロもおいしかったです。

お昼ご飯は、地元の女性が作ってくれた具だくさんの豚汁が冷え切った体を暖めてくれました。地元のいろんな食材の中で人気があったのは、納豆でした。

午後は、4人の地元のおじいさんたちが集まってくれて、稲ワラから縄やわらじを作る方法を習いました。

宿に戻った後は、自分たちで夕食の準備。当番のそれぞれが自分流の味付けでチャーハンを作りました。クリストはカレー味。いいアイデアでした。

夜は午後10時まで、これまでの活動をふり返ってのグループディスカッション。長い一日ご苦労さまでした。        今日の記録係 シンレ・スー

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