Tuesday, June 10, 2014


You may view previous posts about this trip to Japan here and here.    

 Before the kids and their fearless leader head out to Hiroshima, I wanted to show a couple more pictures from Kyoto at the Manga Museum.  If you have teenagers you know about the art form called Manga.  
For you plaid connoisseurs, here is a picture from the museum showing Japanese plaid.

Now on to Hiroshima.
The report was that the memorial and museum was very well done -- no blame on either side -- just the horrible consequences of war.
Some cultural exchange going on between school kids.  Do you suppose the Japanese girls are thinking that we grow them tall in the U.S.A.?
There's certainly been a learning curve when it comes to the food.  Here they are cooking their own meat and veggies.
There's always junk food.  But, I've only heard of one McDonald's visit!
They were in Fukuoka for a couple of days staying in a ryokan, a more primitive Japanese inn that included tatami-mat floors, no beds - just futon mattresses on floors, and no showers or bath tubs in the rooms.  The onsen (hot springs) are expected to be used for bathing.  All this along with limited Wi-Fi access was quite the adjustment for the teen-agers!
But there were more sights to be seen, and a trip to the beach.  At this point, they were only an hour by boat away from South Korea; but not on this trip!
Their next destination will be Nagasaki, then Tokyo.

To answer some questions that I've received, here is some back story.  Our son, Mike, teaches at a public high school in a small 
farming community on the plains of Colorado.  Every 2-3 years, international trips are planned through the auspices of EF Educational Tours (click here) and the extra-curricular International Club at the school, which Mike is the sponsor.  This is his 4th trip through EF Tours; he has traveled with kids to Japan 7 years ago, then to Greece and Italy, then Germany and France, and now back to Japan.  The kids, their parents, Mike and Jodi (another teacher who has been on three of the trips) spend innumerable hours fund-raising by holding dinners before school plays, running concession stands at school sports activities and other community events.  And, still additional parental financial support is needed.  By the time the trip rolls around, these kids are really invested and committed.   Mike is a no-nonsense type of math and science teacher in the classroom -- he says that the only way to really learn math is by doing math, lots and lots of math!  But he really values travel as an extension of the total learning experience including art, music, philosophy, history,  and culture; and thus, his dedication to this program.  The only compensation he receives outside of his math and science teaching salary are his travel expenses that are paid for by the tour company for being the liaison and group leader.
As soon as they return from Japan, the work and planning begins for Mike and Jodi -- there are already kids signed up for the next trip scheduled for 2016 to the British Isles.  Fund raising begins next month at their community Fourth of July celebration. 
 And, I always thought that teachers had the summer off!

I know I'm stretching it a bit, but I'm joining the following:
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday


Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

I have not heard of Manga Sally, but I certainly know plaid! lol! Simply amazed at what a wonderful adventure for the kids. Next trip the British Isles. Wow, could I hit my wagon to the back? Thanks for sharing with SYC.

SmilingSally said...

Morning Sally,

Your son is a worker, that's for sure. What a fascinating life he's living! His students are fortunate to have him.

Thanks for sharing.

Happy Blue Monday!

Ann said...

These students are receiving such a well rounded education--nothing better. What a great teacher he is.

bj said...

What a wonderful experience for all of them....

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Youngest niece a Manga enthusiast :)

SO interesting ...going to check out the prior links now! :)