July 25 - July 28: Kids class in nature
|July 25: This is Communication Center in Yabe town, Kumamoto prefecture. We will have a kids' class here after tomorrow.|
|Goat is a member of the family.|
|Today, some members arrived here to prepare the class. The member consists of teachers and students from Jiyuu Gakuen and members from Kyushu Block.|
|The Center is located at Maruyama, about 800 meters from the sea level. It is quite cool and nice place. Soon, we discussed how to spend three days study here.|
|This is an old cooking stove. The students from Jiyuu Gakuen tried to cook rice using it. The result was very good.|
|The student usually cook rice using old cooking stove called Kamado. This is because they could cocked up the rice very quickly. The dinner of the day was 'Hayashi rice" brought-in by Kumamoto branch members.|
|July 26: Heavy storm last night and fine morning with a lot of clouds.|
|Tasty milk from Aso pasture, vegetable soup, and fresh bread are the menu of the breakfast.|
|This Center building was moved from Kumamoto area using old building materials that date back to 150 years ago. The volunteers of Kumamoto Branch maintain the building.|
|After the breakfast, we walked around the highland.|
|Beautiful flowers are here and there.|
|Around two in the afternoon, kids showed up vividly.|
|The number of the kid was 30 together with 9 helper mothers.|
|After the entry sign up, they attach the marks on their prefectures.|
|The opening ceremony. The member of Kyushu bloc made a few words in the beginning, followed by the introduction of the students from Jiyuu Gakuen. The kids introduced themselves respectively as well.|
|Where are you from? Unfortunately, there was no mark on Okinawa Island. The map tells that the teachers of Jiyuu Gakuen and Central Committee of Group of Friends have come from Tokyo.|
|We were divided into some groups and talked about how to spend three days here. The opening ceremony was over and they took snack prepared by the local mothers.|
|At the entrance of the Center is a shoe stand. The shoes were arranged in order.|
|The local mother group prepared for the dinner including red rice, flowering fern, bamboo soot, and Shiitake mushroom. Kids enjoyed them very much.|
|A torrential rain and lightning visited the highland regularly. As we intended the observation of the stars, we were disappointed. But Mr. Tokuo, a postgraduate of Kumamoto University told the kids about the summer constellation using a telescope.|
|After the evening meeting, the kids rolled out the sleeping mat on the second floor.|
|The mothers prepared for the tomorrow foods. After it, we reviewed today's work together with the members from Jiyuu Gakuen and confirmed tomorrow to-do items.|
|The kids will have many experience tomorrow. The firewood were prepared in front of the old cooking ovens.|
|July 27: Clear dawn.|
|The breakfast is "Spanish omelet" using ten eggs and abundant vegetables.|
|Butter rolls and tomatoes presented from the local residents are the part of the breakfast.|
|The kids arrange the dishes in groups.|
|After the breakfast, the kids learned from The students of Jiyuu Gakuen how to cook rice.|
|Each kids group tried to cook rice soon. Set the firewood on fire, boiling up water in the pod, and put the washed rice in it. The timing of removing the firewood looked like difficult.|
|They then made rice balls with the just cocked rice for lunch box. We will go hiking to Circle Park from now.|
|The hiking leaders were the members of Kumamoto Branch, Mr. Haruki Tatsuta and Mrs. Ayumi, the couple of entomologists.|
|Before the start, Ayumi explained that even an insect lives as well as it can, so don't kill insects that don't harm to human. The kids have learned he importance of life.
On the way to the park, they could the very moment of cicada molting.
|About an hour walk along the gentle up slope lead us to the park. We took occasional rests and observed the nature around us.|
|Mr. Tatsuta studies about grasshopper, specifically wingless grasshopper. He picked up a sample of it. The grasshopper prefers butterbur and is called butterbur grasshopper, he explained.|
|All the members arrived the park with sweat.|
|There was a symbol tree and a circled walkway is around it.|
|The kids checked the number of cicadaf shell they gathered until they arrived here. Tatsuta said that careful inspection of the shell would tell you the species of the cicada.|
|Mr. Nakamura who made the park told the kids why he had made it. When he visited German, he learned a cure method for Alzheimerf patients to use the forticulturists treatment. He loved flowers much and he decided to make the garden like this.
Takahashi teacher hold a seedling of lavender.
|The short stake with the length of 15 centimeters are put densely along the walkway. When people walk on it with barefoot, the sticks will stimulate the sole which is good for Alzheimerf patients. The walkway guide back to the start point wherever the patients start to walk.
Today, we worked to plant the seedlings of lavender.
|After the working, we all walked the promenade on barefoot. The kids have also counted the number of color of the mountain slopes.|
|In the tea break, sweet melon was served. It was very cool and good.|
|We came back to the center and enjoyed barbecue party in the evening.|
|The barbecue materials were meat, sweet potato, pumpkin, egg plant, and cabbage.|
|The food leader, Ingu, roasted so much fried noodle on a huge iron pan. All people enjoyed it.|
|A regular shower came to here, but a large tent sheltered us from the rain and we could continue the pleasant party.|
|July 28: Clear morning. All the members did gymnastics led by Minota.|
|After the exercise, we took beautiful breakfast.|
|Today's dishes are roasted vegetable, rolled bread, local tomato, and milk. The adult took tea.|
|Well, the kids experience will be over today. They cleaned up the house they stayed for three days.|
|After the cleaning, we had a general meeting to review this time event by reading the works of Motoko Hani who wrote "Teachers are everywhere around you." In the group meeting, they talked about what they found as the teachers and what they felt in this time schooling.|
|Today, four members drove up from Kumamoto city and prepared lunch for us.|
|The lunch menu was curried rice and grape jelly. Thanks to the Kumamoto helpers, the adults could join the general meeting together with the kids.|
|The schooling will be closed soon. A poem by Hakushu Kitahara was on the wall and all of us read it in a loud voice. It was very good to make the heart of the members into one.|
|After the preparation of return, we took a we-were-there picture.|
|A micro bus picked up the kids.|
|We drove down to Yabe town and visited famous Tsuujunnkyou Bridge", a water canal constructed in Edo era.|
|The fine construction work some 150 years ago still served rice paddies with irrigation water.|
|The beautiful water arch fascinated us.|
|For past two years, similar life experience schoolings were held in Nasu Farm of Jiyuu Gakuen. As it was very remote from Kyushu Island, only four adult members could join it. We have been planning to have another chance in Kyushu and it came true this time at last.Thanks to many people, the schooling in Kyushu was over successfully.
Attendants: Kids 30 from Kyushu Block branches, GOF members 9 from Kyushu branches, AJiyuu Gakuen students from Tokyo 6, teachers from JiyuuGakuen 2, Kyushu block members 6, National GOF central branch Fukayama, Kumamoto branch 5, Center member Fujimoto, Naoshi Tokuo of postgraduate of the department of science Kumamoto University, Tsukuba University Haruki Tatsuta and Ayumi Tatsuta, and other local supporters.
Thank you very much.