Friday, November 21, 2008

Mochi Madness

For the second time since I arrived, I was invited to one of the local Elementary schools today, where instead of my typical English introductory lesson I helped make Japanese “Mochi” with the 5th graders. Mochi is essentially lots of rice that has been beaten with a big wooden mallet until it becomes uniform and sticky, at which point it is dropped into a bowl and caked with various (usually sweet) seasonings. After the rice-beating session (which lasted about an hour) I went and played hand baseball with some of the students. We finally got to eating the mochi after the game—it was a mochi feast. I got a whole plate full of the stuff, and of course lots of vegetables and soup. Believe it or not I'm actually eating a lot better since having come here, I'm pretty sure I've dropped a bit of weight. Although the food was very good, I was so full at the end that it made me regret having eaten so much as when I returned to the junior high school I had the school lunch (curry rice, one of my favorite dishes here, coincidentally). I felt like I was going to explode.

It was a fun day, and I'm looking forward to going to Tokyo tomorrow with many of the other teachers on our teachers trip. Apparently Circ du Soleil and a Vermeer exhibition are on the books at the moment, and I will also enjoy seeing my good friend Hiro again after a year. Sorry no photos or videos this time, there will be some next time though!