June 15, 2008

School's Out! Scream and Shout!

Friday marked the last day of school for Canadian Academy and the other international schools in the area. Over the past few days, Jacob and Lauren's classes both had visits to the River Mall and class picnics, and the kids brought home their many end-of-the-year class projects. We were invited to Jacob's classroom on Friday for a "poetry recital," which was totally adorable. Jacob wore his pride from ear to ear and didn't stop glowing. Here are some photos and a short video clip of the recital.

Here is Jacob, with his terrific KB teachers:

And Lauren with her fantastic BBP teacher:

While the end of the school year has arrived for us, it's not even close to the last day for the Japanese schools. The Japanese school year starts in April and students have a one month break from the end of July through the end of August. They continue their studies in the grueling, hot summer heat while the rest of the ex-pat community is traveling and relaxing.

(On a related note, we continue to be impressed by the detail-orientedness and work ethic of the Japanese students; this past weekend we witnessed an intense super-organized dodgeball (!) practice (seriously). Organized chants, high stepping lines of kids ducking flying dodgeballs for hours on a weekend morning. In the U.S., we dabble in this "sport" at gym class and then make bad funny movies about it; here they work at it until they master it. It certainly says something.)

Since the summer holiday is the only time some families get to return home, Rokko Island really clears out for July and August. The ex-pat community fans out all over the world. Our friends are heading home to places like New Zealand, Barcelona, Canada, Korea, India, The Philippines, and of course the USA. Lauren's teacher and family bought an "around the world" ticket and will be traving west from Japan making at least a half-dozen stops in the next 6 weeks before returning to Japan. Pretty cool, huh?

While a trip literally around the world was pretty enticing, we've decided to head home to the New Jersey area for Mike's brother's wedding. Mike will be home for one short week, before returning to Japan, to join the ranks of the "summer-time single Dads," while Ilena and the kids will stay in the U.S. for an extra four weeks -visiting family and friends, and traveling the span of the eastern seaboard, from Vermont to Florida. We are all very excited for our first trip home.

In the meantime, we have a few days just to relax and enjoy:

1 comment:

jmgesq said...

I'm really excited to have you guys home for a bit - and I know I'm not the only one. You're definitely much missed (and I much missed your phone call last night! I'm much better in the posting dept. then the phone dept. somehow. :-( )

These are wonderful end of year school pics. Both Jacob and Lauren look great and happy but Jacob is really glowing in a way I don't think I've quite seen before. I think this school and the year thus far in Japan has done wonderful things for him.

Thanks for sharing all of this...as always. Will we having posts for the next month of 'what it's like for the single man in Japan's summer'? or is that too risque for the likes of us?

Safe trip all and see you soon.
Loads of love and kisses.