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After returning safely from Nagoya we jumped right into lots of activities. One of the highlights of my week was helping with teaching English to elderly folks. The administrator of the home said that teaching English in a nursing home is extremely rare in Japan; in fact it’s so rare she would like to do a presentation about it at a regional conference. The residents seem to love the class and there were of a lot of smiles! I love being around elderly people and since my dad is in a nursing home, I kind of felt at home. I think this one of my favorite photos of 2013:

Me with Mr. E. – his hat says, “I’m incredible!”

Handing out handmade hats to the residents – the class theme was the weather

I also assisted at a crafts class for ladies from Onagawa, one of the most devastated places in Tohoku.

My teammate Katherine, in red, is teaching the ladies to make a tablecloth. There were craft classes two days in a row this week which is quite unusual.

In addition to two English classes and two craft classes, we also enjoyed a birthday party, a big prayer meeting, a team dinner, and a big community event this morning. Folks from the neighborhood start showing up at the local community center every Saturday at 9am to drink coffee and chat. Sometimes there is a musical concert around 10 or 10:30. Our teammate Andy leads a rousing game of Bingo at 11am complete with small prizes. At 11:30 or so we (“we” being our team and a few other teams) start serving lunch to anywhere from 50-80 people, mostly elderly.

The youngest in attendance at the weekly community event

Our teammates, Lorna and Tobi

Rather random photo – Matthias and I were amazed at how big this apple was. Do they sell them this big in the US?

It was definitely a good week. This upcoming week is also looking quite busy! On Tuesday, we will visit old friends in Yamagata and I’m really looking forward to that. 🙂