Today I went together with the other AFS students in Sapporo to an event at the Fuji Girls’High School in Asahikawa. It was the same kind of event as the camp we had earlier with the same people. This time we were invited at their school to talk (in English) about solving world problems. It was more a school project were our contribution was to bring their English to a higher level.
I had to wake up at five O’clock and take the bus at 6.40 and next the train to Sapporo Eki where we met the other students. Our train to Asahikawa left at 8 O’clock and it took one and half hour to get there. It was nice to meet the other AFS students again because I had not paid much attention to them lately because there was some twaddle and I don’t like that.
So actually I was not looking forward to this day but it was a nice day after all.
Our breakfast, almost forgot to mention, was a culinary pinnacle: sandwich and rice ball!
The AFS students in Asahikawa were waiting for us at the station. A number of LP’s (AFS volunteers) brought us to the school. I was in the car with Emma, Erica and Michelle from Switzerland. The LP in our car loves KPop (Korean pop music) as much as Emma and me so we enjoyed it a lot.
The school is a Catholic girls school. That obvious because of the Maria statues and the chapel.
This school is totally different from my school. The interior is completely new and very neat. My schools is pretty old. The third year students were already waiting for us and we were divided in groups.
We started with an ‘ice break’ game to get acquainted. It was a quiz were you could win points with your group. Unfortunately we did not win. There were presentations and we discussed about how schools can solve world problems.
Since we have a Kenyan at school with whom I talked with in our library I has some foreknowledge.
Here is a summary: in his neighborhood are no roads, they have to get water from a well that is 3km away. His school is 10 km away from school. He runs to school each day. Class 1 has approximately 40/50 students and they are always short of teachers because the government does not have enough money and private school are too expensive for 90% of the population.
There was an AFS girl from Laos that spoke about the circumstances in her country. Our conclusion was the same all the time. As long as there is corruption it is impossible to help a country.
Next we met girls from the camp and we took pictures. Their uniform is bizarre long, that is because it is actually a dress. School girls usually roll up their skirt to make it shorter, with a dress that’s impossible. Luckily I don’t have to roll it up since it is already shorter!
It was rather boring at school and we all were glad when it was finished. I do not understand why this is obligatory for AFS students. I would have organized more Japanese cultural activities. We also have a lot of meetings were they tell us things we know already. When AFS Japan could organize something more interesting what has nothing to do with English, that would be a lot better. I don’t mind when the exchange is finished, I will not miss the busy schedule.
When we went back Emma and I had great fun again, singing along with the KPop. We said goodbye to the other girls and went back to Sapporo by train.
When we arrived in Sapporo it was about dinner time and we decided to go out for dinner together. To took quite some time because it is not easy to make a decision where to eat with eight people. We went to a cheap Italian restaurant, a McDonald style fast food Italian. It was very busy and crowded with students, because it was cheap.
When we finally had a table the restaurant owner came to warn us, by forehand, not to be loud. We all had something like: Are you kidding… do you really mean that? Some of us wanted to leave right away but since we were hungry we stayed. It seems that foreigners are usually pretty loud.
I had a pizza, fried shrimps and some very nice sweet bread with cinnamon and sugar. In the new AFS group that arrived this summer is an Italian and he was shocked by the poor quality, but none the less it was ok and we were hungry.
It was a nice day after all, but for me it was not necessary.