Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ginza with Hitomi and Yuka

I had dessert before dinner on Thursday!  I met with Yuka for tea and then we found out Hitomi was going to be able to come see us and we ended up going to my favorite "yakitori" place in Ginza. I didn't eat much--it wasn't possible-- but it was great seeing them both. Hitomi is doing great at Yurtec and so is Yuka at JAL. I'm very proud of them both. 

Visiting the Polish Embassy on Thursday

Our students from Poland were invited to their Embassy on Thursday and were able to meet Ambassador Kozaczewski. They introduced themselves in both Japanese and Polish. It was an honorable opportunity and actually my first time at the Embassy. 
Joanna representing JIU greeted the Ambassador. 

By the embassy main entrance in Meguro.

"Manpuku" on Friday

Frango gostoso!

Dinner with Mihara-kun--finally!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

International students in our department

Most of the new incoming international students participated and introduced themselves in our "Kiso seminar" class today. We have about 70 new students from Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia, and the USA.
Students from the University of Lodz, Poland.

Students from Norway.

Congratulations, Anri

Anri received her Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of California, Riverside today. Congratulations, Anri.

Yutaka debut?!?

The common confusion, "kakigori"?!?!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yanagida-san: Congratulations!

We celebrated Yanagida-san's recent wedding on Sunday. I finally met her husband and it was a great seeing all my former seminar students together again. 
We met at Ume no Hana in Chiba.

Scones at Chiba Sogo after that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Welcome to Japan, Leandro

Our first student from the University of Brasília is here and we had a small welcome dinner last night. It was his very first "kamameshi" and I hope he liked it. Greg and Shuko were with us. It was a mixture of three languages over dinner--English, Japanese and beautiful Portuguese.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Last day in California

Today was the last day of our program. There were group presentations in the morning and then in the afternoon we went to Palm Springs and Cabazon. I feel this was a busy but extremely rewarding program for us. There was something special about this group. They get along very well and that's probably because we traveled to Hong Kong together in July, and they seem to know and respect each other. I just hope that they will all choose to join many of our other programs in the near future. Thank you, everyone, for being such great students! I'm proud of you. 
With their certificates.

Enjoying the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

View from the top of the mountain. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Visit to the California School for the Deaf

Today we visited the California School for the Deaf here in Riverside and spent time with the elementary school students. The JIU students did origami and also some calligraphy, and whenever possible they taught some Japanese sign language. It was a challenging morning for all as we don't know the sign language of the States, but everyone found a way to communicate and in the end both the children and the JIU students had a great experience. 

Teaching some Japanese sign language.

Children writing their names in Japanese.

Enjoying origami together.

Lunch with the children in the cafeteria. 

Lunch & origami in the cafeteria!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yurika's birthday

We celebrated Yurika's birthday after we got back from the school visit today. The students at the high school also sang her "Happy Birthday" during class and I'm sure she enjoyed that.

With her gift on her head....

What happened?!?

Patriot High School

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getty Museum in LA

We went to the Getty Museum this afternoon. It was a very short stop on our way back to Riverside, but it was a good opportunity to see Van Gogh's Irises and also a Monet. The weather was lovely!

Heavy traffic on the way back.

San Marino High School on September 10

We spent a superb morning with Yano-sensei at San Marino High where he teaches Japanese. We were allowed to participate in his classes and also interacted with his students both in Japanese and English. Enjoy the video at the bottom. They are all singing together!
Introductions in Japanese.

He drew Kiyomizudera--what an artist!

First two school visits in CA

We went to Mira Loma Middle School and then to All Saints Carden Academy on Monday, September 9. Enjoy the photos!
At Mira Loma Middle School.

Practicing some "kanji."

Principal Huben kindly greeted us.

After school at All Saints.

Playing with origami planes.