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July 19, 2011 / Mika Riedel

There’s always tomorrow, so ya better remember!

May 16th, 2011

Today we held our Rainbow Crayons program at the Oshio Community Center, Hebita Elementary School, and Kadonowaki Junior High School!

~ Hebita Elementary School (Ai-chan’s report) ~

The weather was nice today, so we thought we’d all go outside and play baseball, but the wind was very strong, so we quickly changed plans to play dodgeball inside.

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We divided into boys’ and girls’ teams and were ready to start! The boys trounced the girls, maybe because they had more people on their team.

After dodgeball, the boys played catch and had batting practice. They said, “Ai-chan, you be the pitcher,” so I agreed, but one of the kids hit a line drive right at me, which hit me in the stomach and everybody exploded with laughter. After that, none of the kids wanted to hit home runs–instead, they tried to hit more “pitcher liners” at me. It was really scary, as pitch after pitch came back at me. 🙂

I was impressed with how well the third- and fourth-graders could hit exactly in the direction they were aiming at. I kept thinking, “You guys should go for the Major Leagues!” 🙂

Meanwhile, the girls were really into beading!

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We were nearing the end of our day, so everybody cleaned up and said their goodbyes. Then one little girl came up and asked, “Can we do this tomorrow?” When I assured her, “Yup, we’ll be doing this again tomorrow,” she said, “I’m coming tomorrow, so ya better remember! Later, Ai-chan!” and ran off.

That’s how today’s Rainbow Crayons ended!

~ Oshio Community Center (Piroko’s report) ~

Around 10 participants.

Today was Chika-sensei’s day off, so the volunteers from World Peace Light Workers and I played with the children!

We played cards, folded origami, we did lots of fun activities, then Kazuyan said, “I wanna go outside!” (I think Kazuyan is a fourth-grader. A little slow, likes to do funny voices, and overall a cute kid.)

Everything was all crazy and disorganized inside, but I made an executive decision: “All right! Today is KAZUYAN DAY!” Today it’s all Kazuyan, all the time! ‘Til we drop!

We left the children inside to the volunteers, and Kazuyan, a male volunteer and I ran outside. It was time for Kazuyan’s favorite game, “Fugitive on the Run.”

For this game, I was the hunter, while Kazuyan and the other man ran away from me. I had to catch them both. So basically, it is tag. I asked, “This is basically tag, right?” Kazuyan replied, “Nooooo!  It’s Fugitive on the Run! Come ON!” I love little exchanges like this!

So we started playing Fugitive on the Run, but Kazuyan’s rules were pretty stacked. I went chasing after him, and as soon as I yelled “GOTCHA!” he called a time out. 🙂 Apparently, the other “fugitive” was supposed to be a hostage, so I was supposed to catch him first. And while I was chasing after them, if I touched the jump rope, even slightly, I had to freeze. 🙂

Wow…. freedom is amazing!!! I really wanted to take more pictures of our time together. I want my own cameraman, for real! Back inside, it was probably the craziest of crazy with our absence, but I sure had a good time!

Of course it’s loads of fun to play with everyone all together, but I realized it’s super duper important to play and have silly little chats on a more intimate level, too. It’s the same for adults. Just having a listener is a huge way to release stress and get things off your chest. This is getting pretty deep. 🙂

I’m gonna keep on doing the Pi-chan hustle! This has been the report from Oshio.

Written by Kodomo Hinanjo Club on 5/16/2011.

Translated by Katherine Lundy and Kayoko Hirata on 7/17/2011.

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