This summer, one of our visiting CMS exchange students, Kevin, stayed with the Takase family in Tochigi. He was taken by the beautiful rolling farm fields contrasted with the sudden mountains and visible expanse toward Lake Saroma to the northeast. Today I ran into Mrs. Takase at Wakasa Elementary. She had a card from Kevin that no one in their family completely understood, and asked me to translate it. This got me thinking that I had never really explored Tochigi, not by car nor by bike.
Yesterday I had a 5th period class at Wakasa Elementary school that was open to parents. The school staff had been asking me to do this for quite some time, and today was the first time schedules allowed. The class went well; I taught eleven 5th and 6th graders how to ask and answer “can~” questions, i.e. “Can you play baseball?” I particularly focused on the differences between predicates that require “play” to precede the object and those that don’t. For example, we all play baseball, but does one play judo, or do judo?
I finished class before 2:30 and had no pressing matters to attend to for the rest of the day. When I have free time after finishing class, I try not to rush back to the office. It’s easy to forget that I’m not just here to teach, but to act as an ambassador between the towns, sometimes as an evangelist. So, I like to take some of my workday to go for a drive down a road I’ve never taken before, have a chat with some locals, or somehow get to know Saroma a little bit better. So today I drove toward Tochigi, an isolated and peaceful part of Saroma, the furthest that you can get from the lake. It was such a beautiful day, I got some nice photos on my iPhone, including the panorama at the top of the page. Enjoy.