Real Update

Upon returning from my first homestay, we started camp session number 2. This time there were 8 girls from a Jr. High School. Uh, 8 girls and 20 ACs. Needless to say camp was a little on the relaxing side. I didn`t even have campers in my cabin there were so few of them (at camp USA the campers have americans in their cabin. which is funny because most of the schools are all girls schools, so it ends up that the guys always get staff cabins but never us). I spent most of my time doing planning for other camp sessions and reading Fingersmith (which was great btw, thanks Nat! I really like how the order form in the back of the book was for books like Lesbianism for Beginners. Tres Lesbian chic).

When those girls left, we had the afternoon off and were allowed to use the pool for the first time. It was really fun. We played lots of games with flutterboards and I think the Japanese staff at the camp think we`re very strange. I mean, watching 18 people throw flutterboards at each other`s head, you have to wonder if everything is right up there.

The next day camp session 3 began. We actually had three different groups at the same time, and since schools are anal about mixing their kids, they were kept totally seperate. I was working with an Elementary School – 25 girls from grades 4 and 5. They were super cute and I had the best time with them and their teachers (who spoke amazing english). One of the little girls wrote me a thank you letter which is so adorable, and another has already emailed me. The staff also gave me a huge bag of Japanese snacks to share among the ACs – so much fun!

Making a special appearence for the session was Guy Healy, the director of the camps, with his Evaluation Team. They were super fun and he had really nice things to say to me. He told me that Lori and I are helping Canada by being there because we`re teaqching the ACs about it and the Japanese kids too. Hehe.

There was also a high school group there of about 40 girls. Funny thing is they put the high school aged Counsellors with the girls, so all these boy crazy girls were with the American guys of the same age. And totally smitten. I laughed watching the boys show off for them by break dancing and doing tricks…

Unfortunately a typhoon decided to show up for the last day of camp, so we ended up having to end our session a few hours early. We still did get to perform our skits, and my groups won best skit. I was Uncle Jam in our version of Anpanman. And the typhoon was overrated. Just some heavy rain (at least at Nose).

Since the other camps ended after ours, we were pretty bored so Chad and I played dress up – I wore around my yukata and getta, and chad wore a chinese outfit.

That night our group was the only group at the facility because everyone else had cancelled because of the weather. So we shared a fun BBQ with the Nose staff (who are great) and then watched Lost in Translation and Finding Nemo.

On Sunday we took off to Takamatsu – a city on the island of Shikoku where camp session 4 was. We were located at a training facility of a Bank that was actually 20 minutes by car. The kids were their customers` children. But session 4 only started Tuesday so we had like nothing to do for two days. We explored the nearby grocery store (I so love grocery stores), convienience store, comic book cafe and Do It Yourself store.

That took like 2 hours. So we were bored. Lori and I got frustrated that we were so near to a city, so on Monday night we went in search of a train station. After a lot of “Eki wa doku des ka?” and people pointing, we found it. We figured out which direction to head in and made it to Takamatsu. Spent a few hours there wandering, and then headed back to the middle of nowhere.

It was nice for the 4th session to start finally. I was working with kids from grades 1-3. So in my room were 6 year olds. They didn`t know how to bathe, so I had to get into the showers with them and wash their hair. Fun stuff man. Those kids were crazy and took so much out of all of us. We were just so tired at the end of the day from chasing them around. Day three I was ready to collapse. With the promise of a homestay, and a little pick me up from a friend, made it til graduation. All the kids parents were there. And my host family came to pick me up at the facility, so I was so excited to have my mom and sisters there!

Summary: I have now completed 4 session of Camp U.S.A. Four more before I come home on the 26th.

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