From time to time, participants in the college’s study abroad to Nishinomiya, Japan, led by Tom Salsbury, will be giving updates on their experiences. This one was written by preservice teacher Kierstin Laisne, and received no editing from the college.
Today was such an exciting day!
We started it off as per usual with going to school and teaching/observing classes. Some of us continued teaching past tense verbs through charades while others were used to help one of the most energetic teachers demonstrate the differences between “this is” and “that is”. The classes that we got to teach were actually split into half the normal size so interacting with the students went smoother than usual.
After our school day ended, we all hustled back to the hostel, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and out we** went! Today’s destination: Nara. We’ve all been fairly excited about this trip because it meant we got to see and pet deer! …Okay there were other reasons to be excited about Nara but c’mon– there was the opportunity to pet cute little deer! Lots of selfies were taken and we even saw certain people teaching the deer to bow and other random citizens combing and taking care of the deer.
Next up, we walked to the Isuien Gardens, which were by far one of the prettiest things I’ve seen in Japan. This country never ceases to amaze me and just seems to get more beautiful the longer we stay! The picture taking opportunities went on and on so don’t be so surprised when you look at how many photos are included today!
The next place we went to was Todaiji Temple: home of the Great Buddha of Nara, which was built in the early 8th century! It’s safe to say that everyone was shocked by just how huge the statue is! The Great Buddha is about 50 feet tall while also being on a platform so you can only imagine our faces when our eyes adjusted to the dark temple to find a giant in the center! While in the temple, we also learned that this temple was one of the “Seven Great Temples” of Japan! Shrines, dozens of deer, and interesting cement lanterns also surrounded the temple, which seemed to stretch on for a while.
To top off the night though was the most refreshing summer storm that could’ve possibly happened. It was the whole nine yards with thunder, lightning, and completely soaked hair! Although we typically complain whenever it pours back home, rain was a sight for sore eyes, especially after experiencing the humidity here! We all want to make the most of the rest of our trip, so hopefully the weekend will be just as fun as today!
**The “we” in this case would be our group minus one member. Sadly Jeremiah couldn’t be with us today… He’s completely fine but just stayed behind to finish the grant he’s been working super hard on! Congrats Jeremiah! We felt that he should still get to experience Nara though, which led to some interesting pictures and videos… Enjoy!