Three interns and myself flew to Hokkaido this week to teach at a welcoming school called Toshin Eisei Yobiko Asahikawa Ekimaekou. My week wasn’t just the best experience of English Camp 2017 so far—it was probably one of the best experiences of my entire life.
On the first day, we were met at the airport by three Japanese staff, taken out to dinner (which was completely paid for by the school!), and shown around the venue.
When we walked into the venue, we were shocked by the clumps of balloons and leis decorating the walls. Welcome to English Camp at Asahikawa! was written in bubble letters on the white board.
Over the course of the teaching week, students were happy and engaged. We made hats out of paper, played telephone charades, and genuinely became good friends with each other. The Japanese staff also bought everyone Hokkaido Fighters baseball jerseys.
We even played heavy metal music to make students speak louder during their speeches. Best part: a Japanese staff member brought the heavy metal CD.
The day we had our flight back to Tokyo, the Japanese staff took us around Asahikawa.
These are some of the places we went to, but we also went sake tasting in the morning and got dinner before our flight back to Tokyo (which were also all covered by the staff!) The Japanese staff cried when they dropped us off at the airport. I did too.
I also had an amazing homestay this week. My host dad loved to make soba from scratch, so he made me some for dinner one night. Watching him make it, cut it, and cook it was such a unique experience. They also took me to karaoke, a fireworks festival, kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi), onsen, and a fancy restaurant. The grandpa lived across the street, and he often came by and took pictures of my host sister and I. He had a really nice camera because his hobby was photography. He attempted to teach the camera to me one evening via Google translate by using speak to text which was hilarious.
I can't wait to come back next year and see my friends again!