Goodbye party and Ukraine
Wednesday 25th February Today we had a farewell party for Noa, Ethan and Ryan who will be going to big schools from this Spring. It is always sad to say good bye to our friends but we are also happy for them to make new friends and learn new things in their new school. We also had a very special guest from the office: Maryna visited our class and introduced us about her home country, Ukraine.
This morning, Alexis and Noa helped decorate the front cover of a welcome back card for Darren who will be back from England next week! We are all having a great time here but it is time we start missing him… Eito, Kosei and Riko decorated the crowns for today’s bye-bye party. Ryan, Ethan and Jennifer were busy building train tracks and towers with kapla on the carpet. Tokutaro, Lucinda and Olivia were busy twisting their body on the floor. On the small table, Jeremy, Jessica and Arata were busy carpenters.
Soon after our early snack we invited Tomoko, Ethan and Ryan’s mom who kindly showed us their life book. Opening the page of two resembling babies, Tomoko asked “Can you tell Ethan from Ryan?” It was quite tricky to tell one from the other but she told us how Ryan had fluffy hair, big tummy and big bottom whereas Ethan had less hair and skinny – they were both happy babies. When later Michiru and Jiro, Noa’s mom and dad arrived, they showed us her life book and explained how Noa used to wear diapers for a long time but now she is five and she does not wear diapers anymore. Every day we are growing bigger and learning new things – as we looked through the pages of their portfolio we were amazed at how many things they have worked on in the past few months with Darren and the other teachers. To express both our sad feeling for them leaving the school and our happy feeling for their new journey we sang “If you are sad/happy and you know it…” Then we each gave Ethan, Ryan and Noa a hug as we sang “Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends…”
We were all so greatful that we didn’t have a wet day - we enjoyed running, kicking balls, playing at the swings and sand pit and becoming monkeys on the bar J After we had a bit of run around in the fresh air, we invited Maryna in the classroom who was dressed up in a very pretty traditional clothe from where she comes from, a country called Ukraine. She showed us where Ukraine is on the map – it is quite far away from Japan, in fact, it takes fifteen hours to fly there! She took out a flag with blue and yellow strips. When she asked what the colors are representing, Arata answered, “Blue and yellow flowers like the ones on Maryna’s head (wreath).” Olivia answered, “Blue is water and yellow is the reflection of the sun.” Ryan guessed, “Blue is for sky” and he was right. We still didn’t know the answer for what the yellow stands for so Maryna explained that the yellow is color for sunflowers and wheat from which people in Ukraine make bread, one of their staple foods.
Ukraine is very cold in the Winter time, normally the temperature going below 20 degrees so Maryna said, “You can make snowman everyday!” She also taught us about a traditional instrument called the Trembita, a wooden horn which can be as long as ten feet and if it is played, you will be able to hear the sound ten km away! Then she demonstrated how to make cross stitches - a popular embroidery made among Ukrainian women. We were surprised to hear that the one she is working on now can take more than six months for her to complete it. Finally, she performed a special dance for us and taught us some of the steps!
All our love, Ayaka, Goh and Nanako