Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Take THAT, Negative Nancies!

I've decided (very typical of my sickeningly optimistic and positive nature) to help us all smile a little bit with my post today. A bit tired of the phone pole, there was a more momentous event last week. 100th day of school at Bob Hope Primary School.

This kindergarten celebration is off the hizook, people. As mentioned earlier, a t-shirt was made. I joked about the partying, but little did I know it really was a much bigger deal than I had anticipated.

On the morning of the event (this past Friday) I grabbed my camera with my 16-35mm (wide-angle) and smiled as I noticed the SUN - what?! YES SUN! IT was a STUNNING day, and I quickly regretted putting a long-sleeved shirt under Mia's t-shirt.

I got out of the car at school and saw this:
HOLY SCHNIKIES! (Ok, can I just say that Craig saw that over my shoulder and doesn't know what "holy schnikies" is? Somebody rent that dude Tommy Boy....) See the black boxes by the banner on the awning? Loud-speakers. Blaring music. Tables with games are set up all over the place, a tricycle track with 10 trikes, 2 bouncies... I was blown away. And highly disappointed that I wasn't there when the buses arrived and Mia SAW this insanity for the first time. I asked her about it when I saw her later and she said, "I almost screamed my head off it was so cool!"

So first it was time to take a picture of the entire kindergarten class and all the teachers for the yearbook. What more perfect day than 100th day? Here's the "Where's Waldo" (if you're good, you can spot Mia and maybe even Logan, her boyfriend):
As you can see, there were many cool banners, shirts, hats, and very very happy kids.

After this picture, I had to shoot one of the 3rd grade class, so I missed the parade. But afterward I headed out to the carnival of 100th day fun. This mom was all dressed up for the occasion:
Each kid had a list pinned to their shirt, they had to do each activity available, and as they did them the activity was crossed off their list. Like lick a lollipop 100 times, jump in the jumpie 100 times, run a 100 foot dash, hula hoop 100 times:
Make 100th day glasses:
tricycle for 100 meters:
Color 100 spots on a dog:
Get your face painted (you could pick any number, but almost everyone chose - you guessed it...):
So, as you can see, I was snapping away on a beautiful day - the gorgeous kindergarten kids were just having a blast. I ran into my friend Joelle and she had her camera out; she was taking pictures for a local magazine they sell on the bases called "This Week" and I told her I'd share if she wanted. She told me she had to leave, but that some Japanese kids were coming to celebrate and could I take pictures of it. Of course!

Now, mind you - we were in our PoR at this point, so I thought this was going to be extra awesome - show people how well the children can get along - despite any language barrier - and that it's fantastic for all cultures to spend time together here. (Americans can throw one humdinger of a 100th day party, yo.)

At 10:30, I heard an announcement for Japanese moms to head over to the buses. I turned around and saw this:

A friggin' cat and dog BUS! Filled with Japanese kindergarteners! Oh yes. And when the bus drivers beeped the horn. Yup. BARK and MEOW. I kid you not. I think I need to be a bus driver now. For Japanese kindergarten children.

2 of the Bob Hope Primary School classes had made t-shirts for the visiting children so they could join in on the fun:

The students filed off the bus, lined up boy-girl, in their gym uniforms. Look how excited they are! JUMPIES! TRICYCLES! LOLLIPOPS! Look at all this space.....our school is in the city, dude. LET US AT IT!

The kids had a delightful exchange of t-shirts, and the Japanese kids quickly pulled them on over their shirts. Then the kids were paired off to go play together with the help of the bi-lingual moms & children.

The biggest hit was definitely the tricycles:

This is so sweet.... I seriously couldn't take a bad picture all afternoon. There are a lot here, but I pared it down from about 100 pictures.

I love this kid. His funny little dimples. His striped tights and differently striped socks. I realized I took about 6 pictures of him. But I really wanted to take him home. With my limited Japanese, all I could say to these kids was, "Is that delicious?" and "One, two, three, SMILE!" - and of course, thank you.

In return, the Japanese children made artwork (really cute collages, see below) for the American students:
Just before the students said goodbye, Ms. Hobbs (acting Principal) handed out goodie bags to the kids. I seriously was teary-eyed the whole time.
I'm sure you're all familiar with "All I ever needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten". I think some of the grown-ups around here could learn a lot from these kindergartners. I had almost as much fun as they did.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rain & Food

It was a lovely day. And as I got up from the computer to get ready to pick up the kid at the bus stop, I heard something. RAIN, and wind, and RAIN. So before heading out, I opened the screen door and shot this from there - I couldn't get the camera wet. So it's down through the railing bars on my balcony. Somehow this doesn't depict just how hard it's really raining here right now. Let's just say our jackets & pants are hanging over the shower curtain rod to dry.

70mm, f2.8, ISO 100, SS 1/200
Side note - the "PoR" (Period of Reflection) will continue and will be reassessed on March 3rd. I figured. Here's a tidbit I saw in Japan Update today though - way to go, out-in-town-restaurant people!

Local restaurant fires up the food, delivery services to bases
The lockdown on military bases has some GI’s and family members salivating for some off-base cuisine, and an innovative restaurant owner has stepped up with a delivery service to quench those desires.
Sauce Live Restaurant, popular with those who have a yearning for spicy foods, is now offering delivery service from noon to midnight each day. The service isn’t being offered island-wide, but is available to central bases. The minimum order is dinner for two, the restaurant says, and delivery fees do apply.
Orders can be placed noon to 6.p.m. by calling 090-3954-7833, and to 098-936-0204 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Sauce Live Restaurant says each delivery order will include a free bottle of Sauce Live original hot sauce courtesy of Sauceman.

Thanks, Sauceman!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunabe Telephone Pole - Installment VI

Shot at f6.3, 24mm, SS 15.0 sec, ISO 100

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunabe Telephone Pole - Installment V

Thank you for the suggestion, Lewellens - here you go!
70mm, f6.3, ISO 100 on a tripod at about 8pm tonight. 30 second exposure. I almost hoped a car was going to go by.... I have one more night shot, I'll post it tomorrow.
We bowled today with friends, it was fun. I'm all too ready to get out in town. I hope it's soon.