Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Enjoyable Picnic • 楽しい遠足

One part of my job that I haven't written about much are the visits that I make to the village's nursery schools. Inakadate has three nursery schools, all three of which accept children from infant through elementary school age. I go to each one once a week and stay for a couple of hours. We play together a little and I try to teach them a little English. It is always interesting.
この田舎館での仕事についてまだ書いていない一部分は村の保育所に訪問するこ とです。田舎館には赤ちゃんから小学校に入学するまでの子供を扱う3つの保育所があります。毎週各保育所に行って、2時間ぐらい子供と過ごします。一緒に遊んだりして、少し英語を教えることもしています。毎回楽しいです。

Today too I went to the Kodenji Nursery School, but today was a special event. When I got there at about 9:30 I immediately got on the village bus and went with all the children and teachers to a nearby park. Today is the day of the annual fall picnic.

The picnic took place at a park near a lake about 30 minutes away from the village. In the park was a large playground that turned out to be the main activity of most of the children. All the kids ran around, climbed, swang, slid and rode on all the attractions for a good hour or so before we sat down for lunch.

After lunch the littler kids went back for a nap in the bus and the older children went for a walk. The Japanese name for such a picnic is ensoku, which means 'long walk' so I guess it was logical that a walk was a part of it. I didn't see it, but I hear that the discovery of a big praying mantis and several mushrooms were the high point of the walk.
食べてから、小さい子供たちはバスに戻って昼寝をして、3~5 歳児は散歩に出かけました。遠くへは行かなかったが、このようなピクニックは日本語で「遠足」と書きますので、少しぐらい歩かないとだめでしょう。僕は見なかったんですが、大きい蟷螂(かまきり)といくつかのキノコの発見が散歩のピークだったそうです。

About 1:30 we got back on the bus and started back for home. Most everyone, including myself, took a quick nap on the way back. It was a good day with beautiful weather.

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