Friday, December 24, 2010

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Apple Picking & Sake Brewery

Day 5 - 29 October 2010

After breakfast at the hotel, some of us went to the highest floor to catch a good view of Mount Iwate (a Volcano).

Taking our turns to get a good shot

At the lobby, I persuaded room-mate Korn to do a radio DJ speech:

Touy, from Lao P.D.R, has a Singapore Chilli Crab on her!

In our Attire C2, we checked out, leaving our luggages at the Hotel, and left for the Oyamada fruit farm.

The first activity for the day was Apple Picking!

Welcoming us to the farm

Tokyo Apple Pose

Each of us was entitled to pick 2 apples!

To prevent damaging the apple trees, we should only pick the apples that are ripe. The correct way is not to pull it downwards. Instead, we should turn the apple downwards (see video below).

And to choose a sweet and fully ripe apple, the bottom of the apple should be less yellowish.

Assistant Group Leader leading a cheer

The majestic Mt. Iwate

Next, we headed to the Asabiraki Sake Brewery to learn about how Sake is produced.

Welcoming SSEAYP delegates to the Brewery

The round ball of plants in our background actually turns colour and provides an indication when the time is ripe for the Sake-making.

Sake Pose with Local Youth Yuna

A Shinto altar

Natural spring water

We had our sumptuous buffet lunch at the brewery.

And tasted different flavours and types of Sake. We were surprised to know that there is non-alcoholic Sake!

Next, we headed to Morioka Chuo High School.

As we approached the school, we could already see many students gathering at the class windows to see us. Entering the school compound, we had to remove our shoes and change into slippers provided by the school.

Principal Masaichi Tomisawa welcomes SSEAYP delegates

Assistant Group Leader Sonny gives a response speech:

Gift Exchange

We were given a tour around the school.

We were divided into different groups to observe different lessons, namely English, IT, Sports & History. Most of the SG mates picked Sports. I chose History.

History class (in Japanese)

The History teacher was teaching about ASEAN economy.

We did a self-introduction of ourselves at the end of the lesson.

Returning back to the Computer Lab, we went into small groups with the high school students to discuss on various environmental issues. Our group was given the topic on "Destruction of Forests".

Sham, myself with the High School Students

To make the presentation clear, I proposed to make a mind map. Even though the students' competency in the English language was not very high, they made it a point to use their electronic dictionaries to translate.

After Sham and I wanted them to present the discussion in English, they quickly penned down the pronunciations of the English words using Japanese writings.

Just before we left the school, the High School students did their school cheer for us:

We then returned to Hotel Metropolitan Morioka New Wing for the Welcome Reception and Homestay Matching. We changed into our Attire B (National Costume) and readied ourselves for the performance. 

Chief of Iwate Programme Committee, Ms Koko Tamura, delivered a speech, followed by Mr Motomu Matsukawa, Director General of the Department of Environment & Residential Life of Iwate Prefecture Government.

Our Group Leader, Thao, then represented the SSEAYP delegates to deliver her speech.

Mr Masaichi Tomisawa, Principal of Morioka Chuo High School, led the toast.

The most exciting part was to meet our host family!

With Bas-chan & the Adachi Family (Otosan, Okasan & Kai)

Up next was the catchy "Sansa Dance" by Iwate Sansa-no-kai.

Sakora Cyoiwa Yase! (Happiness comes)

Hara Hara Harase! (Evil go away)

Everyone then formed a huge circle around the ballroom and danced along with the Sansa dancers.

Our performance was next - a Fashion Show followed by choral singing of "Seeds of Hope".

Singing "Seeds of Hope", song written by Lao P.D.R. Contingent

Just before we ended the ceremony, Bas-chan and I were surprised when our Adachi family were called up the stage to lead the Sanbonjime (clapping cheer). We would later find out that it is because our host families had hosted for many years.

Photo with the first Local Youth I meet at Iwate

Okasan (Mother) drove us back home and prepared some light supper for us.

We ate and chatted until late into the night. After Otosan (Father) and Okasan went to bed, something memorable happened.

Learning from Pre-Departure Training, I understood that most Japanese families have a bathtub filled with warm water at home. Due to the cold weather, they would submerge themselves in the warm water tub after their bath. 

And so Bas-chan and I were blur enough to think that there was no water heater... thus, we bathed ourselves in cold water (about 7 degrees Celsius)! I could never forget how numbing it was. When we shared this story to Otosan and Okasan the next day, they laughed their heads out!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your feedback and comments.