One of my main responsibilities at school is to lead the English Conversation Club (ECC) with Steph! This year we have about 30 students in ECC which is awesome considering English is not the easiest subject for students and they tend to shy away from speaking. We meet every Monday after school and usually do English conversation activities, holiday parties, prepare for English speech contests, or just hang out!
One annual event ECC does is a trip to Asakusa (famous sensoji temple) to talk to foreigners. This year, Steph and I ordered shirts, planned the route to get all the kids there, and made interview sheets so they could ask questions in English.
We had been preparing for many months in advance, getting the students pumped up to speak to strangers in English and the day turned out to be just as awesome as we anticipated! We had a group of about 25 and we split them up into smaller groups of 3-4 to go talk to people. I brought my camera along to document the day and a couple times I kept telling myself, "I can't believe I get paid to do this..."
These two call themselves "da brothers" since they do almost everything together! haha. Avhishek is from Nepal and Kurt is from the Philippines so English is their most comfortable language together.
Our route to Asakusa...SCHOOL --> BUS --> TRAIN
Steph chose the shirt design and I chose the colors in honor of USC HAHAHAA. Well, I thought they would look nice in contrast together and also rep the cardinal red and gold you know.
Thankfully the train from Kashiwa Tanaka station (nearest station to our school) goes straight to Asakusa (30 minutes) so it was easy to get there with a big group.
I let one of the students play around with my camera for a while and when I was looking through photos after...I saw this shot and loved it.
Official Logo for the Tokyo 2020 olympics.
When we arrived to Asakusa we went to the information center across from sensoji and ate lunch on the 6th floor free communal room! It was air conditioned and a perfect gathering place.
ALSO, TOKYO SECRET: the 8th floor of the information center across from Sensoji has a SICK view of Tokyo skytree and the big golden poop as most people call it (aka Asahi beer hall) haha!
NOTHING LIKE A KILLER CITY VIEW!
Steph and I, being the photographers that we are, were freaking out over this view. I think I took 100 pics of this one spot haha...SO DOPE.
A couple of my students were talking to this group of tall Europeans who happened to be in Japan for the World Ballroom Championships...what!??? They were representing the Czech Republic and when I asked them to show us an example they happily busted out their best moves in the middle of the street. Gotta love Tokyo man...
For those who know this about me (mom, sis, and rin) I am slightly obsessed with everything about dance, specifically the show So You Think You Can Dance (watched every single season) so when they were dancing I was kind of having a fan girl moment and did not want them to stop...
My students were also freaking out saying things like "HE IS SO COOL" "SHE IS SO BEAUTIFUL!"
Good job boys!
The modern kimono look...with selfie stick
Cute moms. Side note: moms in Japan are seriously so cool. Especially in Tokyo. They are always dressed super cute yet still conservative, pushing their little babies on bikes being so active and awesome. Love it.
I made these signs for them to wear in case they were too nervous to just walk up to people.
Miriam is from Egypt and she is normally a bit shy, but she really loved chatting with people at Asakusa - especially these ladies from the states who were here to sing in a concert!
I love melon pan...so melon pan WITH ICECREAM INSIDE was next level. WOW.
group shot!! Love these kids and so blessed to work with them.
The extremely tan men pushing Rikshaws around for $80 an hour. nuts.
"the brothers" said to me..."hey take a pic of us in the street.." lol these kids crack me up
Funny story...Don Quijote is a huge chain store here in Japan that is comparable to a slightly more chaotic Walmart or Target but people in Japan just call it "ドンキ" literally pronounced "DONKEY" (everything in Japan is shortened!) It is so funny to me because I remember reading Don Quixote in school so I know the story, but the translation doesn't go that far in Japan so students don't really get the name...anyway we were walking in Asakusa where they happen to have a HUGE Don Quijote and one of the only stores where DON QUIJOTE is actually written out (usually just says in katakana) so one of my students was like..."Amie sensei what is DON-QU-EE-JO-TAY?" I just started laughing...hahhaa
Phew...so there you have it. Crazy day in Asakusa! Not sure if you can tell from the photos but it was literally 85degrees that day with 90% humidity...yikes! The kids were troopers though and all had a good time. I was so proud of them for stepping out of their comfort zones and talking to a bunch of friendly foreigners. I really can't believe I get to call this my "job" and I am loving every minute of it! Thank you Lord!