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Final shopping bags :)

Final shopping bags :)

Home again

well we are finally home…

a long day on Saturday, we were involved in the the schools cultural festival with our kids contributing. They were on stage performing for around 15 minutes, Stella Caitlin Briar and AShlee dancing superbly, Georgia, Stacey, Kyra, Amber, Sidney and Poppy Singing He  Kakano beautifully, and then the rest of the group to sing E toru nga me, poi song,national anthem and then two hakas, lead by Piri. A wonderful perfomance and we were so proud of our kids. It was great to hear from Japanese teachers how great the perfomance was. I was on the stage , behind scenes, with them, so a few back photos, but Mikyla was out the front so photos on her camera, which we will share later. It was also videoed by staff there, and hopefully we will get a copy to share with our families.

A quick trip then to the hyaku yen shop to finish off shopping and spending, then to a fun sweet shop for more hichu, and bits and pieces.
The prize goes to Kendyl for the most purchases at the hyaku yen shop, with purchasing a grand total of 50 items. That is even better than my effort 🙂 well done on saving some of your money for the end to spend.

then a shared lunch with host families in the courtyard,  parents as well, and then time to take our suitcases to Shijonawate station to head home. Tears and farewells all around, even some of the boys a  slight tear in their eyes, James, and off down the road we trollied our suitcases.

a few parents followed, with Connor and Ellas parents hanging out over the fence for 15 minutes to say good bye when we were on the train, little heads and camera going the whole time, through train windows.

A long trip to the airport, a couple of changes of trains, and final part only 70 minutes on the train. It is amazing to think that Osaka is that big that is takes that long to get anywhere on a train.

At the airport, a very nervous group of students about to weigh in their suitcases, scared of the weight of shopping they had done,pairing up with a heavy and  light.

the prize for heaviest, Stacey, with 23.3 kg,(phew..mine was only 22.6)  and an impressive 14.5 kg, James, who came home with a lighter suitcase than when he left. only a boy could do that.

then 20 minutes to hang out before going thru departure gates, and finally sayonara to Mr Horii and Megumi, who had been wonderful hosts and tour guides.

boarding time, and as expected, a slight problem with a few of the boys suitcases, who were carrying swords,suitcases searched,  photos of passports, and then a mad run down the corridors to airplane, at 6.15 to leave at 6.30, with suitcases to be put in the hold for the journey…last minute thing

a slightly shorter journey home, 10 1/2 hrs, grumpy mother made tv screens off  10.00pm to make sure the kids got some much needed sleep before they were given back to their parents.

Auckland airport, thru to customs, the ninja stars, we also a slight issue into arrivals, but Mrs Milne help sort that out,

International arrival gates and first parents, the Spicers, waiting for Amber, who is now off playing national hockey tournament, then a brisk walk , with suitcases in tow, to domestic and a few lovely surprises, Sarah’s dad and Hayley there to say hi, Kendyls Poppa also, and then Miss T, was pleasantly shocked when her parents just popped up…

a quick flight to WLG, where we had 23 parents waiting. The excitement on the plane as it landed in Wellington, of the kids keen to see their parents, discussions of who, Mum or Dad, to hug first..cute..a very relieved, tired and thankful group of kids.

Walking out of the plane, last, to see all kids hugging their parents, and starting to share their experiences so soon, a wonderful site.

Down to baggage arrival, gifts out already to share, and slowly the kids started to disperse… and me the last person in the airport…they would have talked all the way home, opened their suitcases, shared their experiences and shopping, probably eaten dinner, maybe of pies, and fallen into bed for a huge night sleep.

If like me, would have slept till the late hours of this morning and back into NZ life.

An amazing journey, 24 wonderful children who had a trip of a life time and 2 great teachers to help out.

Enjoy your week at home, and get started on your scrap book to create your memories.

Will see you all next week at school

Sensei Olson x

farewell ceremony

yesterday we had our final party day

 

the kids made thank you cards for their japanese hosts,

then they practiced for their performances.

cooked delicious desert

 

then farwell dinner party and performance

 

a great night, photos on blog

 

need to go to cultural perfomance

 

see you soon

One very large Icecream

One very large Icecream

Golden Temple

Golden Temple

Kyoto

For the first time we had a bus to get us around our visits today. KYOTO – home to historical temples and shrines. First stop, Kiyomizu Temple, constructed without nails, 15m high. The kids discovered that jumping from the temple meaning ‘to make a big decision’, came with a 85% survival rate!

At the Heianjingu Shrine, we saw several blessings of 3 year old children, for their first significant Japanese tradition. Then to finish the day, the Kinkakuji Temple, which blew us away with the beauty of both the gold covering and the setting of the temple. Ask your children when they get home about the difference between a temple and a shrine.

This is my chance to say how well your children are doing over our stay. They are acting with maturity, taking up challenges , learning lots of language and interacting positively with who-ever they are with. Of course they are enjoying the shopping and learning to budget and use a different currency. USJ was a blast as Juliet told you about in the last blog.

Tomorrow, sayonara preparation and of course the start of the sad farewells. Though all of us have many things to be thankful of back in New Zealand, we are making the most of every opportunity here in Japan.                       Jane Milne

USJ

a nother exciting day out at Universal studios.

kids had a blast, roller coasters, sesame street, hello kitty, snoopy…lots of running and waiting in line.

a hot day of around 26 degrees…they all have gone home now, and will be sleeping well tonight

photos added to mis website…

Sumari Connor

Sumari Connor

Badminton

Badminton

Judo

Judo