Wednesday, February 22, 2006

English Club Retreat

Went with the university English Club members on a retreat this last weekend to a spot up in the Yunoyama area. We borrowed the home of a friend of the club who was not going to be there for a few days. It was a very comfortable home, and it was great to be there for a couple of days. I guess there will be photos up on the club site in a couple of days. I'll let you know when they're up.

We started the first day at about noon with a quick lunch. I had organized a scavenger hunt for the group so they could get a look around the neighborhood. They split up into teams and had to find objects, information or take pictures with a digital camera at various points. They seemed to have had a good time with that.

Then it was off to the hotsprings. There is a hotel called the Green Hotel nearby where we all went for a soak before preparing dinner. Our evening repast was "nabe"[knob ay], which is a glorified way to say that various stuff is boiled in a soup base in a large pan on a burner on the table and people eat it with rice. After dinner we talked ate, and drank until I knew that I had to get to bed or be totally useless the next morning. I was correct in assuming that there would be a need for at least one functioning human in the morn to care for the hangovers.

The next day it rained like crazy, which, in addition to the slow start, caused us to cancel plans to drive around the local sites, such that they are. We stayed in, played some card games and conversation games until it was time to clean up and go home.

The objective of the two day event was to get together so that everyone had a reason and a place to use English. That was mostly achieved. Some people who rarely speak relaxed and made an effort to express themselves in English. The folks who are already speaking got to speak more than they usually would by themselves.

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