Wednesday, 7/11/12

Ichinoseki, Japan

              Today was a really exciting (but tiring) day and I experienced many different aspects of Japanese culture.  The first thing we did was go to different farms.  We were broken up into three groups, and my group went to a goose and cow farm.  Grace Y, Nicole, Mariana, Alan, Temwani, Sam, Noah, and Marcos were also in my group. The couple there was really friendly and nice.  The wife, Ms. Tanaka, was with us the entire time, and explained to us how the farm works.  She talked many times about how they work with the animals in a way that benefitted both themselves and the animals.  For example, the geese were provided a place to live and feed while in exchange they ate bugs and fertilized the rice paddy.  She also talked about how, after the 3.11 disaster, their farm has been losing business because of  people scared of radiation.  She also talked about how their dog, a black lab, survived the tsunami, but the owners could not continue to take care of him.

              Afterwards she lead us down to the rice paddy, where the geese swam right up to us.  The geese were a hybrid of duck and goose, making them fast swimmers but unable to fly.  The geese were only a few months old, and really cute!  We got to feed them and even pick them up.  Of course we had to work as well, so we started cutting the weeds surrounding the rice paddy and my job was to pick them up.  A local camera crew filmed our work and experience.

              After we finished weeding, we went up outside of the house for tea and snacks.  While some people went inside to help prep for tea, those of us outside played with the dog, Sora (sky), and the cat, Kuma (bear).  I stayed outside because I was totemo kitanai, or really dirty (from carrying muddy grass).  We got to stir our own green tea from powder, and ate a cauliflower Alan helped pick, and mochi-like red bean snack.

              Once we were finished dining, the camera crew interviewed us a little (mainly Mariana, who spoke the most Japanese).  When they left, we walked down the road to their cow barn, where we got to brush and feed their cows.  They were really sweet and gentle. 

              Right before we left, Mariana made an appreciative departing speech, then I gave them a gift (Boston calendar).  Ms. Tanaka seemed to really enjoy our help/visit, and hugged us all goodbye.

Celine C.

7/13/2012 07:04:14 am

You always loved animals and happy you got to work on the farm. How did it compare to farm school here in MA? Good to hear how they respect the animals and that benefits go both ways. May you meet many more friendly people on your trip!

7/15/2012 12:50:19 am

Nice write-up of your farm day Celine...really enjoyed reading about it!

Glad it was a positive experience for you with the animals being treated well.

7/15/2012 10:37:38 pm

Hi, Celine! You lucked out to get to be with animals! Sounds like you're learning a lot about man and relations to nature. That's a good thing. Maybe you can teach me some of what you learn in Japan after you return home! Saw photos and you and Adam! You both look good and happy! Was proud to see your photo immediately when I opened up the site! See you when you get home! Be safe and have a wonderful time!


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