Climb Every Mountain,

...fjord every stream. Well, I didn't fjord a stream today, but I did climb a mountain. Today, we took all the students to a temple (SaiHoji??) and then bussed up a mountainside.

The temple was an excuse for the kiddies to run around, say a quick prayer and then dash back into the bus. It is SO unPC to say that all temples look alike, so I won't. But, this temple actually looked different. Apparently the old temple near this site was getting too run down, so they built a new one. Now, I'm not an officiando of temple lore and won't pretend to be one, but I feel that "the Golder it is, the Gaudier it is." But that's just me.

Onto the mountain... I was in the "jumbo-taxi" (an 8-passenger van) with a few select teachers (vps, the nurse and those without a home-room). I had a nice long nap awaiting our arrival. Everyone then eats a bento-lunch (no Kikkoman!), ascends the mountain via a ski-lift, then play some games. I cockily said to one teacher that I could walk up the mountain, before he finishes his lunch. AND I had told all my students in their introductory lesson to me, that a hobby of mine was mountain-climbing. What better opportunity was it for me to prove myself. So after 10 minutes of hiking uphill, I was exhausted (hay fever season, accompanied by asthma and a winter-long siesta from exercise contributed to my fatigue.) But I trekked on, gathering up the lunches that students had tossed off the lift and cheered on by all the kids en route. BUT the teachers were definitely NOT impressed! This isn't normal behaviour for a teacher...shock!

I made it about 80% of the way up the mountain and fortunately there was a spot where I could leap upon an empty seat. I found out that the lifts down will close at 12:30 (I started at noon, it was now 12:25). The guy at the top was also NOT impressed, until I showed him the garbage I had collected and he smiled his one-toothed smile. I was too tired to be nervous on the way down and it was breathtaking (in more ways than one.)

So I reaped in the praises of the students, was sneered at by a few teachers and alas, NO I did not beat the guy to the top. But I had a good time, got some well-needed exercise and survived.

Tonight is a Welcome party for all the teachers, so we'll see whether I collect flack or kudos. Wish me luck.

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