遠足 【えんそく】 (n) trip; hike; picnic;
If my four schools are in a contest for my affection, I think Yamato (my tiny school) is the only one that knows about it. I like all of my schools, and have a good time at all of them, but I’m totally in love with Yamato. The 8th and 9th graders are in Tokyo on their school trip this week, so I was invited to do “ensoku” with the 7th graders. We rode bikes about twelve km to Ohno, played nine holes of park golf (like golf+croquet, a primarily octogenarian sport), learned Go Fish in English, did somersaults down a hill, pet baby goats, ate curry for lunch, then rode back. There were three students, two teachers, the principal, and myself on this trip. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride, sunny and breezy. Oh yeah, I won at golf! 42/par 33, beginner’s luck. There were even prizes; I won some chocolate-filled pretzel things.
After the ride back I finished off the day playing with the elemantary kids outside for an hour.
So yeah, the teaching life is rough here in Iwate…