Thursday, December 7, 2006

Hanging with the Seniors

Everyday this week I have been going to the Kashinokien Senior Citizens Day Service Center to talk and hang out with the silver members of Seika’s population. At first I was kind of nervous and unsure of what I should talk about or how I would be received. I had planned a few games and activities to do with the elderly folks just in case me talking bored them. But after the first day I ended up scrapping the games and just talking with them and telling them stories about my life.

I suppose that not many of the older folks have really had a chance to talk with a foreigner or have more than a basic interaction with one. I was happy and relieved that they all seemed pleased with my visit and where interested in what I had to say. I also got a lot of tough questions from some of the feisty ones. I was asked questions like; what I like and don’t like about Japan, why do I think they need to teach English in Japanese elementary schools, and why America seems to have more national pride than Japan? I was kind of caught off guard by a lot of these questions and had to improve appropriate yet polite responses.

The other thing that I like is that all the ladies all swoon over me and tell me how handsome and manly I am! I get a little ego boost every time I go from getting so many compliments and smiles. I know that it has been interesting for me to get some perspective on what older Japanese folks who have been around for a long time are thinking about the modern world. I just hope that the folks at the center appreciate my visits and get something out of them too.

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