Goodbye Niseko….. Not much today, but we were eating our breakfast, then to the airport. I was eating with Ren in the airport. I was sitting with Masaki in the airplane. Well, I tried to sleep and recover from the “tiredness” but Masaki was quite hyper that time. Basically I was distracted…. and couldn’t sleep. Well, then I arrived to Haneda Airport. What happened after, was I rode the shuttle bus from the airport to YCAT. Kazuki and I then took the train to Motomachi, and then said goodbye to each other. Well, that’s pretty much about this year’s field studies. Well, its not that I want an extra grade, don’t forget I’m just being honest, but thank you to Mr. Pomeroy, Ms. Holovecz, Mr. Duffield, Ms. Leatham, NAC, and everyone else who organized this field studies.
Woke up as usual at 6 am. Really early, but enough time for onsen!!! Ren, Masashi and I were in the onsen, chilling. Then came breakfast. After that, we went to NAC again to meet up with the crew, and then NOT AGAIN. Dry suits. Eventually, we arrived to the river for rafting. There was a very good sight spot of Yo-tei-zan (Yo-tei Mountain). Yo-tei-zan is also known as the Ezo fuji. Ezo, is basically the vocabulary for the Hokkaido region, originated from the Ainu. I was with Kenneth, Ken, Hemanth, Kai, and Mitea. What Kenneth and I was thinking of, was pushing Mitea off the raft. Let’s say this was our mission. Well, there was a big chance. He was hanging from the raft, looking at the water. I jumped up and shoved him off. “SPLASH!!!” Even the NAC chaperone was laughing. Mitea was very wet. As we continued rafting, there were a lot of obstacles, but we went through with teamwork. After rafting, we went to a Soba-restaurant and ate warm, delicious soba. It tasted more than “delicious”. It was marvelous. After, we went mountain-biking. This was extremely cold, but it was pretty enjoying. What happened after when we were settling down in the hotel, is that some people were not in the mood of performing. Well, Aiki and I was dissatisfactory, so we just made another one in a few minutes. (I think no one knew about that) No narcism, but Aiki and I both remember every single words in KOREAN of Gangnam Style, so we just decided to change the Gangnam to Aiki. So basically we ended up performing Oppan Aiki Style. Well, everyone was laughing, so it was very fun and I had no regrets. So, now on with the SHOW. Last night in Niseko, I found myself eating ramen with Yuki and Kazuki in the corridor. Well, then, not even realizing, I was asleep.
Today, was also community and service. We had to work as one community to “activate” our teamwork and successfully accelerate our raft.
Basically waking up being warm, I found myself relaxing in the onsen for a while. Then, I found myself with my friends Ren, Haakon, Masashi, Kento, and Giulio, eating delicious breakfast. After that, we took a bus ride to NAC, and the worst thing happened. Dry suits. The clothing that I least favorite to wear. Tight on my neck, arms and legs, I was walking like I was a person just finished rehabilitation…. Well, today I was about to kayak with Jake, but what happens… is that it starts to rain. Not rain, but RAIN. I guess that makes sense. We did the “Japanese Style” rowing which was shouting “ichi, ni, ichi, ni” which is “one, two, one, two” in Japanese. I guess it helped release my full energy, but my hands were getting really stiff and itchy. Do you know the feeling when you stay in the shower for too long, and your hands and feet itch for a while? It’s that feeling I got. Very annoying. As soon as we arrived to the island, I was drinking warm tea and eating burritos. It was very delicious. As soon as we finished, we headed back to our kayaks to start kayaking back to the other side of Lake Toyah. By the way, the amount of rain was enormous, so I call it the waterfall. Basically the fact where shouting under a waterfall is a boss action, which makes me create the title. Done with being off task, we finally took off our dry suits and jumped in the bus. We were listening to music, and half asleep. When we arrived to NAC, we ate the delicious dinner, and then straight to the onsen. What a great feeling it was. I will NEVER EVER forget that feeling. Soaked, then into the warm onsen. I cannot explain this in words. That’s how much it felt great. Enough with the drama, I was then practicing my skit with Marshall, Kento, Neil, Leo, and Aiki. We were mixing up Gangnam Style and Skellig, and we were ready. We did not know the surprise for the skit tomorrow, and never could’ve imagined it. After that was the movie night. We watched Eragon, but I was basically asleep. Done with Day 3, let’s go to Day 4!
Day 3 was Environment, as well as Health and social education. We didn’t use transportation using gas except for bus rides, because we couldn’t avoid it. Kayaking was basically working as a team, which means I had to think and act. I was acting such as shouting and working hard.
So this day is the first good morning to Niseko. Opening my eyes, I was stunned. My body was cold as ice, and I felt like running around to warm myself up. Thinking that we would get to go to the hotel today, I was very excited. This day, we were to basically “make our own food” again. It was sandwiches, and it was very delicious. However, the materials were already out on the table, so it doesn’t count as “making it ourselves”. We then went to HIS, Hokkaido International School, and met Mr. Reynolds. It was a very long time since I saw in YIS for the last time. We ate another burger-ish sandwich-ish (simply because I forgot…) lunch, and went to Niseko’s local high school. We experienced 生け花 (Ikebana) which is to decorate little flowers on a sponge. (Originally on a pointy stage) After that, we went to a local farm and helped the lady clean up the equipments for farming. Guess what happened next?? We took a bus ride to Kanronomori hotel!!! The first hotel day was a party. We went to the Onsen, and went to our tatami room, and drank Mountain Dew. Then, we slept in peace, in peace, and in peace. This day was also “Community and Service” because we worked as a student to help the lady clean up the equipment for farming. We contributed to a farming community in Niseko.
Well, basically there’s not much to tell about Day 1, although I will have to. Basically I was awake at 5 in the morning, eyes tightly closed, and trying to get into bed again. Soon as I got ready, I dashed down the staircase to meet my friend Kazuki, and his mother. His mother was giving me a ride to YCAT. (Thank you Kazuki’s mom) What we talked about in the ride, was basically what we were looking forward for. I was looking forward for rafting, on the other hand Kazuki was looking forward to have a safe field studies and to come back. As we were talking, we soon arrived to YCAT. After we bought some drinks, we saw the YIS crew, congregating in the bus terminal, including Ms. Holovecz and Mr. Pomeroy. In the bus, I sat with Aiki, talking about skateboarding life, and what we brought that day to Field studies. As soon as I arrived to the airport, I noticed I was talking to my friends. After the tickets were distributed, I was relaxing on the plane. Pushing my seat back until the climax, I was able to sleep on the plane and listen to music. As we arrived to Shin-Chitose (新千歳) Airport, I felt a chilly wind run down my skin. I quickly wore my sweatshirt, and took a LOOONG bus ride to NAC (Niseko Adventure Center), which was actually longer than the plane ride. In the bus was basically chilling with Marshall. As soon as we arrived at NAC, we ate some delicious lunch, and then headed to the campsite. I was walking with Aiki, Kento, Marshall, Ren, Masashi, Haakon, and others. Just to shorten this hiking part, but it was extremely adventurous and tiring. Well, the “adventurous” does not mean that it was fun, but there were annoying obstacles such as muddy puddles, and disgusting insects on the ground. Soon we arrived to the campsite, and we were soon setting up tents. This I think fits to “Community and Service”, because me and my friends were helping the community which is our school. We also contributed on making our own dinner, which was curry. It was extremely delicious, since we made it ourselves. I felt being in a survival game, and well it sounds really exciting and cool. My body freezing, I left my stuff in the tent, then headed towards the Onsen. After being warmed up, I call it the Japan style, I bought milk and drank it all the way. My body temperature suddenly dropped and I was freezing again. Although, when I snuck into my sleeping bag, it was a bit warm. I then, slept, then slept, and slept, not noticing that I was gradually losing my body temperature…..
I have enjoyed the hot air balloon, in the night. I was with Ms. Cofino, and some of my friends. The air blowing through us was really hot. It felt hot, but it was actually really good for me because Hakuba was freezing. It was pretty dark, but I saw different mountains and great view. I also enjoyed kayaking. (canoe)
•What did I do well?
I have done well communicating with my friends and communicating with my friends. My group was Masaki, Lucas, and Rohan O. (Lucas and Rohan left the school) We were all friends, so we worked collaboratively. We helped each other by telling details about what we did in the day, and we also organized ourselves by cleaning the room. Our room was futon, so we helped each other take out the heavy futon. Our group had been creating a peaceful room by organizing our luggage, and working together as a team.
•What challenges did I face?
I had a large, large challenge. On the 4th day, we went hiking. The day before, at night, my friend Kazuki (he was in a different room) suddenly suffered a high fever. The next day, the day we went hiking, he got quite better but his body was weak than usual. I walked with him, and helped him in steep passages. I bet it was really hard for him, because when he was still ill, he had to walk up steep places. But, it was really challenging for me too. If normal, I would be running up the mountain, and still have stamina at the end. This time was different. When I lifted Kazuki up, I had been losing lots of stamina and energy. When we arrived at the mountaintop, I felt a lot of accomplishment and achievement in my mind, and it was the first time. I think this was the only challenge. A little challenge, was that every field studies I can’t sleep at the last night. I kept trying and trying to close my eyes and fall to sleep. This year again, it was a failure.
•How did I grow?
I have grown in different ways. First, I have been more collaborative with my friends. It might have been because my roommates were friends, and we knew each other very well. Well, I think I really did good at being collaborative. Another way, is that I have been a risk-taker. I took a risk, and I used all my energy to help out Kazuki up the mountain.
•What will I do differently this year?
This year I would like to organize more, because this year it is only 2 people a room. If it was 2 people, there is more chance of making the room settle down compared from 4 people a room. I think this needs teamwork. So this year I would do differently on teamwork.
•Why is field studies an important part of our schooling?
Field studies. If I think of these words, I think “organize”. Well, I think the point of field studies, is to do everything by ourselves. Of course not everything, but most of them. We’re not probably going to the hotel by ourselves… We have to do what we can do by ourselves. That way, we can grow, and start to get ready to be independent.
•What did I learn about myself?
I learnt that I can organize myself in different occasions, and I have intensity towards teamwork and collaborative activities. I am sure that I will be always fine with collaborating and being organized in the rooms, and having a good time with the roommates.
I heard that today was the activity I was waiting for. Hiking. I’ve bought hiking shoes, and I thought I can do it. But it wasn’t easy. There was my friend Kazuki, and he was sick. He didn’t have much power, so I told I will help him. He gave me a nice thank-you, and I was walking with him. There was a large steep hill. It was like 60 degrees. I was holding Kazuki, and I was pulling him up the hill. Suddenly, my arms hurt, but there was a break, so we rested. I had my full power used, but the mountain water helped me fill my energy. Well, the hike started again. Kazuki seemed to have a little power, so he said he can go by himself. Thanks to him, my leg muscles were hurting so that was nice. I started to walk, and the road became normal. This was even better. Kazuki and I were happy about this, and started walking together. But the road was slippy. We took a risk, and ran through the mud. Hours and hours later, we had went to the top of the hill. So, we ate curry, and chai milk tea. We practiced our skit, and then we went down the bottom of the mountain. My leg was stiff, and when we arrived to the hotel, I ran to the elevator, went to the 3rd floor, and I got my bath goods, and then ran down the stairs, and jumped into the onsen. (I actually took a shower before) The warm water felt good because my body was cold as ice. I then washed myself, and refreshed. I was warm enough, and got out. I was excited for the skit time, and couldn’t wait for it. I was drinking loads of juice with my friends, and we were actually having a little party. Then, we practiced our skits. We were actually done and memorized all our parts, so we just practiced saying the words in order for the last time. At last, it was supper. It was the last supper at Hakuba. I missed it. Then, it was skit time. All the groups came and performed their skits. Our group was number 3, and we actually forgot some words because of panic, but we successfully finished our skit. We were happy the audience laughed. All the skit time was filled with wows and laughter, and we had a nice time. We drank lots of juice, and ate snacks like consomme chips. We did a quiz, and we had a fun time. Then, we started to get sleepy. It was 9:50. We went to sleep, but this was not the end… Masaki woke me up again, he took 10 pictures of my friend Lucas. I was also recording his sleep talk, and was laughing with Masaki. When I discovered myself again, it was 4:50 in the morning. We cleaned our futon, luggage, and got ready.
This morning was a blurry morning. The nightmare had made me awake for several hours and made me sleep for only 30 minutes. I kept sleeping and waking up, but when I washed my face, energy filled my body, and my eyes never shut except for when I wanted to blink. Our breakfast was scrambled eggs, salad, ham, bread, and warm milk tea. When full, we got ready for team building games, and we walked to the Matsu River. (松川) I was with my friend Ren; that made me produce good teamwork, and we had fun playing games. Then, we had a BBQ lunch I ate with Jamie, Hae Won, Mari, and Iruka. Hae Won was a veteran cook and made us kimchi rice etcetera which was great; I’ll thank her for that. I was full again, where we rode the van and went to the rock climbing activity. It took like an hour to go there. I was with George, Mitea, and Harry (Harrison) in the van. We were talking about fun things, (actually it’s a secret so cannot say it specifically) and there was the rock climbing center. This looked cool at first, but I never knew how thrilling this was when I started climbing it. I could not believe I was in a region so high like 11 meters. I wasn’t scared, but I was thinking if the rope was cut I will be.. yeah, really injured. This was when the thing happened. My hand was filled with sweat, and my hand slipped off the grip. I lost balance, but I was ok. When I dropped down when I finished, I was happy. ” Huh”, was the first thing to say. This was my 2nd experience in Rock Climbing, and I was not much happy with what happened today. This night, I kept thinking about a occasion where the rope was cut, this was actually annoying me, quite a bit. The supper was: Roast Beef!!! This was gorgeous! Then, I ran to get my fleece, and my coat. I thought a hot air balloon was just a large balloon flying, but I saw that this air balloon was a humongous object blowing up fire to fly. I rode the balloon with Claude, Jamie, Daniel, Aiki, Lucas, and Ms. Cofino. I was chuckling when we went to the top of the sky and say all of Hakuba. The view was too awesome, and I had no words to say, and just laughed. Then, we went back to the Yama No Ie Hotel, and then I slept. Today was not just a normal- scary nightmare, but a nightmare when I fell from the rock climbing wall.
When, I woke up, it was 5:10 in the morning. I was sitting there for a while, and 30 minutes past..I was quite sleepy, and I found myself in the boys common room at 7:00 in the morning. I changed my clothes, and waited for breakfast. This days breakfast was: Cereal, bread with jam, Apple Juice. When we finished our breakfast, we went to our activities. I was canoeing. I was a group with Rohan. We started canoeing, and went to a little Island. I was tired when I drank some water from my water bottle. We went around the whole lake, and we had a break at the far end of the lake, and we played ball tag. This was fun. We went back to the island, but stirring the boat was the challenging part. My legs, and my arms hurt. I thought that I need to try, and I stirred, stirred, with Rohan. We had only 2 people, so we were really tired, but we had completed our task. There was another problem. I was hungry. A burrito’s smell saved me from a “certain time starvation”. Inside was beef, chicken, tomato, salad. This was the best lunch ever. Then, when my stomach was full, my group got ready for MTB, mountain biking. I got a red bike, and it actually was metallic red. I was satisfied. When I rode the bike first time, it felt good, and I thought I can do it. I went on the advanced group. So, I went with my friends. First it was a smooth road, so I increased and increased speed, but when it came to a narrow mountain road, I had difficulty. Cut my knees, but I was ok. My friend and my other friend bumped into each other, and it was really thrilling, but I was relieved when I found both of them ok. We had went past the Nagano Olympics stadium, and then arrived at the campsite. We drank water, and brought our luggage towards the van. We were going to the hotel. It was called the Yamano Ie. (The House of the Mountain) We first went into our room, 301. Clean tatami! Nice futon! And the best of all, a TV!! We ran for supper. Full course! This was the best! My stomach was going to explode, but it felt good. Then, we ran for the Onsen. We hadn’t been in a bath for one day. Hot water! I almost slept. Walked up to the room, and brushed my teeth. I was thinking that today was also going to finish peacefully. At 11:30 PM, the nightmare happened. A flash, and my friends woke me up. It looked like it was a discussion about scary stories. Suffered for 1 hour, and I was sleeping. To be simple, I had a real nightmare.
First, I woke myself and Kento (my friend; he was sleeping over). We were still sleepy, but ate breakfast, and got ready for going to school. Then, we did it. We actually ran up to the convenience store, and bought our. Later, we were breathing rapidly because we ran to the back gate of YIS. Luckily, we weren’t late, so I was relieved. On the bus, I sat with Kazuki and enjoyed the trip to Hakuba, but it was the longest time ever when I was sitting in a bus. 5.5 hours. This was a tough time for me. Looking outside, skyscrapers and large shops changed to large nature and a lake. This was Lake Aoki. (Aokiko) Finally, to the destination.
It was actually cold there in Hakuba. First the Evergreen Staff introduced their selves. We put our luggage in a large room, and off we went back to the middle of the campsite for instructions. First, we needed to set up a tent. I went to my group and got all tools and products we needed. Setting up tents were not so easy. Holding the tent on the ground was the first difficult thing. We had to get a hammer to hammer all the nails. 20~30 minutes after, we accomplished our task. Next, we went orienteering in the mountains. Our group was: Group 4. I was happy I had my friends. We were walking up the mountain and we found instructions. We needed to find things from nature like: White rocks, dead insects, red leaves. (etc.) We were tired, but when we found a sign saying “Now run down to the campsite”, my “tired” disappeared. My friend Ren and I were running to the campsite, and we reached the goal. When we stopped running, my legs went stiff, but I drank fresh mountain water and my whole body relaxed.
Night, we had dinner. We had Rice with the tomato sauce. (etc.) Well, my lips really hurt because the air was dry in Hakuba, and that made me a handy cap for eating. I was happy that I ate all the food even I liked the food. We had a campfire, and Mr. Jade and Mr. James told us stories and songs. It was warm. It was so warm when we had hot chocolate. When I went to sleep, I found myself freezing in the darkness when a light flashed me. It was my friend Masaki. I told him I was freezing cold and we both went to our common room and wore large sweaters and fleeces. That was 11:20 in the night. Then, I felt a “freezing” wind, and I woke up. It was 5:10 in the morning. The next day for me started.