Last week, we prepared for our visit to the Bon Sejour Senior Home. We practiced singing “Kaeru No Uta Ga” (The Frog Song) in rounds and made origami frogs to present to the people in the home. The Native Japanese class also practiced asking the questions below.
What did you do for fun when you were a child?
What kind of exercise did you do when you were
What are you passionate about?
What time did you go to bed when you were
7 or 8 years old?
What did you like to do after dinner each evening?
What did you usually eat for breakfast?
Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in Flickr.
Visiting the home was so memorable. The children were kind and respectful and had lovely conversations with the seniors. Each group of 4-5 students spent time with 2-3 seniors and one of the teachers or chaperones. Some of the children discovered that they needed to speak loudly in order to be heard. From the looks on the faces of the seniors as well as the children, it was evident that everyone enjoyed sharing this time together. The children made origami frogs and sang “The Frog Song” in rounds to the seniors. After the performance, the seniors sang along with them.
When it was time to leave, many of the seniors followed us out, waving and smiling. We look forward to visiting again soon.
After our visit, 2C reflected on our experience.
How did you feel about visiting the Senior Home?
It thought it was hard because we needed to translate from Japanese to English.
I felt a little bit sad because they only answered one question.
I felt happy and excited because I can talk with them and do origami a little.
I felt a little bit sad ‘cause some of them were a little bit deaf and some couldn’t speak.
I felt happy when the old people enjoyed what we made for them. When I was talking to them they said they would keep the origami really safe.
I felt excited because we did the origami and sing The Frog Song because it was fun.
I felt proud of everyone because we did a nice thing. I think that the old people were happy because lots of them were smiling and they said thank you and they told us they loved it.
I was happy because I made them happy. I think they really enjoyed it because the person in Yellana’s group kept telling us, “Please come back if you have time.”
I felt happy that we get to stay with the old people a little bit, because we can learn with them…like learning about them like what they are doing now. They can’t do lots of stuff, and they can’t exercise a lot.
What did you learn at the Senior Home?
I learned what they used to play in the olden days. One of them said they liked to sing when they were little. He sang us a song that he liked the best.
I learned that the old people don’t have lots of choices. I think they want to be active, but they can’t. They want to look around and get out.
I learned that some of the old people remember their children. Their children can visit them.
An old lady came. She was the first one at the table. She was laughing and happy. You have to speak loud, so she can hear you. If you speak in a normal voice, she couldn’t hear. If you speak a little bit more louder she can hear.
When we sang The Frog Song, one grandma wanted to sing, so I was happy that she liked to sing.
When we were singing The Frog Song, one grandma was trying to sing a part of it.
I felt sad. One of the old people couldn’t bend her arm, and she couldn’t do origami.
I felt kind of sad because some people could not talk because they are so old.
When we were making origami at the end when we gave it to them they liked it, and they were very nice and gave back some of them.
I felt really sad because when we sang the song the second grandma couldn’t hear the song, and she couldn’t fold the paper because she didn’t have strong muscles. When she jumped the frog she was laughing.
Many thanks to Maiko, Jina, Maria, Satoko, and Meijun who helped translate and chaperone our visit!