Okay, so to pick up where I left off this afternoon, we had our Welcome Party. It was kinda fun - there are 11 students (6 from QUT including myself, 3 from Uni of the South Pacific in Fiji, and 2 from Canterbury College in NZ) involved in the short exchange program (the 1-month program) and about another half dozen or so that are involved in the long exchange, which as I understand, lasts about a year. So, we all got up on the stage and did a short introduction in Japanese - the Fijians and Kiwis had gotten theirs scripted during their Japanese lesson today, and they did pretty well considering they'd only been in Japan for less than a week. Then we had dinner and did our performances. Dinner was a buffet kinda thing, and it was quite tasty. They had all sorts of good food, karaage (chicken in a special batter), sushi, tempura, curry, all sorts of things.
The performances were pretty impressive. The students who were involved in the long program did traditional Japanese dances, in Kimono and everything. One girl was from Indonesia, I'm not sure where the others were from, but they did a marvellous job. The Kiwis sang their national anthem in Maori and English. We sang our anthem, and then did the nutbush, grabbing members of the audience to come up on stage and dance with us as we went. It was pretty fun. My gods, my legs are tired from the dance, but it was heaps fun.
The Fijians each did a different thing. Nitu is Indian-Fijian, and she did this amazing Indian (I think Bollywood) dance. It was just beautiful, really energetic and graceful. Qweni is from Tonga, so she did a Tongan dance, which was equally beautiful and graceful, and just flowed really smoothly. It was amazing to watch. Efremo sang a traditional Fijian song - he has an incredible voice! It was heaps of fun!!
Okay, so tomorrow I'm going to Kyoto. It's likely to be completely freezing there, it's apparently considerably colder in Kyoto than around Osaka. I'm staying there quite late, we want to see Kyomizu temple, the Temple of Water, and it's apparently quite spectacular at night! We'll be leaving Kyoto at around 9, so I expect I'll be home around 10, and will probably be just too tired to update. I'll try, though. If not, stay tuned for an update on Sunday!!
Okay, take care and be good!