2016 memories may be a mixture of good and bad events. This year, the world witnessed a lot of sadness, loss, and disappointments. A few days from now, we will all say goodbye to 2016. Though most of us would likely leave all the negativities behind, I am bringing this year’s good things as we welcome the new year.
2016 Memories to Cherish
All through this year, my husband and I met new friends; reconnected with long time friends; explored new possibilities; and made some travels here inside and outside Japan. But here are my favorites:
1. KIDS Club Philippines Finally Registered
After almost a year-long testing the water and a few months of tedious application process, we have finally registered KIDS Club as a legal entity in the Philippines. We are very grateful to our co-members who took care of the whole process until we got our SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registration. For those who are not familiar, KIDS Club is a socio-civic volunteer organization that we established with some friends in the Philippines. We conduct different community outreach projects to help create better communities for the children. To know more about the club and our activities, please visit KIDS Club website.
2. Monday School
Last April, I started teaching English to seven (7) Japanese students here in Nishi-Kasai on Mondays, three times a month. I call it Monday School because to easily distinguish it from my classes in Hikawadai as well as my one-to-one classes also here in Nishi-Kasai. It is not a regular school because it is more similar to a club formed by moms. They rented a space so that their children can learn English together. The seven students are divided into two (2) classes. First class is for pre-school kids while the second class is for elementary students. Aside from our normal lessons, I also have the chance to do some crafts with them.
3. Quick Trip To Manila
During the Golden Week last May, my husband and I went to Manila for a short vacation and to do some projects for KIDS Club. It was a great experience to finally meet the learners from our KVES (Kasiglahan Village Elementary School) Toy Librabries in Montalban, Rizal. Christian conducted a workshop on Foldscope while I taught them how to make a basic Ikebana arrangement. We also had a great time at the swimming pool with some club members and our family. Despite the busy schedule, we were able to make a two-day to Baguio City (north part of the Philippines) for some relaxation. Click here to read more about our Manila trip.
4. Summer Trip to Nagano
Last Summer, my husband and I went to Nagano for a weekend Summer trip. We went together with our Filipina friend and her family. It was nice escape from Tokyo heat and a great opportunity to enjoy the country-side view of Iida City. We also had a great time trying out several onsens (hot spring spa) around the area. Click here to read the full story of our trip.
5. Nail Modelling Gig
In between my English and Ikebana classes, I was able to help a friend as she studied nail art. It was a discovery for me to learn how serious Japanese nail design is. To read her story, please click here.
6. Ikebana Workshops in Tokyo
I thought that the Ikebana workshop in Manila would be the highlight of my career as an Ikebana teacher for this year. I was ecstatic when my friend asked me to conduct a workshop here in Tokyo as part of his August Pottery Exhibition. With the success of this workshop, I was also able to conduct two more workshops in November. The second one was during our Ikebana and Pottery Exhibition. For my third workshop, I collaborated with the gallery owner who is also a licensed tea ceremony teacher for a Tea Ceremony and Ikebana Workshop also held in November.
7. My First Major Ikebana Exhibition in Tokyo
Aside from our annual September exhibition at Seishincho Community Center, this year I was able to have my own Ikebana exhibition. Last Novermber, my friend and I collaborated together for a two-man exhibition for an Ikebana and Pottery Exhibition. It was a great challenge for me to create 16 flower arrangements in more or less three (3) hours. But it was very rewarding when I was able to finish just in time of the opening. Luckily, my sensei was there to support and assist me. It was a great opportunity for me to share some Filipino crafts and artistry to Japanese locals. I am also grateful to our friends who came and celebrated with us.
Happy New Year everyone!
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