Hello and Welcome!

Konnichiwa! This is our class homepage. Here, we will post pictures and stories from our days here in South Dakota. Please let your families know about this page so they can share in our travels and experiences throughout these next two weeks. Your teachers and your host families are here to help you, so please let us know if you need anything at all. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Black Hills part two

 the Cosmos Mystery Area is always a hit-- the students really had a fun time.

Mount Rusmore

 Crazy Horse

 Looking for gems at the base of the mountain at Crazy Horse.
 Sylvan Lake

The students are at the airport...we said our "so-longs", hugged each one and shed enough tears for all of you. This has been a remarkable year.

Thank you: Amy, Melinda, Amber, Colleen, Lynn, Jie, Yanyan, and the host families.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Black Hills trip

The host families met in the parking lot at 8:30 this morning with their students packed and ready to hit the road. There were tearful goodbyes and long hugs--it's pretty incredible how close you can become in just a little over two weeks.
 The bus ride was smooth and comfortable. We cruised our way to Chamberlain and visited the Akta Museum on the campus of the St. Joseph Indian School. It's a great museum that is a bit off the beaten path...we strongly suggest you visit there if you've not already.
 Lunch at Al's Oasis, of course. And then on to a sweet afternoon nap as we made our way west on I-90 to the Bad Lands.

 We took the scenic loop and landed in Wall....the students can now say they've been to Wall Drug!

It's been a long, long day. The students are all tucked-in and I'm closing my laptop. Looking forward to our fun adventures tomorrow and will surely report back: the Cosmos Mystery Area, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument and setting in to our cabins at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park.

good night!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Japan Night

Tonight, the students put on a wonderful presentation for us!  We learned more about Japanese culture, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

A big thank you to these 16 wonderful students, their host families, co-teacher Amy Woolston, Jacy Fry for making this awesome experience happen, and Amber Alfson for all her help!

I had a to say a tearful goodbye to all of the students tonight.  Jacy will update this blog so you can all see the pictures from their upcoming Black Hills trip. 

Enjoy these great pictures!

Yuu welcoming us with traditional dance:

So many people enjoying the evening!

The agenda:

Mizuki, Yusuke, and Yume presenting:

 Ririko, Mamiko, Kanako, and Manami presenting:

My favorite haiku of the night:

Natsumi and Ririko at the uchiwa table:

Miho and Eriko at the chopsticks table:

Maki helping out:

The Fry family using chopsticks:

Teacher Melinda, Keiko, and Bridget making haikus:

Kanako and Kyoko at the haiku table:

Yume, Mizuki, and Yusuke at the karuta table:

The students presenting Jacy and Melinda their handmade gifts:

Jacy, Melinda, and the whole gang:

Have a wonderful trip to the Black Hills!  Come back and visit!  xoxo

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Presentation Day!

For the past two days, the students have been working diligently on their presentations!  The assignment was to research and present on one of their favorite experiences so far in South Dakota (or Minnesota). 

The students did a wonderful job and researched everything from Pipestone, traditional Native American dancing and culture, Sioux Falls, The Great Plains Zoo, to Lake Herman, Lake Madison, The Black Hills,  Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Madison.  Awesome work, gang!

Here are some pictures of them hard at work:

Telling me how they feel about their presentations:

A happy, smiling group because they are all done!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Little House on the Prairie

We started out the day with a birthday celebration!  Kumiko turned 20 on Aug. 14th, and Natsumi will turn 19 on Aug. 19th, so, of course, we had to have a party!

We spend the morning learning about frontier and pioneer history, and then we got on the road and traveled to De Smet, South Dakota to visit the homestead of the family of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a very famous author worldwide.  Laura wrote the books series, Little House on the Prairie, which is about her family's experiences homesteading in South Dakota.

The students really enjoyed seeing and petting the farm animals, driving horses, making pioneer toys, going to a one-room schoolhouse, and running around the prairie.  :)

Here the whole gang on the tall lookout point:

Keiko and Kyoko enjoying the merry-go-round:

Traveling in a covered wagon:

In front of a claim shanty:

Maki pumping water from the deep well:

Learning how to make button spinners from the tour guide:

Keiko washing clothes the old-fashioned way!

Maki and Miho driving a horse cart:

Riding out to the one-room schoolhouse:

Having fun during the lesson at the schoolhouse:

On the way back:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cooking, American Style

We began our second and last week of study by cooking (and eating)!  The students prepared and shopped for a menu that consisted of pepperoni and tomato pizza, macaroni and cheese, curry over sticky rice, sweet corn, caesar salad, cupcakes, and cake. 

They did all the shopping at Sunshine Foods supermarket, and then we drove out to the St. Thomas Rec out on Lake Herman, where we cooked, played games, worked on listening and conversational skills, and studied definite and indefinite articles.  So far, this has been my favorite day of our program, and I know the students really enjoyed themselves. 

Enjoy our pictures!

Eriko and Miho wanted to make mac n' cheese!  

In America, we say, "too many cooks in the kitchen."  ;)

Mamiko and Yui making the curry!

Keiko and her chocolate cake!

Making smores in the kitchen!

Manami "roasting" her marshmallow.

Playing a game of dodgeball -- they even invited me to play, and it was a lot of fun!

Decorated cake:

Teacher Amy and the whole gang in front of beautiful Lake Herman: