Mom says we're going for a drive around Miyakojima (Miyako Island) and visit Kurimajima (Kurima Island) on the way at around 1 PM after lunch. On the way, she'll drop me off at Maehama beach for a class party that was decided on my first day of school upon my coming to Miyako. Along with that party is also for Ruriko-sensei (るり子先生), who came to Miyako from Osaka way up in Honshu. She's undergoing training to become teacher right now.
1 PM passes and we're on our way around Miyako. My family said they were going to show me the sunflower fields and along the way, I hear an upbeat song (seems rather fairly new) called "Life" by キマグレン (Kimaguren) on the radio--this was about the 5th time I heard this since I came to Miyakojima.
Drinking (jasmine?) tea and listening to the radio in a pleasant car cooled by air conditioning, we finally arrive at the fields on the outskirts of the
We exit our car with almost a "shockwave" of heat that just hits us when we open the car door.
I could sit on top of these and perhaps even lay down for an afternoon nap. Oh wait it's hot and there's no shade.
Long road! (Sunflower field is right, outside of the picture)
After doing nothing but staring in awe, we went back into the car and go back on the highway to Kurimajima. The roads outside the urban areas in Miyakojima are blanketed by trees or crops so much that you feel like you're in the middle of the island but turns out you're right next to the shore, it's just the plants that are covering the beaches. I found a better picture of what I mean when we arrived on Kurima Island, take a look for yourself.
But a little zooming out...
See the road on the bottom?
Nonetheless, I take pictures of the ocean and the bridge connecting Miyakojima and Kurimajima.
Now my dad wants to take me to Maehama beach for the class party. Only except, it's a little too early. We wait in the car with lovely J-Pop music and it rains HARD and sudden. :O
But as sudden as it came, it disappeared in a flash. We wait and it's 3 PM (the time where the party is supposed to start) only to see other people with moterbikes dangerously riding around in the parking lot until my mom spots a girl and asks me if I knew her. But with my bad eyes (Aside: those of you in my AP Biology class, this was why I was squinting at the powerpoints. I am NOT confused, angry, or anything. I just can't see), I couldn't see well and I thought it'd be safe to say "No I don't. Probably." Then all of the sudden I see Ongawa-sensei. Yawning to get tears in my eyes so that I can see better, it's actually him. He's dressed EXTREMELY casual, after getting used to seeing him with a formal shirt, black pants and a tie at school.
"あっ、先生だ！" / Ah! Sensei da! (Hey, it's sensei!)
I dash out of my car, say "Itte kimasu!" (I'm going!) to my parents and run over to sensei unloading some stuff out of his car. Helping him was Kaho, a student in 3-1 class that I sit next to in English Oral class. I greet them and sensei tells me the party's on top of the hill. I go up to see more students.
The same day and hour. Look how fast the clouds cleared. I meet Yuka and Mako sitting on a blanket chatting and invite myself in. You can see the boys already meeting up at the pier. The girls, Yuka and Mako, ask if I'm swimming, I told them of course and went into the men's room to change. Upon entry I see where the class has placed their bags of clothes, next to it lie large bags of fireworks (WOW)--the ones that would be illegal over back in the States. I change and quickly ask Yuka for some lotion (shame on me) and she without hesitation offers me it. I finish applying lotion and head down to the pier where the boys were doing flips into the water.
There were about 7-10 boys all at the pier. On the ledge, ready to jump stands Naoya with a scared face, with his back facing the water. His friends dare him to jump, he tells them "Chotto matte" (wait a sec) and after waiting for so long, his friends make gestures as if they were going to push him over. He at lasts finally jumps but in a split second changes his mind--too late. He falls and instead of doing a flip does almost what seems a weird dance and lands in the water. He comes up and laughs and everyone joins. Some couple guys do flips and spends the hour jumping. I recall doing only a few forward sumersaults and a few dives along with the boys.
Tired of jumping they decide to swim and do hand stands or jump of another's back in the ocean, while others decide to climb on an unknown owner's jetski (I joined along). Within minutes came the owner telling us to get off (apparently, angry) and they jumped off.
I then played in the sand, and Taiki sits with me for a minute before joining the boys again.
I'm bored at this point. So instead, I join the girls--Haruna, Tomomi, Misaki and Haruka--who were playing soccer after being invited in. Fun times, of course I didn't kick hard, but they were better than I thought and I'd say got me really good in the game.
I go back into the sand after a tiring game and wanting to do something in which it'll be a good display, I drew--no, sculted--a sand portrait of Ongawa-sensei. Finding a perfect spot to do so wasn't easy. Too close to the ocean meant it being swept away by the tide, while too far away had sand too dry to work with. I instead took some measures to avoid my 'going-to-be' sculpture from being washed away by making dams and a big sand wall.
As I was making the wall, I happened to see Keichi being buried by some girls, apparently giving him some woman body parts made out of sand.
Mako, Yuuki and Yuka burying Keichi (I can't identify who's behind Mako)
Finally I had a place to work with. Flattening the sand, scultuping in detail with a stick and after about a good 2 or 3 hours, I came up with this result.
I see Haruna walking with Haruka up on the hill where the barbeque was taking place. I shout to them to ask for sensei to come down and see, for I cannot trust the tide or any children around me. They asked sensei and sensei told him that he was busy with the food and cannot come down. So instead, I'm left with the only option to run up to the hill, find my camera in the men's room and run back down to take a picture to forever preserve it. I dash like hell up and down and finally took the picture, shown above.
After the pictures, I head back up to the hill to show Ruriko and Ongawa-sensei the pictures and they have a good laugh. We eat chips and fried noodles while drinking milk tea under with the sunset changing the colors of the sky.
A 3-nen-sei student (3rd year student) called me over for a talk and the next thing you know I'm in a group. Ruriko sensei even joins :D
Kurimajima Bridge at night
After sundown, fireworks time! (Remember those bags lying in the men's room?)
Sparkler. I recorded too late. :P (8 sec video)
Here was a rocket. You can hear the girls shouting "Kowai" meaning "scary". (Not 'Kawaii', 'kowai')
Mai playing with two sparklers
Posing (taken with longer shutter speed)
Taiki, Haruka, Haruna (Fukuzato) and Mai (read from left to right) with sparklers.
These things lighted up the beach.
The color gives almost a joyful mood every time I look back at these pictures.
Last picture, with everyone in the 3-1 class. I look like some guy in the 80's with my hair blown back, or perhaps some dude on Baywatch.
On the trip home, my mom told me it lasted a little too long and Bunta (little brother) needed to use the toilet, so she took him to the lady's room up the hill. He cried it was too dark but my mom said "Ganbare!" ('Try your best!' LOL).
Something else funny I found was I also happened to see a sign in Japanese that I asked my mom about it. She told me it was about watching your speed (especially on these dark roads with crops around with the high risk of an accident at an intersection). I asked her if she was sure and she replied "あたし、日本人だよ." ("I'm a Japanese person, you know"). A snicker starts out and turns into a bakushou! (loud laugh)
I shower all the sand off and I'm dead tired by the end of the day. My legs were still sore from that Miyako Rock Festival (a few days back, remember?) after dancing and jumping too hard.