Saturday, November 7, 2015

New Chapter- Montessori in Hong Kong: What led me here

After the intensive year of training in Italy, a few major things happened. Life threw many surprises at me... at the time, it was hard to make sense of, but now (2 years after!), I am grateful for the way things happen and when. Because it led to what I am experiencing now.

Towards the end of my training, my next destination was going to be Bangkok, Thailand, to set up an Elementary Montessori program. However, fate/circumstances told me otherwise, just 1 week before I was leaving.



My reaction to all that was just blank... my mind was so focused on passing the exam and to get my certification- all my energy was put to that that I felt like I had nothing left in me once it was over... even to react. I realized for the first time then and there, that I needed a break. As much as I loved my overseas experiences after graduating university (Peace Boat, Guatemala and Italy), my mind and body felt a desperate need to be stationary at one place, to reconnect with my home base (in terms of both place and people), and to digest, reflect and reconnect within myself. I decided to go back to Japan... to see what I really wanted, see where I really wanted to be, what I really wanted for myself in the future.

The months that followed were one of the hardest I have experienced in my life. But necessary. I had to stop, slow down- after years of absorbing languages, educational philosophies, different countries and cultures, it was as if my body and mind was desperate to look inwards. I needed to digest, organize, reflect within, all those experiences, and figure out what what next.
I faced a dilemma of wanting to stay in a place I love, Japan, versus, wanting to pursue what I love to do, Montessori. The two could not merge at the time... and after a few months, in my heart Montessori won over. I decided to go to Hong Kong to pursue being a Montessori teacher.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Place #10- Hiroshima 10カ所目:広島

2nd time in Hiroshima. It wasn't in our plan to visit, but after being in Nagasaki and spending hours at the A-Bomb museum there, we told one another that we need to make a trip to visit the one in Hiroshima. It meant a lot to us that we could visit both, it made the learning that much more meaningful- because we wanted to be there and know what happened.


The museum in Hiroshima was much much extensive, with more artifacts that were painful to see. Even people's hair and skin... we could spend ages and ages watching the testimonies but were cut off yet again by the train time.


Our next destination was Kurashiki. We spent hours trying to figure out and plan our remaining trip the night before, asking people, youth hostel staff etc, and after the popular mention of Kurashiki (which we hadn't included in our initial plan) by seasoned travelers, we were on the train headed there...
aaand we enjoyed our first eki-ben, eki bentou, literally translated to "station lunchbox". Every train station has various lunch boxes that travelers can buy, that are made of local gourmet food. 


電車でのビッグイベントは、初めての駅弁!いつも色々な駅で、その土地特有の駅弁が売られていたのはもちろん見ていたけれど、やっと食べられて、上機嫌 :)