Day 48: Onigiri Making and my host’s English Cafe

Today was the day of Sayaka-san’s English Cafe. Once a month she invites people over to her cafe to interact with foreigners (WWOOFers like me and Celso) in English. As I discovered yesterday, Ayabe doesn’t see many foreigners and this is a good opportunity for some exposure. The English cafe was to be held on two days this time-Thursday (today) and Friday. One of Sayaka-san’s friends, Yuki would come over to take an hour long class for adults on Thursday and kids on Friday. 
So in preparation of the english cafe to be held in the afternoon, we didn’t do any field work today and did cleaning in the morning instead. Sayaka-san was busy cooking in the morning. Still, she had enough time to teach us how to make onigiri (Japanese rice ball), which involved taking some sticky rice in your wet hands and giving it a triangular shape. It took me a few times to get it right, especially since my tiny hands didn’t cooperate when it came to making larger sized onigiris. But I was surprised to see how simple it really is to make onigiri, which I hadn’t realized before having seen onigiris only sold in convenience stores. 
Celso’s onigiri and my hands full of sticky rice

A triangular onigiri of rice with seaweed 

 The English cafe started with Yuki coming over for lunch with her 5 year old son. Yuki had studied abroad several times in the US and UK and spoke fluent english. She was an english teacher is school and liked to take classes outside as well. Her son loved insects and bugs and kept running around the farm after them. He caught frogs and grasshoppers and would bring them back to show us. running after insects.

After lunch, the class for adults comprised of English worksheets, listening activities, reading, etc. Celso and I sat through the class. It was fun. Although there was only one adult today, she was very motivated to learn and we spoke to her and Yuki for an hour after the lesson was over. I also met Sayaka-san’s neighbors who had come over for a drink to the cafe in the afternoon. They were a couple (seemingly in their 50s) who are visiting Singapore in September. Although we couldn’t communicate very well, we exchanged contact details for meeting up in Singapore. 
I was exhausted after all the talking, and fell asleep in the afternoon. Then I watered the fields. It hadn’t rained today or yesterday and the fields were very dry. There were cracks in the ground. I loved using the hose at Sayaka-san’s house to water the fields and garden. It had different kinds of sprayers in it and was very strong. 

Yuki (left) goes through a worksheet with Maiko, an ever ready english learner at the Englsh cafe

Celso and Maiko do a conversational english exercise together

We ate soba for dinner and Celso and I watched another fascinating TED talk after dinner called ‘Why 20s are not the new 30s’.