Tuesday, June 28, 2011

HAJET Summer Meeting: Camping

HAJET held their Summer Meeting at Shin Shinotsu again this year and it was very fun!

For me, this marks the first camping trip of the season and I look forward to many more, as long as my schedule permits it...

I arrived at the campground Friday evening to a beautiful sunset, with just enough light to get the tents set up. As the night approached, it became quite apparent that the sweater I brought with me was going to be a necessity. As people began to trickle in, we decided on building a fire to stay warm. In that first night, we bought all of the coals that were available from the local Lawson (convenient store).

We had a great time gathered around the fire pit talking and catching up. Later that night we all gathered in our designated tents and slept.  Well, some of us slept, while others were far too cold to sleep. I was able to deal with the temperatures and had no problem sleeping.

We squeeze ourselves on the bench near the fire pit to stay as warm as possible

The tower at the campground
And of course Wani, is always a staple at HAJET events

Super serious.

Waking up quite early the next morning, I decided to take advantage of the onsen right next to the campground. Refreshed and ready to go, we held our HAJET PC meeting and general meeting and after the official HAJET stuff, the members were free to enjoy the campground or the area surrounding it.  I stayed on the campg enjoyed the rest of the day playing basketball, throwing the frisbee, throwing the football, and playing with the kids who began to gather around the campground.

HAJET General Meeting
The Tower at the Campground. We enjoyed throwing the football and frisbee of of the tower.
Not sure what`s going on here.

Later that night we held our HAJET enkai and cooked tons of food. It was significantly colder than friday and this time, I woke up at 2:00am shivering and realized I couldn`t deal with the cold, so I gathered my things and slept in my car. haha

So our Tents were camped out in the center near the firepits.  A.K.A. Gaijin Town haha

Cooking the hot dogs, while eating... We really bought a lot of food.
Still cooking

A short break to enjoy some convo.

Eating in the sun.

And of course, what`s camping without Marshmallows
And the Cold Set in
Like I said, we bought a lot of food.

Sunday morning I again woke up very early and took advantage of the onsen. There was much to clean up, but we took care of it and had plenty of time to enjoy the incredible weather. It wasn`t too hot, but I got sunburnt like crazy! The kids around the campground enjoyed chasing us around and it provided a wonderful opportunity for some Kokusai Kouryu.

Wani, always has the best pictures

We held a yard sale, where those JETs who were heading home had the opportunity to sell a bunch of stuff they wouldn`t need... And some people really took advantage of this time... Whether the stuff sold was a different story.

Watch out! There`s a giant skull with an axe wearing a Gakuran right behind you!!!
Someone was selling a Kotatsu, so we decided to model the Kotatsu outside. You can`t tell, but we`re playing a very interesting game of Scrabble.

Sitting around hanging out in the sun

Me, deep in thought.

The kids had a good time messing with Andy. And we had a good time watching!

And of course, Wani, always a hit with the kids.

All in all the summer meeting was a success. For me, the best part of the weekend was the huge opportunity that we had as an organization to show the positivity we could bring to the local community. With so many families and their kids camping at the campground, we were able to play tag with the kids and teach them a little english while doing it. It was great to see the parents laughing and taking pictures of the kids running around with us. As we were heading out, I went over to one family to thank the parents and they said to me, "We`re so glad that we decided to come this weekend. Thank you for spending time with the kids, they really had a fun time."

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