I’ve been in South Korea for more than a month now but I still have quite a few posts from Japan still sitting on my computer. I’m still getting the hang of this blogging thing, and having some time off this year really helped me get a routine down and start to enjoy a stress free life of blogging. Too bad life can’t stay that way forever! I’m back to the work grind, and blogging has definitely been on the back-burner as I moved across the world and starting working in a completely new environment.
As much as I’m enjoying South Korea, I still miss Japan and dusted off some of my old pictures from last year to reminisce. Last year I had just started my time in Japan. I had a great time going on the different field trips with my class. I was going through my photos and ran into some that I took when we went to a nursing home near the school to help harvest their sweet potatoes that they were growing. Digging for sweet potatoes was a blast!
It still amazes me to see the community environment of Japan, even if it seems a bit disjointed at times. Japanese people work a lot and the children spend a lot of time in school, so they don’t have a lot of opportunities to meet elderly people. Yet the elderly have a place in society and are valuable citizens as well… having an field trip like this lets the children interact with these grandmas and grandpas. The very young socializing with people at the end of their lives… it was definitely an experience.
We started out by entering their garden and going at the soil! It was a tough job that they had no problems taking on with all of that energy that kids seem to have an endless supply of. As an adult I could only think of all that dirt getting stuck underneath my nails. I guess things were much simpler when I was younger! No need to worry about appearance or discomfort in the pursuit of trying something new and exciting… just happily digging for sweet potatoes!
Some of the sweet potatoes were quite large or had a vine growing several sweet potatoes on it. They were pretty tough to get out! It was adorable to see them all band together to dig out the particularly large ones. Their concentration and willpower is amazing at this age. You can’t help but feel their excitement too when the air is filled with it! Who knew digging for sweet potatoes could generate this much happiness?
After they finally pulled out the tough ones, the final tug that got it out was very worth it for them. Their jumps and excitement! I think I would be excited too because some of those sweet potatoes were almost half their size! It reminds me of when I was younger and thought things were so big and mysterious. My grandma had a pile of rocks in the corner of her fence and I swear it seemed huge; as if I was climbing a huge mountain! More than a decade later, I went back and was shocked to see a tiny pile of rocks instead of the mountain from my memory.
Ah, I miss those days. Sometimes, during the summer when the temperature is hot and the air smells like fresh grass, I get a wave of nostalgia for those simpler days of my childhood. Maybe I need to start digging for sweet potatoes? 🙂
Q: What is your favorite memory from childhood? Did you do anything like digging for sweet potatoes?