I have to admit it has been a little weird this week. Right now in Boston parties are being planned, costumes are being made and candy is being bought. Halloween is my favorite holiday and it is not celebrated in Japan.
That being said, we did celebrate Halloween with the kids in the English classes as an American culture activity. We had a party last week at the Youth Center and today at St. Luke's. Both were very fun with the kids all dressed up in costumes and we played educational games and read stories about Halloween. I was in charge of Trick-or-treating. The kids loved it and while it wasn't even close to how awesome trick-or-treating is, it was a novel thing for them and they really had fun.
For the past few weeks, Nagoya has been hosting an international conference called COP-10. COP-10 is the tenth meeting of the parties on Biodiversity and involved delegates and world leaders from around the planet. I was able to go this past Wednesday as a representative from the Nagoya Center for Philippine Concerns. On the day that I went we got to sit in at the opening of the High Level Session where we heard many very important people speak including the Prime Minister of Japan, the Prime Minister of Yeomen and the President of the World Bank. After we stopped by the cafeteria for lunch and walked around the booths and information fair, we sat and watched a working group session as they were approving of some documents to go to vote. It was amazing being in the room with people from around the world discussing how we can be better stewards of creation. The session was conducted in English but everyone received translating headphones so that language was less of a barrier than it could have been. I am so grateful that I had the chance to go to COP-10.
Here is a quotation from yesterday's press release from COP-10 that explains some of what was accomplished:
"Among the targets, it is important to note that Parties:
- Agreed to at least halve and where feasible bring close to zero the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests;
- Established a target of 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas,
- Through conservation and restoration, Governments will restore at least 15 percent of degraded areas; and
- Will make special efforts to reduce the pressures faced by coral reefs.Parties also agreed to a substantial increase in the level of financial resources in support of implementation of the Convention."
It's fascinating stuff. I highly recommend reading the full article found here:
This upcoming week looks like it will be another great one. Sunday we have a baptism/confirmation at St. Stephans and Wednesday is a public holiday and I will be going sightseeing. This plus my normal work and YWCA class means that I will be busy, busy, busy. But I love the work and am so glad to do it!
Here are some pictures from the past few weeks. Enjoy! Happy Halloween!!
|I studied Yayoi Kusama's work in school and was so happy to see her sculptures all around the Aici Art Center and the Oasis 21 bus station!|
|We went "hiking" in Mitsuba and the kids collected acorns in these cute boxes they made.|
|Halloween at the Nagoya Student Center.|
|My Trick-or-treat classroom!|
|My costume. I made it up but I think I was a spider queen!|
|Me as Jack Skellington. I had to be scary for the older kids.|
|Jack-o'-lanterns that held the cookies I gave out.|
|The scariest costume fot the oldest kids! I look so gross here!|
|COP-10 High Level Session Opening. That's the Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan on the screen.|
|COP-10. The symbol of the conference was origami animals.|
|Some of the many information booths at COP-10.|
|A giant statue at the convention center.|
|Inside a working session at COP-10.|
|This is an apple flavored Oreo candy bar. Seriously. Not quite as delicious as it sounds.|
|I took advantage of my unlimited COP-10 subway card and went sightseeing. This is inside Nagoya Station.|
|Outside Nagoya Station.|
|I found a beautiful river as I was walking.|
|This is the Hilton Nagoya Hotel.|
|Downtown Sakae is really beautiful.|
|In this picture you can see an Outback Steakhouse, a Starbucks and and Emporio Armani. I think it's funny because there is no way to tell that I took this picture in Japan and not America!|
|Halloween at St. Luke's.|
|Cute little scarecrow!|