Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mochitsuki (Mochi Making)

On December 12th I went to Nirayama to help make mochi. It was with the same group that I went with to pick sweet potatoes.

The first thing I did was help pick kale that would later be used in a soup.

We took turns pounding the rice into mochi. It didn't take as long as I thought it would.

Later we molded the mochi into smaller balls. These little kids were soooo cute! :)

Later we ate lunch. I had soup, daikon pickles, and of course... mochi! The mochi with kinako (soybean flour) was delicious!

Then we went to some local historical place. I don't remember the name of it or any details. I have a brochure but I'm too lazy to find it at the moment. The coolest thing was a tree that was actually three trees in one. Part of it is cherry so it has pretty flowers in the spring. Another part is Japanese maple so it has colored leaves in the fall.

I had a lot of fun, but towards the end I started to feel a bit sick. My throat was feeling a bit irritated and I was feeling very tired and rundown. By the time I was on the train heading back home, I had a fever. I felt bad all evening, but I slept a lot that night and felt better the next day. However, my voice sounded a bit bad which wasn't good in class. By Wednesday I had a pretty bad cough which made my throat start hurting again. On Thursday my voice was so weak that I couldn't really speak in class. So instead of me reading, the teacher played a CD. There wasn't much I could do. The teachers encouraged me to rest the next day if I still wasn't well. On Friday morning my voice was still pretty much gone so I called into work.

The school nurse stopped by my apartment that day and brought me food, drinks, medicine, a thermometer, a hot water bottle, and a heater. I was thankful for the food because I didn't have much food in my apartment and really didn't want to walk all the way to the grocery store. Another teacher called me later to check on me. The teachers at my school are really nice! :)

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