WWOOF in Ukiha – part III

April 24, 2013 – part II

So how was the cake? Guess… They all said it was very oishii (delicious)! I didn’t try any of it though, I couldn’t possibly like cake with Japanese chocolate. Haha! But hey, as long as they like it I’m happy! ^^

Chocolate cake. Without baking powder. Also missing: cocoa powder. 😀

For dinner we had … I forgot again! That evening nothing much happened so over to Thursday!

April 25, 2013

Woke up around 6 again and after breakfast I was told we were going to the kaki orchard. Yeah finally! We arrived around 10 am and after Yoshio-san explained what I had to do – in fact I already knew from Monday’s meeting – it was time to work! The weather was fantastic; clear blue sky and around 20°C. Well for me that’s a little too warm so I was exhausted soon! My job was to make space for the flower buds so they could grow nice kaki (persimmon) fruits. Since the tree branches are just that little bit too high I had to use the ladder. So up and down and up again I went, making space for the fruits to grow. After about an hour I was completely without energy but I kept going. I finished one tree in about two hours which is pretty good. But I kept wondering ‘wow they have about 250 of these trees… how do they get them all done in time? This is exhausting!’ I can’t imagine!

Kaki trees and wonderful scenery!

The bell sounded, 12h! Time for lunch! It’s pretty nice: at 12h and at 5pm there’s a melody to be heard from the speakers around town. This way everyone knows when it’s time for food! Almost everyone in town works on kaki orchards, so they’re too busy to keep an eye on the time. Since Yoshio-san had to go to the dentist, Obaachan and I went home by foot. I would go by foot every day in fact, but for some reason we always go by car! It’s less than 500m so a distance easily covered. Yesterday’s lunch? Good question! I start to forget everything I eat…

Off to the orchard again, where I started to tend a second kaki tree. After a while I was on the ladder for the high branches and all of a sudden there was a frog on my finger! A frog! As I am scared of every animal that flies or jumps or is just faster than you’d expect, I was so frightened and surprised that I almost fell off the ladder! I managed to take a picture of the green fellow but after that never touched the branch again! Here’s a picture of the camouflage expert.

Camouflage!

Soon after I was saved from being near this creature. Yoshio-san called me because I had to ‘paint’. We’re preparing for opening the golf course between the kaki trees next Monday and I had to color the numbers for each hole. So that’s what I did the whole afternoon, coloring numbers!

I don’t remember doing anything else so let’s say that the 5pm melody sounded and we went home. Since we were three and only two people can fit in the little truck, I could sit in the back of the truck. It was the first time ever I did that, so it was pretty cool! I felt like Africa and the South of France at the same time. Haha!

Dinner was made by the wife this time – normally Obaachan cooks – and it was delicious. We at at the kotatsu for once and after that we watched tv and we talked a lot. I was happy that I could understand what was going on on tv and I even recognized an actor in a game show. After that the was ‘Haru no Kyoto‘, a program about traditional things made in Kyoto. Very interesting! Time for bed at about 10pm!

April 26, 2013

And I’m writing now so I can at once write about this morning too! After breakfast we went to the golf course preparations again. We met one of Yoshio-san’s acquaintances, who had two giant dogs, probably the biggest dogs I’ve seen so far. At first they were scared of my but that didn’t take long! I put the flags for the holes and planted the fake sunflowers on the course. And no matter how you look at it, fake sunflowers are fake. It’s a bit of a strange sight, random flowers on the course! Once I was done, I helped Yoshio-san with emptying some rickety shed, where I was once again stuck by a green monster (i.e. a frog)! We also discovered a little wooden gazelle statue, hand carved in Kenya and a glass chess set. I really liked the gazelle statue, it looked so African! 🙂

Then the 12h bell sounded so time for lunch! I once again rode in the back of the truck, because Obaachan was too tired to walk. For lunch they suggested cup noodles, you know, the instant noodles where you only have to add hot water. So we went to the konbini, which is pretty far from the house. In Fukuoka there was a konbini on every corner of the street! I chose the normal cup noodles, just because I don’t have a clue of what the others contain. We came home and Obaachan was making okonomiyaki. So I had to eat noodles AND okonomiyaki. The food supply never stops! Of course I first ate the okonomiyaki, the choice was easy. I ate everything and couldn’t finish the noodles of course.

They designed it at breakfast, a flyer for the kids telling them they can come and play with me next Friday, and now I had to write a message in Dutch on there. I wonder what’s the use because there’s no one who could ever understand Dutch. Also I didn’t have a clue what to write because by now I’m so used to English that thinking in my own language has become difficult! So I just wrote that I’m Laura from Belgium and that I speak Dutch, French, English and a little Japanese. Since no one knows what’s written there, it doesn’t really matter. At the bottom I had to write my name in romaji and in katakana, followed by ooh’s and aah’s about my ‘pretty writing’. That’s just a coincidence, believe me, my handwriting is terrible!

So that’s all until now. It’s 2pm and I’m waiting to go back to work! A few minutes ago Yoshio-san called me outside, because the local obaachans wanted to meet me. They ask the same questions as everyone else, so by now I already know all possible questions they ask. And of course the usual, there was no lack of kawaii and kirei.

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