Saturday was opening ceremony day, not so exciting this time round! After the speeches everyone went to their respective classroom and sorted out their bags, put everything away where it belongs and got introduced to the new class pet - Cookie-chan the Rabbit. Ebi-kun has a new boy in his class, he has never been to yochien before so had no idea what he was doing, kept interrupting Sensei as she was trying to explain things, climbing on the piano stool saying he wanted to play - amusing for us parents to watch, I wonder how long it will take for sensei to whip him into shape!
Ebi-kun is very excited this time because he will be a hancho-san, that means he is like a big brother to one of the new kids. In the picture he is with 'his' kid, she lives just down the road from us and her sister, the girl stood behind, was Ebi-kuns hancho-san. The children take the responsibility very seriously. When they get off the bus they take their kid to the right classroom. Then at lunch time they show the new kids where to collect the lunch and how to carry it back to the classroom. The food is all prepared on site but the kids are pretty much in charge of serving it and cleaning up afterwards. Then when it is home time, the hancho-san finds their kid and takes them back to the bus. I think it is a great way to teach the children about responsibility and care for others.
So, the new school/work year has started, I feel like it is time to take a deep breath and try and get life back to normal. That said, during the speech I couldn't help thinking about all those kids who are still stuck in shelters, there will be no new school year for many. Many of the shelters are actually schools, no getting back to normal for quite some time. The new year has seen a change on the TV too, since the quake there haven't been any regular adverts instead they have been showing community awareness ads. I noticed last night that the regular adverts are back, it is time to move forward, the economy needs it as much as everyone else.