I have returned alive and triumphant from Toyota!!! My new digital camera has been broken in, and I'll have plenty of pictures to share when I return. I'll give you the bullet points:
- At Tokyo station, my way to Osaka, a Canadian noticed the flag on my pack and we talked for a couple of minutes. He gave me his e-mail, and phone number and invited me to call him when I got back to Tokyo. I guess the flag-on-your-pack thing DOES work.
- I stayed in a extremely sketchy "business hotel" in Osaka. I guess that's what you get for 2000 yen a night.
- Got to see Tomoya from Iida workcamp. He's now a gym teacher at a junior high school. Photos will be sent to camp alumni.
- Arrived at camp without a hitch, and to my surprise, discovered that the camp was even bigger than advertised. NICE was collaborating with BTCV, a British conservation group, so we had 3 Brits join the Canadian, Dane, German, South Korean, French, Greek, Serbian and the numerous Japanese. At any given time our group numbered around 30.
- For some reason I spoke English with a (pseudo) British accent for the entire 10 days of camp. It wasn't deliberate, but it got to the point I could not speak in my "regular" accent.
- Work was hard and tiring but extremely satisfying. The early mornings and the nightly "exchange parties" didn't help with the fatigue.
- Quick, name an easy to make Canadian dish... After contemplating poutine, poutine rapee (Acadian), and shepard's pie I settled on Pancakes with Maple syrup. Can you think of anything better???
- Went to Expo 2005, and managed to make my way to the Canadian pavilion. It was certainly a very good pavilion, but as a Canadian taxpayer I had to question the need for such and extravagant display. On the plus side I got a special Expo pin given only to Canadians, while the rest of my group got Canadian flag pins leftover from Sheila Copps' Heritage Minister days. All in all fun times were had by all.
- Got back on Sunday night. Will be out thew door to the next camp tomorrow afternoon. There's a big hurricane passing through the area right now, but hopefully everything will be alright tomorrow.
I'll be back to civilization on Aug 7... See y'all soon!!!