|Dr Kumiko Date in action. This quiet, gentle & humble lady is hiding a big & generous heart inside.|
During this session, she shared about the Japanese language & culture.
She wanted to meet me & my students. I found a perfect speaker to inspire my students. We exchanged emails & she agreed to visit my school & deliver a talk to all the students. In turn, we provided her with food, lodging & a once in a lifetime experience.
She came at little to NO COST to the school. Not only did she pay for her own return flights from KL to Sibu (during the peak-priced Raya season), she actually bought Pilot pens, super cute erasers & origami paper from Japan & had it shipped to Malaysia for each of my 350+ students! What an unbelievably generous soul!
She also left us books about the Japanese language & culture, a Japanese fan & flag as well as a deep impression in the hearts of my students. I could tell that she really loved the children in the way that she interacted with them. It was all heartfelt. Her love was so great that it humbled me.
My students were mind-blown & overjoyed that someone from Japan would come all this way to visit them! They experienced Japanese fever in the days after Kumiko sensei's talk. Often speaking to me in Japanese & bowing. Cute.
Check out the pictures of what she did during her visit!
|We took Kumiko sensei to visit TR Jala Ng Miau, a longhouse near the school.|
She met with the longhouse folk, examined their traditional Iban tattoos & had her first glass of Tuak!
|Before Kumiko sensei took the stage, we entertained her with a Ngajat dance by students fully-dressed in the Iban Ngepan.|
She was impressed & delighted with the dance was coordinated by Miss Polin Nerampoh.
|With Mr Wesley Naing as the interpreter, Kumiko sensei shared a famous Japanese poem by Misuzu Kaneko before having a Q&A session.|
She reminded the students that they were unique & should not give up in pursuing their dreams.
|Kumiko sensei taught the students how to fold origami with special origami paper she brought from Japan!|
The students had a whale of a time!
MY KIDS IN THE JUNGLE NOW HAVE POSSESSIONS THAT ACTUALLY CAME ALL THE WAY FROM JAPAN!!! CARRIED BY A JAPANESE PERSON!!! How amazing is that?!!!
I will never in my lifetime be able to repay what Kumiko sensei has done for my students. She is truly a kindred spirit. I just hope that we gave her a just representation of Sarawak & the Iban culture as well as many stories & memories to share with loved ones & colleagues. I'm looking forward to building greater ties between rural Sarawak & the Japanese community in Malaysia & beyond!
Photo Credit: Andreavucci Photography, a teacher at my school & an amateur photographer who does events & wedding photography.