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flying children

November 27, 2005

Flying children

The week before last, I went on a school trip with the whole first year, to a picnic site about half way up the island. The south part of the Okinawan mainland is an almost entirely built up expanse of towns running into each other, highways, American military bases, but the northern part of the island is mostly wild, densely wooded hills. Where we went was somewhere between these two: a bit of natural woodland about halfway up the island, next to a man-made picnic site and playground.

While there I learnt that 13-year-old city kids hate nature (you’d have thought we were climbing Everest rather than scrambling for twenty minutes through — to be fair, somewhat mosquito-infested — woodland: “I hate this, I hate this”). After all the horrible ‘experiencing nature’ stuff was out of the way, the kids played on the picnic site’s aging toboggan run for a couple of hours, and then we had a skipping competition, where each class had to jump rope simultaneously.

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