Monday, March 31, 2008

Buddha Park

I visited an interesting place called Buddha Park. Buddha Park is about twenty-five kilometres southeast from Vientiane. I went to Buddha Park with two colleagues and a Laotian called Lee (pronounced /lei:/). Lee was our guide. Lee speaks English very well, and he knows a lot about Buddha Park.
We went to Buddha Park in a tuk tuk. The journey was bumpy because many of the roads were unpaved. Along the way we got to see the Mekong River.

We were very lucky to see a traditional Lao fisherman on the river.

The picture below is a picture of me standing in front of the first sculpture that you see when you enter Buddha Park. Inside this sculpture are three levels: Hell. Earth, and Heaven.

This is the entrance to Hell. The entrance is very small. It was difficult for me to enter.

The picture below is a picture of the inside of the sculpture. I took the picture on level two: Earth.
Here is the view from the top level: Heaven. You can see all the sculptures in Buddha Park.

The pictures below are close-ups of some of the interesting scultures in Buddha Park.

Some of the sculptures are based on Buddhist mythology (仏教の神話学) and some of the sculptures are based on Hindu (ヒンドゥー教) mythology.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sightseeing in Vientiane, Laos: Pha That Luang - The Great Stupa

I visited Pha That Luang. Pha That Luang is called the Great Stupa or the Golden Stupa in English. Pha That Luang is the national symbol of Laos.

I travelled to the Great Stupa in a tuk tuk. Tuk tuks are like a taxi. They are a great way to go from one place to another place in Vientiane.
This is the gate to the Great Stupa.

The picture below is a picture of a wat (temple) next to the Great Stupa.

This is another wat near the Great Stupa

Here's another wat near the Great Stupa. It looks very similar to a Thai wat.
The pictures below are guardian dragons.

These are buddhas

Next time I'll post some pictures of the Buddha Park.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Food in Vientiane, Laos

The food in Laos is very delicious and very cheap. It is possible to get a meal in Laos for as little as ¥20. I usually paid about ¥200 for my meals in Laos.

Barbeque is a traditional form of Lao cooking. I ate Lao barbeque at a restaurant near the Mekong River. The fish was the most delcious.

The picture above is of another traditional Lao dish called Lao laap. Lao laap is served with sticky rice. Sticky rice is similar to mochigome (餅米).

This is another dish made with fish. The fish was cooked with coconut milk and served in a banana leaf. It tastes like Thai food. It's very delicious.

Here's another fish dish. I like fish very much. Laos is not neat the sea. So, most of the fish that Laotians eat is river fish and lake fish.

This is a Lao salad.

There are some Vietnamese restaurants in Laos too. The picture above is of some spring rolls I ate. The spring rolls are served with noodles and greens. This very big meal cost only ¥200.

Laos used to be a French colony so there are many French restaurants in Laos. The picture above is a picture of the meal I ate at a French restaurant. It's buffalo (水牛肉) with a creme sauce.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Teachers Helping Teachers in Laos

I visited Laos. I stayed in Laos from the nineteenth of March to the twenty-sixth of March. I stayed in the capital city of Laos. The capital city of Laos is Vientiane.

This is a map of South East Asia. Click on the map to make it bigger. You can see that Laos is near Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and China.

Vientiane is on the Mekong River. Vientiane is close to the Lao-Thailand border. Click on the map to make it bigger.

I went to Laos with an organisation called Teachers Helping Teachers (THT). I went to Laos in order to teach teachers and students who want to become teachers. I did some sightseeing too.

Lao-American College is an amazing school. It has a kindergarten, primary school, high school, university and graduate school (大学院). So, it is possible for students to get all their education at Lao-American College.

I taught teachers and students in this building.

This is a picture of me with Michel, a teacher at Lao-American College.

Here's a slide show about the Teachers Helping Teachers Seminars at Lao-American College in 2007. The video was made by Brent Jones.

Next time I'll post some pictures of intertesting palces I visited and delicious food I ate.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another Cool Comic Website

Thanks to Patricia Donaghy of International Edubloggers Directory, I found another website for creating comics. The website is called ToonDoo. I made the comic below.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wikis in Plain English with Japanese subtitles

What's a wiki? Well, you know wikipedia, right? Wikipedia is a wiki. Thanks to a great teacher in Australia called Anne Baird, I found a great video that explains wikis in plain English with Japanese subtitles (字幕). The video was made by Lee LeFever of the Commoncraft Show.
Starting next month I'll be teaching some interesting classes at Toyo Gakuen University: Music, Travel English, and Homestay English. These classes will have a project-based syllabus. Therefore, I hope I can make wikis for each of these classes.
Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Congratulations Kanto International High School Students !!

On the first of March, the graduation ceremony (卒業式) was held at Kanto International High School. In Canada a graduation ceremony is called convocation. The graduation ceremony at Kanto International High School was a special day for me because some of the graduates were students that I taught. Look at the picture below. This is a picture of me teaching the Study Abroad Class of 2008 at Kanto International High School's special campus in Katsuura, Chiba. Oh my! I look very fat in this picture! We could dress casually for these lessons. Usually I wore a suit and tie and the students wore school uniforms.

Look at the picture below. It's a picture of me with Kurobane-sensei. Kurobane-sensei is the Director of the University Study Abroad programme at Kanto International high school. The Study Abroad Class of 2008 gave us a present. My present was a beautiful collage.

The Study Abroad Class of 2008 is the second graduating class in the University Study Abroad programme. Now about fifty students have completed the programme. About fifty percent applied to universities overseas. All were accepted. At present, Kanto International High School graduates are studying in the UK (The University of Wales at Aberystwyth, Sterling University, Southampton Solent University), Australia, and the United States. Next September, Kanto graduates will start studying at universities in the UK (Aberystwyth, Sterling, Bournemouth, Roehampton), Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada (the University of Alberta).
Of course, next month, some Kanto International High School students will start studying at universities in Japan including Sophia, Waseda, Hosei and my alma mater (母校) Temple University Japan. Temple University is an American university. The main campus is in Philadelphia. The picture below is a picture of me at my Temple University Japan graduation ceremony. A graduation ceremony in the United States is called a commencement.

I hope that some Kanto International High School alumni (卒業生たち) will become my students at Toyo Gakuen University. I taught a Kanto International High School alumnus last year. It was great!

Congratulations to all and best of luck at university!