Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Halloween!! (5 times over???)

Well, we managed to survive Halloween again this year, with 5 different events under our belts this time!

We started things off with pumpkin carving at IBA, the language school I sometimes help out at. We had about a dozen kids come out to help us carve the biggest darn pumpkin I've ever seen!! It was sure a lot of work (ahem) FUN!! The finished product was definitely worth all the ooey gooey slimy gut-pulling.

The following night we were back at IBA for their Trick-or-Treat event. There were about 40 kids there, ranging in age from 3 to maybe 13, with some older high school kids helping out. The place is always done up in amazing style, with black light and spooky sounds... A real treat! The atmosphere is pretty wild, the kids are even wilder, and my voice after the night is pretty much toast. Its a lot of fun for the kids though, and this is the only time they get a chance to do 'real' trick or treating through the neighbourhood in the dark. Too bad they have to travel around in one huge mob though. Its just not the same that way.

After a one night breather, we were off again with my own Halloween bash for my weekend kids. We had about 35 kids, with 5 or 6 parents helping out. My former student Kazumi was also on hand and was a huge life-saver! Much more organized than the IBA event, we had pumpkin carving (5 teams), a giant bingo-style game, and then game stations done on a rotation.

After all that, we headed out for a walk around the neighbourhood for a little trick-or-treating of our own. It was mid-afternoon, and they only actually visited 4 houses (including the ramen shop), but as a first experience for everyone, it was a great success. I'm hoping to be able to get more neighbours to help out next year. We actually traveled around in small groups, so it was a bit more 'real' feeling to me.

The next day found us out on the other side of the Chiba peninsula at the Wives' Club party. This is always great fun, for both the boys and for me. I love that the kids amuse themselves, and other than helping them load up their plates at lunch (its always a potluck), I can almost forget that they are there at all. This year's party was at a great house with a bamboo forest in the back, and lots of space for the kids to explore and get really really dirty. There was a whimsical enchanted forest populated with an amazing assortment of beanie babies and other 'creatures'. The kids got their third round of trick-or-treating in as well, going around to selected neighbours houses.

Finally, on the last day (a holiday Monday), we were at a community center helping out another teacher I've recently become good friends with. Most of her students are quite small, so it was a very cute event with activity stations and some pseudo trick-or-treating. A nice way to finish off Halloween.

I wonder what we'll find in our schedule next year!! I'm already planning our costumes...

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