Saturday, February 27, 2016

International Secondary School visit

Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) provided and continues to provide a Christian education for many students.   A comment I have heard from teachers and principals from other Kanto Plain (Tokyo Area) International Schools, is that CAJ will accept students who have some learning difficulties.  We do have a support team that is willing to work with students who struggle, but we are not equipped to meet the needs of a large number of students who struggle.  So, we challenged ourselves to to find English International schools who work with these students.  We found one such school, International Secondary School (http://www.isstokyo.com/).  

 They do not have a gym at their location, so they are able to use a nearby park for exercise and outdoor activities.  They also rent a gym for more organized sports such as basketball etc.
 The school is renting what looks like a former house.  They have converted it into small classrooms and offices.  Currently they serve 36 students with 8 teachers.  Their teacher/student ratio is 1 to 8 at the most, but many of the classes are smaller.
Entrance

This is one of their classrooms


Upstairs hallway


Another classroom with Head of School, David Langill. 
Going downstairs
Main room downstairs with many of the students.  
 This school accepts students grade 5 - 12.  It is an English speaking school option for students who may need a different track than the traditional academic track.
It was an interesting visit and a good opportunity to make us think outside the box with regards to education.  Sadly, we have not been able to find an English option like this, that is a Christian school.  I will continue to pray for families who have difficult decisions to make for their children wanting a different style of English Christian education, here in the Tokyo.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Taiwan Day 3 & 4

On our third day in Taiwan we got up and went to the train station, bought tickets on the bullet train and headed out to Taipei.

When we arrived in Taipei, we walked a couple of blocks to the hotel where we had reservations.  We were able to leave our suitcases in storage while we went out visiting some of the tourist sights.  They were also able to give us a map of the train system and where the sights were in relation to the train stops.
Our first destination was to The National Palace Museum.  It is quite a large building with three floors.  It was a rainy day and we were unable to take pictures indoors.





 Each floor had multiple rooms that displayed various Chinese art and artifacts that spanned history.  There was calligraphy, pottery, paintings, bronze work, jade and there were some rooms that were closed to the public that day.  I believe we spent hours walking through the museum.  There was a lot to see and absorb.  It was also busy that day.
Outside there was a beautiful peaceful garden on the grounds of the National Palace Museum.




 We also decided to go to Taipei 101.  It was one of the tallest buildings in the world a while ago.  We took the elevator up to the 89th observation floor.  When we first came up, we were able to see some, but the clouds moved in fairly quickly.



It was raining a bit and sometimes it was blurry looking outside.







Can't see a thing, neither could we.  :)  


This was a model of the Taipei 101
This is the damper on the 88th floor.  There were videos of it swinging during a typhoon, with people!  I'm wondering what people are doing on the 88th floor of a building in a typhoon!

One of the great things I love about Taiwan is the fantastic tropical fruit.  After coming back down from the observation floor, we saw a market and decided to go and pick up some fresh fruit for breakfast on Monday.  The fruit is absolutely delicious!
The headboard of the bed in my room in the hotel we were staying.   Not exactly sure what the message is...
View outside the window of my room.  There was a McDonalds and KFC across the road.
The mall we walked around, looking down beside the escalator.
After returning to the hotel, we caught the taxi to Taoyuan International Airport and flew back to Narita.  The whole weekend was memorable and very enjoyable.
Today there was a terrible earthquake in Taiwan.  It was not centered in the area where I visited, but please pray for the families of those who lost loved ones and for the restoration efforts.
It has been a blessing to be able to see a small part of this country and pray that God's word may be spread.