World Children’s Baseball Fair Part 2- My Trip to Japan

Introduction

For those of you who have not read my blog “World Children’s Baseball Fair”, I got picked to go to Japan to represent the USA with 4 other kids.  Before the trip we all got together one night to meet each other.  The newscast NBC17 wanted to do a story on our Japan trip, so we all got interviewed and we were on the news!

The Plane Rides to Japan

I had to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to get ready to go to the airport. I couldn’t say goodbye to my dog enough times because she is so cute. We got in the the car and drove to the airport. We all met at the airport at 5:15,and by we I mean Me, Doug, Rick, Micki, Chris (Chris is the chaperone),and all of our parents. There was only one more kid representing the U.S. but she lives in Tokyo and she visits the U.S.A. in the summer. We went to our gate and we waited for like 30 minutes  When it was time to board the plane I hugged and kissed my mom and dad goodbye and I boarded the plane.

This plane was flying to New York and the flight was only 1 hour and 15 minutes long. I was sitting next to Doug on this flight. When the plane started backing out of the gate, all of the parents were waving bye from inside the airport. Doug has never been on a plane before, so when we were going down the runway really fast he got all excited. When we were high enough to use electronics Doug and I watched the first episode of Transformers. For the rest of the flight we just talked to each other. When we got to JFK we went to our gate and we waited for 5 hours until our flight to Tokyo, Japan. For the 5 hours we just talked and played. We got on the plane and it was huge; there were 9 seats across 1 row! There were also personal TVs with movies, games, music, and a lot of other cool stuff. This flight was 14 hours long and  I was sitting next to Micki for this flight. I played her in battleship and she is so good that she beat me both times I played her. After about half of the flight I switched seats with Rick so I could sit next to Doug, and and we watched a part of Batman Begins on my laptop. Next I watched the Lorax on the plane TV. After I watched the Lorax I took a 1 hour nap.  When I woke up music was blasting in my ears.  I looked at Doug and he was laughing his head off. While I was asleep he turned the music up as loud as it would go. Then, 30 minutes later the plane landed in Tokyo, Japan. We had to rush to get on our next flight because we had to go through customs and get our passports stamped. We made it with 4 minutes left. This was only a 45 minute flight to Nagoya and I fell asleep for the whole thing.

We arrived in Nagoya and we met Waka (the 5th person representing the U.S.A.). Then we walked over to a hotel to spend the night at. I shared a room with Chris. When we woke up we got breakfast at the hotel and then we got on a bus and drove to the dorm. The bus ride was 5 hours long and we stopped 3 times. At one of the stops I got a miniature samurai sword.

My Arrival

When we finally got to the dorm everybody was waiting in the parking lot for us. When we got off the bus everybody was clapping. We went inside and found out that each country has a host staff, and our host staff’s name is Mariko. She speaks Japanese and English, and she is from Hawaii.

We went to an arrival meeting which was really quick; they just welcomed us to the dorm. At 3:00 we got all of our equipment. They gave us a helmet, a bat, a glove, cleats, baseball socks, baseball stockings, a swim cap, a water shirt, 4 WCBF T-shirts, 4 WCBF shorts, a WCBF jersey, a pair of baseball pants, and a baseball bag! After that we had free time so we played a baseball game outside. At 6:30 we went inside to eat dinner. After dinner we went to take a shower. The set up was kind of weird.  You walked into a changing room and took your clothes off there. Then you take a shower and there were no blinds. After the shower you went in the bath and then you wash yourself off. After I showered we all hung out in Rick’s, Doug’s, and my room and we talked until 10:00. The dorm room had bunk beds and our roomates were from Japan and China. It was really cool to meet people from all over the world. Then we went to bed.

When we woke up it was 6:00 in the morning. I got up, changed and brushed my teeth. Then we went to breakfast. They have really good milk and really good cereal. The cereal was cornflakes, and then you add some milk and sugar. It was delicious. We had another free day, so we played baseball and talked to each other.

The Welcoming Party

Around 5:00 we got on a bus to go to the welcoming party. We got there and we got a drink then we just talked. Soon Sadaharu Oh gave a speech and then we ate a lot of food. After that all the countries went up and said thank you and that they are excited about the trip to the WCBF. When all the countries were done Doug told me that there was cake and I asked him to show me where it was. When we got there it was all gone. We went back to the dorm and then I went to sleep.

  The Opening Ceremony

We got up at 6:00 and we ate breakfast then we had to get in our uniforms for the opening ceremony. When we got to the stadium we walked in and we listened to a lot of speeches.

Then we got ready for the parade. Rick got to hold the flag. We paraded around the stadium and then we listened to some more speeches. After that we went to the bus and we ate lunch. Then we went to go play on a playground. It was awesome, the playground had a mini zip line.  After an hour we went in the field beside the stadium to do our baseball clinic.

 

 Our Clinics

So I don’t really remember exactly what we did for every day of the clinics so I will tell you about all the clinics. The first day we didn’t rotate to stations and we stayed at one spot. We started with stretching and then we threw to each other to get warmed up. The balls that we used at the clinics were not real baseballs so I didn’t catch them very well.

Then we did throwing skills and when we were done we  played kickball. Then every day after that we did clinics in the morning. I learned about catcher, pitcher, fly balls, hitting, base running, fielding, sliding, and pickles. Pickles are when a runner is running to a base and the person at the base he is running to gets the ball. My favorite station is sliding. You slide down a tarp covered in water onto a base, and then they spray you with water. The coaches were nice and funny and they taught us a lot about baseball. On the last day we had a tournament and we won 2 out of the 3 games.

The Beach

We went to the beach and it was very fun. We went to different stations. At the first station the game was really fun. 1 person from each country had to put a blindfold on then you spin around 5 times. After that you have to walk about 5 feet to get to a watermelon and you had to smash the watermelon with a stick. Rick got chosen to do it from our group so the rest of us guided him. In the next station we swam in the Sea of Japan. We only got to swim out like 5 feet and we had to wear yellow swim caps so they can see us in the water better. The next station was a game where you lie down on the sand and when the umpire blows the whistle you get up turn around and grab 1 of the 3 flags. There are 6 people so only half get flags. Then the 3 people who got the flag do the same thing but there is only 1 flag. I didn’t win that but Doug won the 1st round of the game.

After that we did a treasure hunt.  You had to look in the sand for a card with a number on it and if the card had a lucky number you get a prize. I didn’t win anything though. Then I went over to the watermelon   game and they had a hollow watermelon so they let me do it and after I spun around 5 times I was so dizzy I fell over. But I crushed the watermelon pretty good. The beach was really fun and on the ride back to the dorm they gave us Japanese snacks and they were very good. We got to the dorm and we played until it was time for dinner. Dinner was really good and after dinner I went outside to Skype my mom. We talked for a little and then I let my friends Skype their parents too. Then I took a shower, practiced for our performance, and went to bed.

Field Activities

We went to the field and we did a lot of fun activities. Before we started any of the activities we listened to Japanese drummers play the drums.

They were really good at it. The first activity was tug-of-war. The red and green teams played against each other first and the green team won. The blue (us) and yellow played each other and unfortunately we lost. After that the yellow and green team played against each other and the yellow team won. Then all the kids got ice-cream and I watched the chaperones play tug-of-war. The winning team was the one that Chris was on and they all did it together. They pulled and then stopped then pulled and stopped and they won. The next activity was a game where you throw little balls into a hoop and the team who has the most balls in their hoop is the winner. The team that we played against tried hard, but we still won. The next activity was a relay race and we came in 3rd place.

I was surprised with how fast I ran. After that we went back to the bus and we drove back to the dorm. We went home and we played a baseball game with the kids in our room then we ate dinner and I took a shower. After that we practiced for our performance.  Then, since it was Rick’s birthday we got him a cake and held a surprise birthday party for him. Then I went to bed.

Ground Golf

If you don’t know what ground golf is it is like mini golf but the club is like a mallet.

There was 2 rounds, we played for the first half and then we went to play on a playground for the second half.

The order that we went in was Micki, Me, Doug, Waka, Rick. Playing the game was really fun. All of us thought that Doug wasn’t going to win because he swung the mallet really hard but Doug ended up winning the game. I came in second, Micki came in third, Rick came in fourth, and Waka came in fifth. Then we headed over to the play ground and we played for a half an hour. It was really fun because they have a really tall pyramid to climb on.  We also made slingshots out of sticks and rubber bands.

When everybody was done with their ground golf game we went back to the bus and we drove back to the dorm. We went in our room and we talked and after that we went to eat dinner which was really good. After that we practiced for our performance and then I took a shower and went to bed.

Japanese Festival

They hosted a Japanese festival and they had food and activities. The first thing I did was eat cotton candy and a snow cone. Then I did the games. The first one I did was yoyo fishing. You have a little hook connected to paper and you have to drop the hook in the water and pick up a yoyo by the little loop in the rubber band. They weren’t real yoyo’s, they were balloons filled with water and for the string they had a rubber band attached to them. The hard part is if you put the paper in the water it gets soft and it breaks easily because of the weight of the yoyo. The next game I did was super ball. It’s a game kind of like the last one. There are a lot of bouncy balls inside a big bucket of water and you use this thing kind of like a tennis racket but the net is made out of paper and you have to pick out 5 balls with it. But when the paper gets wet the paper breaks apart so it is really hard.

The next activity was called Drawing of lots. They had 5 different bowls and each bowl had numbers in them. If you pick a lucky number you get the prize for that number. I didn’t win anything the first time but the second time I won exactly what I wanted, which was a little top. One of the best food I had there was at the festival and it was the meat stick. It was delicious. They had meat on a stick dipped in a really good Bar-B-Q sauce and it was awesome. At the festival I also had this really good orange drink and it was awesome. We played baseball again at the dorm and then we had dinner and after that we practiced for our performance with all of the inflatables.

The Goodwill Party

After the festival we went to the goodwill party. At the goodwill party all the countries did their performances

.  But before all the performances Sadaharu Oh (a Japanese baseball superstar) gave a speech and then we ate food. The food there was really good (but they didn’t have cake Birthday cake) and I drank the delicious orange juice. We were up second for the performances and so after dinner we had to rush to get in the changing room. When we did our performance everyone LOVED

us. We danced to the song Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. At the dorm Doug had all our Japanese roommates chant USA.

So at the Party they got the crowd chanting USA, USA, USA before we started. All of us did a really good job and at the end we threw all the inflatables in the crowd. I think all the countries did a really good job and it was a really fun night.

The Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony was kind of like the opening ceremony. People gave speeches and they also gave out some awards. I was picked from the USA to say a quick thank-you speech to Sadaharu Oh and I was kind of scared when I went to say it. Then we shook hands with all the people who helped with the organization and after that we ate lunch in the bus.

The Plane Rides Back

We had the whole afternoon to pack-up. Chris had to go to a meeting, and when he got back at around 4:45 he said that they changed the bus to 5:00, which was only 15 minutes from now! So we all packed up really fast, and when we were done Chris said “Just kidding!”  He said that just to get us all packed up quickly.

After that, me and Micki went outside to play.  We threw rocks at our empty orange juice cans, and then lots of people started to join us. When we got bored with that we went back inside and we played in the dorm until dinner time. We had biusness cards and we traded them with other kids.  We also had pins that we traded with each other and I put them all over my hat. Our last dinner here was really good. After dinner we just hung out until 11:00 at night when the bus got here. Before we left Chris told us to go to the bathroom. I was the only one who went to the bathroom. In the stall I found Doug’s really special St. Louis Cardinals hat, and when I gave it to him he was so glad I went to the bathroom. When we got on the bus Mari gave us message cards. We were all really sad that we had to go because we had such a good time. I slept for most of the bus ride and when we got to the airport it was around 6:00 and we had to say good-bye to Waka. The flight to Tokyo was really short. When we got to the airport at Tokyo we met up with my favorite coach, Mike. He is my favorite because he always hung out with our group and he always encouraged me when I was up at bat. He gave me money to buy something at the food store in the airport. So I bought some gummy bears. On the flight to New-York I sat next to Doug for the whole time and it seemed a lot shorter than the flight there. When we got to New-York I said bye to Mike because he was going to Boston. After that we got some food at Wendy’s. Our flight got delayed and we were expecting a 5 hour wait, but then our flight changed again and we boarded as soon as we were done with our food. I fell asleep on most of this flight and when we landed I was never more happier to see my mom and dad. But I was also kind of sad because one of the best trips of my life ended.  I would like to say a big thank you to the WCBF and the Town of Cary for letting me go on this wonderful trip.

The End

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