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children at the ballet studio/バレエ教室の子供たち

As my request of changing the date of dispatch to Burkina Faso has been accepted, I had gotten three extra months to stay here in Tokyo. I was originally going to stay here until the beggining of April and was going to be sent to Burkina Faso in about two weeks from today. But because of the change, I am not leaving for Burkina Faso yet though I will be leaving Tokyo in about three weeks. My extra three months will come to the end on 9th of July as I am going to Nagano prefecture to study French and possibly some other essential things for living in Burkina Faso. In the last three months, I feel like I didnt really do anyting, but on the other hand, it feels like so much have had happened. Something I know for sure that it was really SOMETHING was the encounterment at the ballet studio.

 

派遣時期を変えてもらう手続きがうまくいき、東京にちょっと長く居れる事となったけど、それもあと3週間を切った。7月10日には、長野に語学とその他の研修のため、向かう事になる。長野には2ヶ月ちょっとで、そこから帰ってきたら2週間くらいですぐに派遣だ。東京には、大体今日で3ヶ月くらい住んでいる。その3ヶ月で、色々あった気もすれば、何もなかった気もする。でも、その中で、確実に私が得た新しい何かがいくつかある。そのうちのひとつが、バレエ教室での出逢いだった。

 

My friend who was my co-woker and roommate in New York had been back in Tokyo about 1 year and half ago and she was starting to teach a ballet class to little Japanese kids in English. She asked me if I knew anyone who would be interested in taking the position of her assistant, and somehow, it ended up myself doing it. That happened in the early April. Today was the last day of my work there. We've found a new assistant who can take over my position and I have to leave for Nagano pretty soon. 

 

ニューヨークで同僚でルームメイトだった友人が英語で教えるバレエのクラスを始めると言っていて、アシスタント良い人いないかなーと言っていた。最終的に私が試験的にやることになり、毎週金曜日、続けてきた。今日はその、最終日だった。私は長野に行かなきゃいけなくて、新しい素敵なアシスタントも見つかった。

 

After graduation highschool, the first job I've gotten was working as an actress/ mime in a troupe that travels elementary schools in Japan. I was certainly not good at that job because, in fact, I really did not like kids back then. As I had no idea how to communicate with them, I also started to work as a swimming instructor for kids in order to get myself used to the environment surrounded by kids. But until the end, I kept feeling that I was bad at being with kids. 

 

高校卒業後、初めての仕事は小学校の巡業だった。私は、小学校にやってくるパントマイム劇団のお姉さんになった。日本全国、(全部じゃないけど)いろんなところで公演した。でも私はその仕事には決して向いていなかった。だって、その頃は、どうやって子供と接したら良いのかわからず、結構子供の前で無言になっていたから。子供と関わる事に慣れる為に、水泳のインストラクターのバイトもやった。でもやっぱりさいごまで、苦手意識は消えなかった。

 

In NY, I also performed in some plays for children. After the show, I had to play with kids but I always felt weiredness and didnt know what to talk about. Many times, I ended up talking with other actors. 

 

ニューヨークでも何度か児童劇に参加させてもらった。公演後に子供と遊んだりもして、それも仕事のうちだった。そこでもやっぱり、気まずくて、居づらくて、困っちゃったりした。

 

But students from the ballet class led me overcome my weak point. Maybe about for the first three classes, we both (me and kids) were shy, but as we spent time together, some walls between us had been taken off one by one. I think it is an ordinary relationship of human beings to be shy. When we meet someone for the first time, many adults would fake the weirdness in the air and pretend as if there are no reasons to be shy. But kids would just be there as they are, and look strainght in the eyes of a person facing them. So, you cannot fake yourself in front of them. 

 

でも今回バレエ教室で出逢った子供たちは、私の子供に対する苦手意識を払拭してくれた。最初の3週間くらいは、お互いにちょっとシャイで、ちょっと気まずくて、微妙な空気になったりもした。でも毎週会っていくうちに気づいたら、私たちの間にあった沢山の壁は、だんだんと取り払われていったように思う。新しい人に出逢ってシャイになるのって、よく考えれば当たり前で、私にとってそれは子供が相手だからって変わらない。むしろ大人と違って、まるでなにもおかしなことなんてなかったみたいに振る舞って相手と向かい合ったりしない分、嘘がつけない。

 

I thought I always have been trying not to lie to my heart. But I guess I have been trying resist to the adults who fake themselves and at the same time, I was maybe trying to fake it in front of kids who dont fake anything. I was trying to fake it to feel like we are not shy and having so much fun. weird me.

 

よく考えれば私、自分に嘘をつかずに生きていきたいとずっと思ってきたのだった。嘘つきの大人の前では嘘をつきたくないと抵抗し、嘘がつけない子供の前で、嘘をついてまるで仲良しみたいに振る舞いたいと思っていたのかもしれない。まったくおかしな話だ。

 

Kids I met there were always honest. When they felt bad, I felt it too. When they were happy, I was also happy from my true heart. At some point, I realized me being somehow, real, and realized there was nothing weird. I think the weirdest thing was something made up in my mind and did not really exist anywhere. Then, I was loving them. 

 

私がここで出逢った子供たちは、皆、正直だった。彼女たちの機嫌が悪い時、幸せな時、楽しい時、それはそのまま私の心に作用した。気づいたら、自分も自分自身になっていた。そして、この気まずいという感覚はほとんど、私の心の中で勝手に作られたものなんだと、わかった。あの全力の気まずさは、最初からどこにも存在していなかったのかもしれない。私はもうすでに、彼女たちが大好きになっていた。

 

I still think I am certainly not good at being with kids because I would need some time to really look at the kid as one person and know her well in order to really come to like her. I would not be able to like them just because of the fact that they are kids. However, the encounterment with them and the 10 lessons we have done together certainly changed my perspective of children. I seriously do like them and wish them all the best.

 

今でも、私は子供と接するのが得意とは言えないだろう。私はきっと、子供を子供だという理由で好きになったりはできない。その子としっかり向き合って、知って、人として好きになる、それが私には必要だから。でも、バレエクラスでの彼女たちとの出逢いは私の子供に対する認識を確かに変えた。つまり、私は彼女たちが大好きで、彼女たちの未来への幸運を本気で願っている。