KIDS: CWSE Report 5

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Children's World Summit for the Environment

Koby's Report #5 - The Summit Opening Ceremony

I walked into the Toyota Civic Center to see a Japanese High School rock band playing in the entryway.  I didn't quite know what they were singing about, because it was all in Japanese, but from their hand motions, I think it was something about growing trees.  On the bus ride over, I had met a boy from Portland, CT named Max.  He was 11 years old and home schooled.  We went up stairs to the balcony area over the main entrance.  We looked over to the band and got into a conversation about music.  Turns out we have similar taste in music. 

 As we were talking, three boys from Columbia came up and started talking to us.  They had all sorts of souvenirs from their country like woven bracelets with the color of their flag, lapel pins, also of their flag and small leather shoes on key chains.  I traded my first American Flag pin for a Columbian pin from one kid, a bracelet from another and a leather shoe from the last.  Those three were probably the coolest souvenirs I got the whole 4 days of the summit.  When they walked away they seemed pretty excited.  Maybe it was the first souvenirs they had traded also.

 Even after that, the band was still playing loudly down stairs.  There were people walking around us with boxes of CDs.  On the front cover of the cases was what looked like a pink car made out of clay with eyeballs and a face.  They were all free, so I took one and Max took one.  I still haven't figured out what the CD was for.  It doesn't work in my CD player.  On the back in English it says, “Directions for use”, but then the actual directions are all in Japanese.  It might take me a while to figure it out.

 Once the music stopped, we all went into the gigantic auditorium for the opening ceremony.  We were all given translator machines with headphones at the door.  The kids were told in English over the loud speaker, to sit up front and to let the adults sit in back. {Children}   We sat down and listened to the opening statements.  They were in English, so, so far we didn't need the translators.  After that, the Prince and Princess of Japan were introduced.  The Prince was to be honorary President of the Summit.  He gave a VERY long speech about who knows what.  Even with the translator plugged into my ear and on full blast, I still couldn't understand what the English speaker was saying.  She was obviously Japanese and not a native English speaker.  Max kept looking over and laughing, because he couldn't understand what they were saying either.  Eventually, we just turned the stupid things off and hoped that after the speech was over, they would just speak English.  Unfortunately, immediately after the future Emperor's speech, were two presentations in Japanese.  I fell asleep, I think.  I mean, really it didn't matter, because I couldn't understand them anyway.

 I woke up when a loud BOOM shook my seat.  Max started dying of laughter when he saw {Drummers on stage at the Summit.} me jump a foot and a half off of my seat and onto the floor.  It was the start of a traditional drum performance done by 17 Japanese kids.  It was LOUD.  Some of them were surprisingly young.  They looked about 10 years old, but were they very good.  I had never heard anything like it.  They could move their hands and drum sticks so fast they were a blur.  It looked so cool.  I thought most of the performance looked more like a dance. 

 Finally after the amazing drummers were finished it was time for the closing statements.  At least that part was in English. Then we boarded our buses by number and headed to our days workshops.

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Content Last Modified on 1/31/2007 3:46:53 PM