Ken attended his first day in grade five, today - all of a week after his last day of grade four. We tagged along, and spent the first part of the visit waiting in the principle's office for the required round of greetings. Mari was dressed the part, but I hadn't planned on being there (I was supposed to be managing Emma*) so was loafing around in a Cycle Toronto t-shirt and hadn't even shaved. And because their slippers were all amusingly too small, I was also wandering around shoeless!
Anyway, Ken's cousin Ta-chun reported that everyone exclaimed loudly when Ken showed up. We have to get all word of the day through Ta-chun because of course Ken summed it up as usual: "fine". Anyway, the principle eventually brought Mari and me to the class, and the entire class loudly again when they saw me lumber into view. Then the principle had *me* do a little speech and knowing that Ken had prepared an introductory speech I didn't want to repeat that ("Hi, I'm Michael, I've come from Canada") so I said (in English) thank you for having him and left it at that.
I went back to Nichinan through the yet-again rainy mountains in the afternoon, but Mari and Maki took the boys to a street festival which turned out to be rather good. According to Ta-chun, some of the girls from the class found The Boy and hugged him. He's a hit!