Life of an Obubu Intern 151 Itsaya #2

[2023年 06 月]

My first month at Obubu is finished! It went by so fast!

During this month, I have learned a lot about processing and each step of the transformation of the leaf, but it doesn’t end here. For example, we cleaned the soft and rough rolling machines. It was very funny because we constructed a DIY method of draining the water.

We did hand processing with Matsu-San two times- it was so interesting! The first time we were with local Japanese enthusiasts, it was nice to meet people who are passionate about tea too! I was glad to be able to practice my Japanese with other people!

I have learned how we harvest the leaves of the tea bush. But I want to improve my technique and be faster and more efficient for Akky-San. Also, I have learned trimming, though the machine is heavier than the harvesting machine.

I remember one day at the end of June, when I was scheduled for Akky support, we trimmed 23 tea bushes rows, and I didn’t carry this machine before. It was difficult adjusting the machine to the optimal position- when at a difficult position, the machine feels more heavy. My arms were aching! It wasn’t easy though I’m glad I was able to trim everything on my own with Akky-san.

After lunch, we went to the first tea field I saw for harvesting. After putting leaves in the container back at the factory, we went to Tenku, the Obubu’s highest field (and also my favourite). It was difficult to harvest correctly: there was a lot of wind, the mountain is steep, and it was just Akky-san and me. But I had so much fun!

This day was the most challenging so far; I was so tired but I think it was my best day of the month! Three different fields in one day, each one in a beautiful environment. Farming throughout the whole day and learning more about tea was so enriching!

I challenged myself this month! I am not a good English speaker yet. On the first day at Obubu, I wasn’t able to speak in English. I had a lot of difficulties! However, every day, I’ve been training with everybody and every morning I study my vocabulary. Hopefully, everybody will help me to have better comprehension and teach me more. Thank you みんな !!

So I took more time compared to the others to do the Tea Tour. I’ve been training a lot on the presentation, again and again, to be more fluent. It’s not perfect but I think I’m getting better!

Processing, farming, tea tour, and weeding are not all I did this month!

I visit some places in the Kyoto region with some other interns, where we walked a lot and discovered about Japanese culture. I was so happy to go to the beach with everyone, to swim in the Japanese sea! I’m excited to go again!

We were going to restaurants and Izakaya with Obubu staff but also among interns. We love to discover new places each weekend!

Also, I have learned to make mochi! I wish I could do it again! It was so much fun even though I’m not very good!

That’s been most of my month- I hope you enjoy reading my experience! Now it’s getting very hot, and working in the field is more difficult! We have to drink a lot of water and protect ourselves from the sun! But it’s always full of passion and I’m excited to see what the next month brings me!

See you!

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