freckle face

“What’s that brown stuff on your face?!”

“They’re called freckles.”

“Do they come off?”

“No, they’re a part of my skin.  They’re natural.”

“Oh.”  *tiny fingers try to rub at my freckles* “They didn’t come off” *Looks at fingers* “And my finger isn’t brown”

“Some people in America think that freckles are cute.”

“Oh, well maybe in America…”


You little kids are lucky you’re so dang cute.  But I guess I set myself up for that one.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had little kids ask me about my freckles; they’re so curious about them.  In Japan, freckles are a lot rarer than in the States or other parts of the world.  Also, those who do have freckles tend to cover them up with heaps of foundation. 

In being a part of the JET Programme, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re doing any good, if you’re making a difference. It really is quite rare to have someone tell you you’re doing a good job.  But it’s little encounters like these; children who are curious about my interesting face, toddlers who at first wouldn’t stop crying because I looked scary and strange, but now run to me and give me a big hug when I come by the kindergarten, that make living in Japan worth all of the frustration and hard times that naturally arise while living in a foreign country.


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