Language versus Communication

We can communicate even when language may not help.

Saturday's schedule gave a workshop for both groups of children in the morning follwed by a hike to a lookout point for Camp Zama and then a BBQ in the evening for the youth only. The morning workshop (~2.5 hrs long) focused on communication among individuals, any two individuals. Since we had Japanese and American kids together, we focused on how language can sometimes be more of a problem than simple communication.

We played games to show how language can be a bother, but also to highlight the different types of signals that animals (humans included) use to share information. For example, we used noisemakers (11 types) for the kids to use their ears only to locate someone with the same sound. Of course, since I study dolphins, we had to use them as a metaphor for communication. So, I gave a power point presentation and showed much video depicting dolphin communication. We wrapped the morning up with a third activity that had the participants paired off and using only behavior and gesture to elicit a specific action from the other person: e.g., stomp their feet, wave their hand.

The afternoon weather had low clouds and the air was moist: not rain, but wet. This is called 'kisame' as the trees and leaves seem to collect the moisture from the low clouds (or fog) and allow drops to fall from them. Alas, the clouds also kept us from seeing the ocean surface some 450 m below the Kurosaki lookout point, but we could hear it.

The evening BBQ showed to the adults just how much the children had bonded. They cooked and ate together and played many games after eating what seemed to me to be their body weight! It was a good feeling though to see them having so much fun.

Till tomorrow