Friday, July 29, 2005

A Year Later

Well my baby blog is a year old this month. As blogs go, it really does suck, but at least I have been posting more lately.

My trip to Tokyo was absolutely fab!! Being an orientation assistant was a blast. The other TOAs were all really nice people and the CLAIR people were fun too. 1400 new JETs arrived on Sunday from about 30 different countries. It was so interesting to speak with people about to begin their JET adventures. 27 newbies came to Shimane. All seem very nice and I'm excited to get to know the ones living in my area.

Despite being told that we would be working non-stop, I had plenty of time to explore Shinjuku and do a little shopping. I was totally living the good life for 4 days...but now I'm back.

The month of Aug is going to be really boring, but at least I don't have to sit at school all day.

In a completely random twist of fate I'm going to Hawaii in Sept!!! A Japanese woman named Chiaru was a "conversation partner" with my roommate Sarah while we were at university. She finished her studies and returned to Japan. When I arrived here I emailed her and kept in touch periodically. She lives in Gunma which is worlds away from Shimane. Over the last year I haven't really heard from her.

Then a month ago she sent me an email asking if I would like to travel with her. Not really thinking it would happen, I told her yes. She suggested a few destinations and we decided on Hawaii. Then she went ahead and arranged the whole thing with a travel agent!! She got us a really good deal at a fancy hotel in Waikiki. I love not having to make travel arrangements! This is the first time I have not been in complete control and I LOVE IT! She even arranged for me to fly from Izumo airport (2 hours away and free parking) so that I don't have to spend 12 hours on a bus. My supervisor has already approved the time off. I was a little surprised at how easy everything was. I will miss 4 days of school but she said that as long as I prepare for all my classes ahead of time it's no problem!

So Hawaii in September and Calgary for xmas. I have a feeling that year 3 will fly by even faster than year 2!!!

A random picture to go with a random post. Asagi and I. Note the sexy sweat towel, the "must have" fashion accessory for summer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Closing Ceremony!

Finally, the last day of classes (for me). Most of the other teachers (except subjects like P.E and home economics) have to teach supplimentary classes all summer long.

Lucky me, I have no classes, but of course I still have to show up everyday. I'm going to test the waters for the first week, come in on time for the first few days, then gradually come in later and later and see if anyone says anything.

I'm off to Tokyo on Sat. for the orientation. I'm looking forward to being really busy and meeting the newbies.

Coming back here to no work is going to be a real let-down. Oh well, at least I have beautiful beaches 10 minutes away from my apartment. I will get a good tan this year. Right now I'm bright red from spending a little too much time in the sun on Monday. Soon it will turn into a nice golden brown. This is a picture of Asari beach.

Discrimination? In Japan?

The longer I'm here the more I recognize the discrimination all around me. This radio broadcast brings up some very interesting issues, because if you ask the average Japanese person (and I guess anyone, in any country) they will deny being racist. But then they will also tell you how Koreans are naturally inferior people. And Chinese people are rude and unrefined. Japanese people don't see these views as being racist, they actually BELIEVE them as the truth.

My friend Eleanor, a completely harmless looking English girl, was pulled over by the police while driving with her family. Her crime? Being white, and driving. Once she showed her Alien Registration card the police left them alone. I'm sure the police justified the stop because surely foreigners driving around the countryside MUST be up to no good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My ESS girls are the best

3rd graders have stopped coming to clubs now, they need more time to study. As a result, my ESS has been reduced to only 4 students!! So now we can go places instead of staying at school.

We were talking about having a summer pizza party at a local restaurant and I said I would drive everyone. This is what Yurie drew on the board.

She didn't think three students could fit in the back of a Minica. I once shoved three ALTs back there.

No problem!

Nothing like it

There is nothing like eating a tomato you've grown yourself, on your tiny balcony. I love the smell of a fresh tomato, even before you cut into it. Smells divine!

Are YOU on my fridge?

Only a select few may grace the gallery that is....
My fridge