dish detergent, kindergarten visit, rain.

11 May 2011 § 1 Comment

One of the items that I acquired from the girl across the hall is some dish detergent.

As I was washing dishes about ten minutes ago, though, I realized that I don’t actually know if it’s dish detergent. It is in a small bottle that sort of looks like other detergent bottles I’ve seen here in Japan and it’s orange scented, like a lot of dish detergents, but there is nothing in English on there and nothing in katakana that helps me know if it’s actually detergent. It occurred to me that it could just as easily be a small bottle of shampoo. I looked for any kanji that I might understand, and saw one that I recognized. Unfortunately, I always mix up the kanji for hand and the kanji for hair. I figured if it was the one for hand, then it was detergent.

Anyway, I just looked it up. It is dish detergent. (I think).

My first kindergarten visit went well yesterday. I could easily complain about the fact that it was only a half hour visit and it takes me over a half hour for one way of transportation to get there. But it is in this lovely little rural area where there is water and trees and grass and no tall, grey, concrete, awful buildings. Once I get to the train station, the kindergarten is about a fifteen minute walk away, and it is a lovely walk. The kids were adorable. There were maybe around twenty of them (a small class, from what I hear). They were all very attentive and smiley and eager. We sang a few songs, I taught a few words. In the next year, I’m supposed to visit that particular class nine more times. I’m looking forward to it!

It’s been a rainy and humid past couple days. A suggestion of what rainy season might be like. I’m not sure when rainy season is though, or how long it lasts. Regardless, I’m not looking forward to it. Umbrellas don’t help much.


small things. also, kindergarten.

10 May 2011 § Leave a comment

The girl across from the hall moved yesterday. I bought a bunch of things from her. In a one room apartment, it’s amazing how much of a difference small things make. Well, they also make a huge difference because I don’t really have much at all. (I was thinking earlier about all the stuff I have back in St. Catharines right now, waiting in storage for me. Too much!)

I now have a couple more shelves for my “kitchen”, a small stack of plastic drawers for extra storage, an iPod dock (I’ve been listening to music on my laptop and the quality was poor), a wireless router, an assortment of cutlery and herbs and tea, and a futon (so if any of you come visit me, you have a place to sleep. Come visit me! If you do, I will even buy another plate, so you can have your own if I ever cook dinner!).

Little things make this place more comfortable.

In other news, I have my first shift teaching a kindergarten class tomorrow morning. It’s just a thirty minute class – hardly anything. I’m a little nervous, as I always am on the first day of a new job. I’ve said before, I never thought I’d be teaching five year olds. I think it will be fun, though. All I really have to do in those thirty minutes is introduce myself, sing a few songs, teach them five or six words related to weather, and play a game. Piece of cake.


15 April 2011 § 2 Comments

Plans for Golden Week are SET!

Kicking it off with a night at an onsen (hot spring) in Shirahama. I need to do some researching online before going, though. I’m not sure about their rules regarding tattoos (I hear that some places are pretty strict about them..), and I don’t know what the deal is with bathing suits. Anyway, it’s gonna be fun.

A couple days later, I head to Hiroshima on my own via the bullet train (Shinkansen). It’s a pretty cool train, reaching speeds of 240 to 300 km/h.  I could save a few thousand yen by taking the bus there, but it would take nearly three times as long to get there (i.e. 7 hours instead of 2). I’ve got my Shinkansen tickets (to and from), with reserved seats. I’ve got a hostel booked. I figure I’ll spend one day visiting the Peace Memorial Museum, and another day visiting Miyajima and the surrounding area before catching the train back at night. If I can get them done in the next couple weeks, I will  bring my 1000 cranes with me (approx. 300 left to fold!). It’ll be super busy because it’s over Golden Week, but it’s such a convenient time for me to go..

I’m amazed that I can write about bringing 1000 cranes to Hiroshima now. This is something that I decided seven years ago that I wanted to do. I was still in high school when I set this as a goal for myself. And now I’m here!

I started free weekly Japanese lessons through my ward office today. I think they will suffice for now, until I get into more of a regular schedule and maybe find some time to study a bit more (..we’ll see). At least this way, I can learn something new each week and have the opportunity to practice it with some people in a structured environment.

I’ve been doing a lot of training over the past few weeks. Additional training for my job, as well as new training for my new, second job. Looks like I’ll be doing some Kindergarten! I never thought I’d be saying that, but it’ll be fun. I hope. I hope it’s fun. I am slowly easing into my regular schedule, though. Finally. My kids classes started on Thursday. I teach kids classes every Tuesday and Thursday. Eleven year olds are difficult. The youngest class I’m teaching has just two girls in it, both very young. Maybe 2, not quite 3. They are adorable. Those classes will be a lot of fun. I start my adult group classes tomorrow. I’m excited about those  because they actually require me to put together lessons (using text books that we’re given).

Speaking of lessons, I should probably go do that instead of being on here.

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