golden.

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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so special.

20 February 2011 § 1 Comment

As I’m sure many before me have done, last night, I sang karaoke in Japan and because of Lost in Translation, I sang “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. We only booked the room for two hours, but we should’ve stayed for three times as long. All nine of us from my training group went. On Friday, our trainer commented on how well we all get along. Somehow, the nine of us from Ontario, San Diego, New Castle, Wellington, New York, Massachusetts, Montreal, and Queensland were able to come into this new experience, forced into training together, and get along . I guess it is sort of surprising. On one hand, it might make it difficult at first to branch out and meet some new people, but at the same time, we all seem to recognize the need/desire to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and really take advantage of being here.

We ended up being up until the sun rose this morning. Talk about being out of my comfort zone (once upon an English degree, this wasn’t too unusual though). Transit seems to stop running before midnight here. I’m not too sure why. Maybe something to do with trying to provide taxis with business during certain hours? Things start running again at 5AM. We caught the train and then the subway at 5:30 this morning. The night was spent getting to know each other a little better.

Back to training tomorrow. Last day on Friday. And by Saturday, I’ll be teaching English in Japan.

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