Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Smallest of Worlds

Ok, first: long time, no posting. Sorry!

On with the show! I've decided that the world seriously gets smaller by the day. Today, I had my first lesson at the smallest elementary school. These kids are awesome, enough said. However, after lunch there was no one left at school, except for two office attendants and me. Lonely indeed. Since a 5-hour workday was too short, I stayed in the office studying Japanese and editing lesson plans. Due to the new school year, there are many faces I don’t know. At the smallest school, only about 3 people changed positions. I was talking with one of the office attendants, and she went on to tell me about her older sister who lives in America after I said I was from America. I told her I was from Oregon, and she said her sister lives near Portland. Wow. She went on to explain that nobody knows Vancouver, Washington, but everyone knows Vancouver, Canada. So her older sister, lives in Vancouver, Wa. Crazy right? 5000 or so miles away from home, and I meet someone whose sister lives in the city next to mine. When was the last time that happened to you? (Not recently, I’m guessing). So, we talked for 20 minutes or so about life in Japan, health insurance, green cards, being a teacher in Japan, etc. I was quite impressed with my Japanese ability. After 8 months in Japan, I was starting to wonder if any Japanese would come back to me.

Aside from that story, I don’t have too much news. I’m studying for a Japanese Language Proficiency Test in July…hopefully I pass! This weekend is the start of the epic, National Holiday bazaar. What does that mean exactly? Well, Friday is a National Holiday, and then next week Tuesday-Thursday are National Holidays! Yippie. Time to do some traveling!

I’ve got some accommodations reserved, which was the most important part (I figure there are plenty of trains…) I’ve decided to make my trip a little shorter than I already planned. I’m going to take the train to just Southwest of Hiroshima, where I will see Miyajima, which is supposed to be one of the top 3 most beautiful views in Japan. Next, I’ll head to Hiroshima, where I will spend the night. And finally, after touring Hiroshima on Saturday, I’ll take the train to Osaka, where I’ll spend the night. On Sunday, seeing the sights of Osaka, and finally returning home Sunday night. Hopefully all goes well! The best part, is that I work Monday, and then have 3 more days off….I should really start planning my Tuesday-Thursday adventure.

Since I haven’t had a lot of things to take pictures of, here are some school lunches to keep you occupied. These were from Monday-Wednesday of this week.

Photo 1: Milk, Chimaki (the green thing, it's mochi...sticky/sweet rice, wrapped in grass), green tea, salad (carrots, burdock root, and other Japanese veggies), fish, rice with chicken, bamboo, and other goodies in it.

Photo 2: Salad (cucumber, corn, daikon, carrots), soy beans covered in cocoa powder (YUM), mini apple jelly for dessert, green tea, milk, spaghetti (pork in the meat sauce, so I mix it with my veggies)

Photo 3: green tea, orange, milk, white rice, salad (cucumber, corn, carrot, daikon). some other pork product too. it got wiped off my plate!

Also, I have to say THANK YOU, to my wonderful Aunt and Uncle, who sent me an Easter Care Package. Holy smokes. You made my Wednesday night.

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