Saturday, May 06, 2006

First BBQ of the year!!

It's golden week, the sun's been out for 3 days in a row!!!
It's BBQ season again!

Nobu, about to chow down!!

Churin, chowing down!!

It's Will!!! Will and I came to Kurobe the same year. He's currently working in Germany but came back to Kurobe for a friend's wedding this weekend. It was soooo nice to see him again!

Nobu, after a dip in the Sea -thanks to Dan!

Kei and Mae, cooking yakisoba.

More cookin'!!

What's a bbq without naked volleyball??

And an audience...

and then we had the sunset...

it just gets better...

and better...

Omi by the beach.

The last of the sun.

Yay for Golden Week!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Weekend in Gifu

I mentioned in a previous post that I started Golden Week with a trip to Gifu-ken. It's a neighboring prefecture, where the Madlands live!!

I met Colin and Kelly in Lethbridge. Colin and I were in the same Education program and we shared a practicum experience together at LCI in Lethbridge. They have 2 children who were just little guys when I left for Japan. When I met them at the station it was a bit of a shock to see how much they had grown!!

Colin, the kids and I went and watched a karate tournament on Saturday.

Unfortunately Kelly had to work so we met up with her back at their apartment later in the afternoon. We had a nice relaxing evening, watched a movie, ate a fabulous mango chicken salad and caught up on each other's lives a bit.

The kids are in a regular Japanese school. They attend all the classes just like any other kid on the block. They are learning Japanese at an incredible rate and seem to have adjusted really well to their new home.

Sunday we took a walk to the local castle -Selah was in charge of the camera, enjoy the photos!!

Thanks for a great weekend guys!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's official

The papers were placed on my desk today - I'm staying another year.

As it was with the anticipation of becoming a JET Programme ALT (assisstant language teacher) the first time -the wait has been less than pleasant. I have limited patience as it is.

BUT, here I am , holding the official hankoed (stamped/signed) paper in my hand -my first reaction was, "Great, now I have to move..." -which is quite a ridiculous thought since I'd be moving even if I didn't get the job, just the location is slightly different.

I've got approximately 90 days left at Nyuzen High School. 2 more months of classes. The gears will be grinding, screeching, jamming as I switch from chatting about the latest J-pop band and secret boyfriends to chanting the A,B,Cs and 1,2,3s.

Here's a bit of a break down of how I'm feeling about some of changes I'll be making:

Pro: I'll be eating school lunch everyday.
Con: I'll be eating school lunch everday.

Pro: I have to move.
Con: I have to move.

Pro: I'll be teaching a new curriculum.
Con: I'll be teaching a new curriculum.

Pro: I'll be working with teachers who don't speak English.
Con: I'll be working with teachers who don't speak English.

My contract will begin at the beginning of August. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Golden Week

The end of April/ beginning of May is called 'Golden Week' in Japan. There are a string of Japanese holidays:

The 29th of April is Greenery Day
May 3rd is Constitution Memorial Day
May 4th is a national holiday because the holiday law stipulates that a day that falls between two holidays shall also be a holiday, and since this day falls between Constitution Memorial Day and Children's Day, it too is a holiday.
May 5th is Children's Day

Because of all of these holidays, a lot of people take the whole week off and go somewhere. Last year my parents came to visit and we went to Kyoto and to the World Expo in Aichi. This year however I have opted to STAY HOME!!!!! Yay, I can't tell you how excited I am about this. No plans other than to just hang out, clean my apartment (I have to start thinking about packing soon) wash my car and CHILL. It's Monday afternoon, I have one more day of work this week!! Haha.

I did however, start Golden Week with a mini holiday. On Friday I went to Kanazawa with my third grade students (grade 12s).

We took a bus from the school and set out for a day in 'Little Kyoto'. The bus ride took 2 hours and once in the city we went straight to Kenrokuen Garden and took class photos.

After that the kids were free to wander the city on their own until two thirty. That also meant the teachers could wander the city on their own! I took advantage of the beautiful day to walk downtown with one of the other teachers. We checked out a bookstore and then eventually parted to do our own thing. For me that meant sipping a caramel macchiato on a starbucks patio, watching random students wander by and reading one of the new books I've started this week - The Blind Assasin.

All the kids were back on the bus at the appointed time and we were on the road again heading for Nyuzen. Of course, like all school functions, there had to be a party for the teachers after. We went out for dinner as usual -but this time in Uozu (two cities over) and it was only for the 3rd year teachers. The second year students went somewhere different on Friday -Nagano I think, and the first years went to the mountains for a bar-b-q. After dinner we then moved to the seond party, in a bar, as usual, and that was enough for me. I wimped out on the 3rd party (usually karaoke) and caught the train back to Nyuzen. I had a 6:30 a.m. train to catch to Gifu. (I live in #19 -Gifu is #22 -the city I visited is near Nagoya at the bottom of the map)