It's been a busy couple of weeks.
The new ALTs have all arrived (both A group and B Group) and we got a total of 11 new teachers. They seem like a good bunch. I've met and talked with all of them but one. There are a few in particular that I can see myself getting along with very well as we have quite alot of the same interests.
August 6th and 7th were the Enjoy English lessons at LATOV mall. 8 of the new ALTs (Group A) helped out a bit where they could since they had only just arrived a few days before. It went really well. August 6-8 was also Iwaki's Tanabata Festival so after work we enjoyed the festival and all the great food and performances it had to offer :) I got to know one of the ALTs pretty well. Her name is Erica and she's from Australia. She's very nice and we have alot of the same morals and ideas about how things should be. That, I have learned, is the extent of what we have in common. We have no interests in common at all! lol But I think we'll get along just fine. I'm just not sure we should hang out much without other people around to entertain us.
August 10 I went shopping with Erica and I actually found a pair of capris style kahkis (sp?) that fit me. Japan sizes are done in cm, and I'm a size 92. It is the largest size the store carries, but I'm quite relieved to find a store that does carry my size! Once I start to lose some weight, or at least lose some inches off my waist, I'll have more selection to what I can buy. Erica slept over that night and the next morning we were up early for our day of volunteering at the MLB Roadshow. We went to the station for 8am to meet up with the new ALTs who had volunteered (they had never been to Yotsukura before) and Michael was having a hard time breathing and panicing a bit. He's from Scottland and REALLY not used to the heat and high humidity. So I told the others how to get to the festival grounds and took Michael into the Maruto Power Drug (which was the only store open at that time of the morning). He was fine after a few minutes in the air conditioning.
When we got to the festival grounds, I was told to go pick out a yukata (summer kimono) and put it on. My first thought was, how am I supposed to help out with the roadshow (baseball) in a yukata? Well, it turns out that we weren't going to be helping out with the MLB part of the festival. hahhaa, damn! what a let down. But I got to choose a nice yukata, and then I was told, that I got to keep it!!! I've wanted to get myself a yukata for a while, but finding one that will fit me is hard since I'm so tall and wide. Well mine is navy blue with bunnies :) Here's a pic!
We did our thing, and we got free Ben and Jerry's ice cream (I tried mint chocolate chunk, and Chunky Monkey. I can't decide which I like best).
I took Michael, Erica and Jeremy back to my place for a while in the afternoon because I needed to charge my cell phone and Michael looked ready to drop. Michael took a pillow and passed out on my hard wood floor for 2 hours before we had to shake him awake. He felt better after though, and we went back to the festival. It rained all night, but there were fireworks, and we had a temporary building set up for us (the ALTs and invited guests) to have a dance party! All you could drink alcohol for 2000 yen ($20) or 500 yen per drink. I went home around 12:30. Erica slept over again that night but she didn't get back until after 3am. I left my door unlocked for her and, thankfully, didn't hear a thing when she came back.
This week was obon, and that means no work. I have this whole week off...so what did I do? I offered to go into work today and tomorrow for 2 hours in the morning to coach students on the English speeches. Tomorrow after work, I'm going into Taira to go to the sports shop with my Japanese teacher to buy some dumbbells and some other stuff for workouts and running. I'm also going to go couch shopping. I need something (couch, recliner, arm chair) I don't care what, just something I can relax in!
Next week I have no classes, but I"ll be coaching students from 4 schools on their speeches. The contest is on the 30th. School starts up again on August 27th. August is going by so fast! I want my vacation to start over!!