oh Japan

Sep. 28th, 2012 11:09 pm
frellnik: (Default)
So, Japan has a few seasons...here they are:

Winter (December-end of March), Spring (April-end of may), Rainy season (June and start of July), Summer (July and August and part of Septemeber), Typhoon season (mid/end of September through October), Fall (October through November). 

We are entering Typhoon season.  Things are about to get interesting! =p

I am so happy that it has finally cooled down, and now the typhoons are starting. gah!  I guess running will have to wait until mid October.  Well, in the mean time, I will enjoy dancing!

I got 2 delivery notices in the mail today. They shall be delivered tomorrow evening between 5 and 7.  =D  I'm looking forward to these packages.

I also need to ask my mom to go buy me some new tank tops from old navy and mail them to me.

note to self, losing weight is expensive! it means you have to buy a whole new wardrobe! damn.

oh! Naomi bought me a beautiful, glow in the dark, bright amazing puzzle for my birthday! she gave it to me today! I can't wait to put it together! <3
frellnik: (Default)

My birthday was awesome!  I had a party with 17 of my friends here in Iwaki.  We went to dinner at Dandelion, which is an Italian restaurant that serves really good pasta and pretty good pizza (One of 2 places in Iwaki that serves Pizza that I really like).  After dinner 12 of us went on to Kareoke for a couple of hours and that was a lot of fun! I even got presents, which I was not expecting! Including a batman pen case, and a batman mug! lol We joked about convincing the kids at school that it is a Canadian tradition to drink our coffee out of the tin pen cases! and to hold our pens in mugs. lol  I haven't tried it out yet.

The birthday stuff went on all weekend. I had dinner with Nami and her daughter on Saturday (turkey, meat pies, poutine and strawberry rubarb pie!) and then went out to lunch with Hayakawa Sensei on Sunday (it was her birthday Sunday).  Monday was also a holiday, so I stayed in and watched the new eps of Doctor Who, season 7! 

Just after my birthday the challenge over at Nerd Fitness ended (on the 17th).  It was a 6 week challenge.  I picked 3 health and fitness goals and 1 life goal.  I did well on two of my goals, and failed on the other two.  I did very well with changing my diet over to paleo/primal and with cutting back on pop to just once a week (or not at all if I ate something sweet that week).  However, I failed horribly with the excercise because I got sick from the heat and got an ifection in my foot.  I also only managed about 50% of my life goal which was to study 60 hours for the JLPT. 

That being said, I did lose 5kg, which is about 12 pounds.  I'm happy with that.  However, most of my clothes (including my dress pants for work, and my blouses and my shelf-bra tanks) are now too big for me.  Pretty soon I won't be able to wear them and I'm not quite small enough to fit into the stuff in Japanese stores! I need to go down at least another size or possibly 2 before I'll fit into the largest size they have at UniClo. So I'm not sure what to do.  As it is, I can't bend over without showing everyone my cleavage (what little there is of it lol), and that's not very professional...at all. 

The next challenge has started over at Nerd Fitness. It started on the 24th, but I just signed up today.  Fortunately I had already figured out my goals, and had started them on time :)  This challenge will end on November 5th.  My new goals are as follows.

1) Dance at least 4 times a week
2) Work on push ups. Try to add one more push up each day I do them.
3) Get at least 7 hours of sleep (8 if I can) a night.

and my life goal
4) pay off the last $600 on my credit card.

Now that it's cooled down quite a bit, I'm enjoying excercising again. I'm almost done learning the various moves for the first dane I'm working on.  Each dance is divided into 3 lessons and I'm done 2 of them now.  I review the previous lessons as my work out and then move onto learning the next section.  I hope to be able to start working on the last part next week :) It's a lot of fun. But it would be more fun if I had more room to move around. Oh well.

on a side note, I've been craving cookies for over a week.  so today I caved in and bought a small pack.  I ate 2 very small cookies and now i think I'm ok. One was chocolate, and one was pumpkin flavoured with chocolate chips.  bite size :)  yum!

Next thing I need to figure out is how to make my own honey garlic sauce for chiken wings.  I'm not into spicey, so I really miss my honey garlic, and the only stuff they have here that is garlic, is steak sauce.  Not really what I want to eat with my chicken wings.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a good honey garlic sauce?

frellnik: (Default)

The first batch of new ALTs have arrived in Iwaki.  Today was the second and final day of group training and I gave my lecture with Manoke this afternoon.  We did a demo lesson for a typical English class. I made sure to show all three kinds of team teaching ( JTE does everything and the ALT is nothing more than a tape recorder,  JTE and ALT teach class together 50/50, and the JTE does nothing while the ALT does everything).  We also included various class activities that can be done with different time limits and a few that can be used anytime.  It went well :)

We helped register the newbies for internet and we were very lucky that the NTT Flets people took all the newbies over to a table and got all of them taken care of at the same time.  When I had mine done they did us all individually and we were there for HOURS!! This time we were done in less than 2 hours! :D  It was so much better!

We've got people from Scottland, Australia, England, and America in this group.  There are 3 more coming next Wednesday but I can't remember where they are coming from.  There are also a few new high shcool ALTs too, but they are separate from us. I know one of them is from Jamaica.  I'm looking forward to the welcome party that will undoubtedly happen in the next few weeks! =D

I've been looking around over at the NerdFitness forums and I've updated my signiture with my stats and the crest for my class guild. I'm a level 1 half-elf adventurer :)  I'm planning to take part in the next challenge which starts August 5th and will end on September 16th.  I've decided on my 4 goals and I'm all set to get started :)

My goals are:

1)  Do the body weight work out 2 to 3 times a week and work up to 3 or 4 times a week by the end of the challenge. (5 points)

2) Tansition into the Primal diet. (3 points)

3) Drink soda pop only once a week. (2 points)

and my life goal is

4) Study 60 hours towards the JLPT level N2. (10 hours a week). (5 points)

I am going to do my best.  I wanted to get back into running now that the rain has stopped and I'm not too sore from fuji and dancing in festivals for hours, but it's so hot and humid that I find it hard to breath. It's been 30C with more than 75% humidity and it's just too much. I'd much rather stay inside with my AC on and do workouts.  Once the weather gets a bit cooler then I will start running. I have a route picked out and everything.  I'll most likely end up walking most of it, but I"m hoping that by next spring I'll be able to run the whole thing.

Tonight I went through my recipes and decided what I want to eat for next week. I've made a grocery list and tomorrow morning I'm going to go shopping :)  I can't wait to try some of these recipes! Especially the Shawarma Salad!

I asked around and apparently I can buy a dumbell set (20kg total) for about 5000 yen ($50) at the sports store at Everia mall in Kashima.  I will need to ask someone for a ride, as it will be pretty hard to take that home on the bus and trains and then the 15 minute walk up and down the mountain road to my apartment lol.  Not something I want to try doing.  I also want to buy a new couch. The one I have I got from my predecessor, who had it for about 3 years before I moved in, so it's about 5 years old now and it's about done in.  It hurts my back to sit on, so I don't really use it.  I'm not sure if I'm going to get a couch, a love seat, an arm chair or a lazy boy, but I want something that I can relax comfortably in, and read a book or take a nap or watch a movie.  I am tired of having to either sit on the floor or on a chair at my kitchen table.

On a different not, Monday through Wednesday next week is the Tanabata Festival in Iwaki. There will be dancing, and music and lots of great food!! I can't wait to get a butter potato. Those things are so good. and there will be all kinds of meats and it's a wonderful atmosphere :)  I finish work around 4 on Monday afternoon and I'll be right by the festival too! So I'm planning to spend the evening enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Tanabata <3 

frellnik: (Default)

YAY!! My legs don't hurt any more!!! It took a week, but I'm back in the game!

Friday I was dumb, and I forgot my wallet at work and the school is closed and locked until tomorrow. ooopps.  Thankfully [livejournal.com profile] syuria lent me some money last night so I could pick up some essentials to tide me over until I can get my wallet back tomorrow.

Last night was the first summer festival in Iwaki. There were celebrations in Ueda and Yotsukura.  I danced in the parade at the Yotsukura Nebuta Festival. It took 2 hours to get from the starting point at the beach to the ending point at the train station.  The parade started at sunset and all the floats were lit up and it was awesome!   The dance was very simple, instead of walking normally in the parade we took 3 steps to the right and jumped from our left foot with our right leg bent up and then 3 steps to the left and jumped up on our right foot with our left leg bent up and repeat.  And you clap on each jump.  I was very tired by the end.  We had 2 short breaks during the parade and we were given a small drink during the first break and a larger drink at the end. I was completely soaked by the time we finished.  I got a few pictures and then headed home.  Everyone was saying that we would all be sore today, but I'm proud to say that I don't hurt at all! :D

After that I went over to [livejournal.com profile] syuria's and played Settler's of Catan for the first time.  I lost, but I had fun playing.

I got home around 11:30pm and called my brother and we chatted for about an hour.  He helped me set up my stats for my RLRPG character.  I'm a level one half-elf :)  We went through the NerdFitness website and my brother said he thinks it's interesting. He already works out with some friends so he may not do anything with NF, but he seemed interested in some of the articles.

I've been looking into recepies for a paleo diet and I must say that I am finding lots of meals that I am really looking forward to trying! I am not exactly clear on the difference between paleo and primal, but I think a lot of the recipes I'm interested in are primal recipes.  Things like Shawarma Salad, Taco Bowl with Crispy Kale Chips, Fajita Fritata, Ultimate Almond Pie Crust with Pumpkin Filling, Beef Burgandy, and so much more :)  Yum!!  I'm going to try to change my diet to 80% paleo and leave one day a week where I can eat what I want.

On another note, I successfully made an apple cinamon cake today using pancake mix.  I didn't add any sugar, just the mix, 2 eggs, butter, milk and cinamon and apple slices.  It turned out really well!  I'm quite happy with it!!

frellnik: (Default)

The Long weekend is here, at last!!!  I have no plans for the weekend, I'm just going to stay home and relax!!  I plan to do a workout tonight and on Monday :)  Tomorrow, if it's not raining, I'll go for a run.

Today I went for groceries and now my kitchen is nicely stocked :)  I have kiwis and cherries for snacks, and I've got corn on the cob, and 2 individual packs of mixed veggies (red peppers, zucchini, cabbage, squash, red cabbage and carrots) and a pack of enoki mushrooms. I picked up a pack of chicken and some steaks. no potatos or rice. I'm trying to cut down on carbs, especially since I eat rice every day for lunch at school.

I also got some oatmeal from Kimberly and I've got a bit of brown sugar and some maple syrup and I'm going to try to make some oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. 

I bought meat, veggies, fruit, milk, water, cheese and detergent and I spent $51.26 plus $5 on the cab ride home.  I still need to buy some bread later in the week as I only have enough for 3 days left.  Why is food so expensive?  Junk food is so cheap, but anything good for you is expensive..and people wonder why there are so many overweight people.  A lot of people just can't afford to eat right.   I saw a picture on facebook not too long ago.  the reason why kids are overweight is because it's 99 cents for a hamburger and McDonald's and $3.99 for a salad.  It's cheaper to buy pop than it is to buy milk or juice.  I mean, really?  It really aggravates me.

So, now that I've got that out of my system.. lol  I feel somewhat better. 

I eddited a speach for one of the students at one of my schools this week and write letters to students from that same school who had written me letters.  In return for that, the teacher brought me chocolate and cake when he came to pick it all up yesterday.  So now I have junk food that I really want to eat, but really isn't part of my diet.  it's my favourite kind of cake too.  :(  lol 

So it's a long weekend and I'm going to indulge in a small bottle of coke with dinner tonight.  I limit myself to one pop a week either Friday night or Saturday.  Not every week, but occasionally.

 

frellnik: (Default)

I love teaching at Kindergarten <3

So today I was at Yotsukura 1st Kindergarten which is currently sharing space with the Elementary school (like the JHS was until March this year).  This is a pretty big Kindergarten so I was with Peter and Sarah.  We each had the kids guess where we are from and, of course, the first thing any of the kids shouted out was America (and non of us are from America).  They called out America, France, England, Gaikoku (Outside the country), and then we started giving hints.  Peter is from Australia and Sarah is from Ireland. When I told the kids that my country is close to America, one little boy called out France. lol  Kids are so cute :D  These kids are ages 3 to 5 so we didn't really expect them to know. 

Sarah showed them her flag and they had no idea, but when I showed them mine, they all knew it immediately. (Thank you Olympics lol).

We played with the kids in the gym for about half an hour. We danced 2 Japanese dances with them and then did the Chicken Dance. lol  The kids thought it was hilarious <3  Then we had a relay race and the Three of us ran in the race with the kids.  I raced a 3 year old so I ran as slow as I could while making it look like I was running as fast as I could! lol By the time we were done, the three of us were worn out and the kids were just getting started. lol

One little girl came up to me and said I have a tall nose, and asked if I was a foreigner. Then she asked me if all foreigners had brown eyes (because I have brown eyes). She was cute and she listened to everything I said and then promptly told me her eyes are black. I smiled at her and said that they were brown and she looked so surprised lol.  I told her that the middle of her eyes are black but around that is brown and then she told me that "and around that is white!".   So Cute!

We had popcicles for a snack and then I went to the 3 year old's room and we played with my flag and Canada hat for a bit and then we coloured some pictures that I brought with me.  The kids had a good time and some of them gave me their colouring sheets affter

120710_1150~01

not bad for a 3 year old :)

Then we took pictures and I had kids crawling all over me and asking me to lift them up over my head (they are all tiny 3 year olds so I did it with no problems :D  )  and now I'm home for a few minutes before going back to the JHS to sit at my desk until 4pm.  Lunch is in 40 minutes so I'll get back to work with time to spare before lunch.  I really want a shower but I don't really have time. I should have gone straight back to work, but I really needed to change.

So off I go, to sit in a teacher's room with no AC.  Summer is finally here and I'm already not liking it lol. oh well. I'm happy for the sunshine at any rate :D

Today has been a great day so far =D

frellnik: (Default)

Last week I went shoe shopping with Anna! We spent an hour trying on shoes and, in the end, I ended up with a pair of black running shoes size 27  4E (that`s a Men`s size 9 2E in Canada and America) and a pair of hiking shoes. The hiking shoes are black, purple and pink! and they are Men`s shoes and, unfortunately, Nike (size 28 4E). I really can`t be picky here, I`m so lucky to find shoes that fit because my feet are so damned wide. lol  So I now have running shoes for when I go out for the day or go jogging and hicking shoes for when I climnb Fuji next month.

I also bought a yoga mat from Peter last Friday.  Now I can do some excercising without killing my knees and back on the hard floor.  I`ve been doing some of the excercises on my bed, but it`s not a great idea to be sweating in my bed, so I`m happy to have the yoga mat.  I`ve been thinking about jogging to build endurance. I can walk for hours, but I can`t run down the length of my street without feeling like I`m going to die.  [livejournal.com profile] the_dragon_tor gave me some advice on jogging and also gave me a link to a website for NERD FITNESS.

There are a bunch of different workouts there to fit pretty much anyone`s needs.  If you are really busy and don`t have a lot of time, check out the Angry Bird workout. If you want to lose weight, try the the Beginner Body Weight Workout, and there are more.  Everything is explained and there are videos showing how to do each excercise and a big emphasis on not pushing yourself too hard. If you can`t do it all, do what you can and work your way up.  I spent 2 hours looking at the site and watching videos and not once did I feel like it was something I couldn`t do.  Sometimes I watch Yoga on tv, or I look into the windows of a fitness gym and I feel like I can`t do that.  I feel like I`m not good enough, or that I don`t fit in with that crowd...and I don`t get that feeling from this website.  I feel good and like they just want me to feel comfortable and to feel like it`s something I can do or work up to doing.  It`s a good feeling.  So I`ve decided I`m going to do it!

Take a look if you are interested in doing some excercise, even if it`s only 10 minutes a day. 
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/workouts/

In other news, I`m slowly getting back into studying Japanese again.  I`m woking on vocab and kanji together as well as grammar.  I still feel kinda burnt out with the studying, but I know if I don`t get going with it, then I probably won`t pass the test in December. I really need to pass this test.

I`ve been going to bed earlier and earlier....well except the last few days. I generally go to bed around 8:30 now since it`s dark by 7pm and the sun is up by 4am. The damn sun keeps waking me up around 4am and by the time I`m ready to go back to sleep, it`s time for me to get up.  I am happy to say that yesterday and today I woke up at 4:45ish instead of 4ish.  But, damn, that`s still earlier than I need to get up.    Last night I went to bed quite late because I got completely grossed out by a freakin cockroach under my blanket.  I went into my room and turned on the light and kicked at my blanket and a HUGE cockroach came running out from under the edge of the blanket!  It got away too. So I compulsively checked my room for any more (I`m pretty sure it`s just the one. It must have come in the from the balcony door area) and then went to bed...and had phantom bugs crawling over my bed for about an hour before I was exhausted enough to go to sleep.  god, that freaked me out. I hate bugs!!!  These things are huge and they fly. yuck!  So, today I bought some cockroach traps and put 2 in each of the main rooms that I use.  I hope it works.

The rainy season has hit. We had 6 times the number of thunderstorms in May this year than last year, so I wonder how typhoon season is going to be this year.  It is raining pretty good now, but it`s no tropical storm.  It`s looking like thunderstorms tomorrow...I wonder if I can get a ride to work if it`s storming. hmmmm.

oh, one more thing...we made it 6 whole weeks with no earthquakes!!! And this past week there have been lots of little ones.  but they are all small and some of them I only noticed because I was sitting still.  So I guess this is good.  A big difference from this time last year!! Things are looking up. *knocks on wood*

Well that`s about it for this update. It`s getting kinda long, so I think this is a good place to stop.  Have a good day/night everyone!

frellnik: (Default)

Wow, it's been a while.  I'm not sure why I have so much trouble posting on a regular basis...I mean, it's not like I have a lot going on at any given time lol. 

Well I have stuff on my mind now.  I've made a decision and it's making me very excited and happy and at the same time it's making me sad and kind of depressed. 

I've always known I want to go to grad school and get an M.A. in Interpretation and Translation Studies for Japanese.  For a few years I really wanted to go to the Monteray Institute for International Studies (California, USA). They have a combined masters in Translation and Interpretation and it looks amazing! BUT...it's a 2 year programme and it will cost about $200,000 USD total (tuition, supplies, rent, transportaiton, food, living, ect.) and since I'm not American I would not be able to have a job while being a student (not that I would have time for a job with the work load I would have).

Sounds crazy, right?  Yeah. I was hoping that some company would send me to school and then have me work for them. 

I have been looking for other schools that offer the same type of program hoping to find one that is more affordable.  I found the University of Leeds Centre for Translation Studies.  They offer a 12 month programme in Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies.  The course also includes "study visits" to the EU, European Parliament, UN (Gineva or Vienna), ect. where we get to see first hand what it's like to work as an interpreter and we get to try out the interpreter booths :)  The programme looks amazing, it's only one year instead of two, and it's only going to cost me about $50,000 CAD. 

So, you can see why I'd be happy about this.  It looks amazing! And it's a year of school in ENGLAND! I've looked into accommodations and even picked out which residences I like best and so on. 

Now, the down side to all this... it's $50,000 CAD!!  If I put $600 aside each month, I will have $21,600CAD by the time I leave Japan in 3 years.  I am expecting to get about $10,000 back from money I paid into retirement while in Japan (since I won't be retiring here, I can apply to get it all back).  That will give me $32.000CAD and I can get a student loan from OSAP for about $10,000.  That still leaves me a bit short, but I have a few ideas about borrowing money from family members.  So I should be able to do it w ithout too much hassle.

So where is the down side?   The downside is that in order to pull this off, I can no longer do anymore travelling. I had plans to go to Bali next March, and Thailand and Hawaii before going back to Canada in 2015.  I also had planned to go home for Christmas at least once more before 2015.  Now I can't afford to go anywhere.  I have to be careful with how much I spend every week for the next 3 years.  All the plans I had now have to be put aside.  But, not only that, I have my little buddy, back in Kanata, whom I always look forward to seeing at Christmas. He's 12 now and growing up so fast!  It looks like the next time I'll get to see him he'll be 15!  I don't want him to forget me.

Also, I have to have a certain level of Japanese to get into the programme so that means taking an exam this December for level 2 and then having to pass level 1 no later than August 2014 so that I can apply in November of 2014.  That's a REALLY tight schedule.  I do not want to go home after JET. I won't be going back to my mom's house, and if I have to get my own apartment in Canada then I will have to use the money I've saved for school.  So that isn't an option if I want to have the money to pay for school. So I have to pass these exams ASAP!  That means studying! Studying like there is no tomorrow! And I am so sick of studying lol. 

I've burned myself out and now I'm trying to change things up so that I can get out of this rut.  I've gone back to practicing with the bokken again. I wish Eric was here to practice with me.  Sometimes I practice on the beach, other times I practice in the parking lot infront of my building. I really need to get back into shape. lol  Studying 9 hours a day just destroys the body if you aren't very careful. lol  I'm always tired too. I'm hoping that excercising more will help with that.

So that's where I am right now.  I want to go to grad school and I need to save up and study to get there...but I'm sick of studying and I am dissapointed that I can no longer travel because of it.  Grrrrr.  I guess I just need to remind myself what is at the end of the tunnel. I've always wanted grad school. I want to be a translator/interpreter and this is what I need to do to get there.  I just wish it wasn't so hard.

frellnik: (Default)

I went home for Christmas at the end of December and I got to see almost everyone I wanted to see.  I missed a few people and I'm sorry for that, and hope I'll get to see them next time I'm in Canada.  I'm on the fence about going home next year for Christmas. I may just stay in Iwaki and save some money. This year's trip was really expensive, and if next year is the same, then I'm not going to go.  But, I did get a few cold days that made me appreciate getting back to Iwaki, and I got to enjoy more than a week of snow! So that made me quite happy.

Now being back in Iwaki, I miss being in Ottawa. Why? Because, although it isn't as cold here as in Canada, it is still below 0 degrese celcius and our houses are not insulated and we don't have central heating.  My water pipes have frozen 5 times in the last month.  I have a new found love of electric blankets too, but that doesn't help my apartment stay warm. I am looking forward to spring.  Spring and Fall are DEFINITELY my favourite seasons in Japan.

While I was home at Christmas, I decided to try to save as much money as I could this year. I realized at Christmas that I really hadn't saved any money last year. I had paid off part of my loan and done a lot of travelling around Japan, but I hadn't put any money aside for when I finish in Japan.  So I decided that this year I wouldn't travel, and I would put as much money as I could into savings. I even opened a tax free high interest savings account.  I feel so proud! lol

Then I got back to Iwaki, and the first day of work we had a BOE meeting.  And 5 minutes after I get there, Susan comes over with a magazine about Hong Kong and says...are you in? lol  OMG!! 3 days back in Japan and I'm already invited to go on a trip...to HONG KONG!!!  and then LITERALLY 2 minutes after that, Chelsea runs over and says "Okinawa, Taiwan, Korea!".  I blinked and asked, "in one trip?" and she said, "YES!"....OMG!!!  So there goes my plans for saving money.  I am only doing one trip...I decided that I do really want to go to Hong Kong....I had been thinking about it last year too. So I am going to Hong Kong at the end of April.  The flight and hotel have been booked.  Now we are trying to figure out where we want to go and what we want to see and do while we are there.  I am NOT planning on doing any more travel this year...but there may be a few short trips to Tokyo at some point.

More and more houses are being torn down around my apartment building.  I noticed 2 more yesterday and today that are in various stages of being demolished.  That brings the tally up to 9 houses in a 2 block radius of my apartment.  And of course, that's not counting the many houses closer to the beach that have been gone since I moved in back in August.  So far only 3 houses in my area (2 block radius) have been rebuilt.  The place is looking kinda empty now.

In other news, March 16th is Kosen Rufu Day (Buddhism) and the youth are putting together a performance.  Youth (under 30) acorss the entire prefecture are participating. Our celebration is going to be on April 1st instead of March 16th because of lingering earthquake stuff...but I am really looking forward to it.  Practice meetings started last week and will be every Tuesday and Thursday night. Iwaki group will be singing 3 songs and dancing one of them.  I have been given lyric sheets and I'm already working on learning the words :) Junko has been driving 4 or 5 of us from Yotsukura into Taira for the meetings every week.  I'm going to have to get her a nice present as a thankyou for always driving us to the meetings.

This past Friday we had a BOE meeting and we were given our confirmation about recontracting for next year (August 2012-August 2013).  I got my confirmation that I have been recontracted again. So I will officially be in Iwaki until August 2013 :)  I also got my first review from my three schools.  The review is 9 questions about how I do at my job and each question is graded from A to D.  I got all As and Bs this time around. =D  I'm glad everyone seems to like me and how I work.  The kids seem to like me too which makes me pretty happy :)

After the BOE meeting on Friday we had a welcome meeting for Colin, the newest High School ALT who came in December last year.  He had only met me and Chelsea before Friday, so it was a great chance for him to meet some of the other ALTs in Iwaki.   There were 12 of us there, including one other High School ALT whom I had not met yet, Andy.  We had a good time, ate way too much food, and possibly drank too much (not me, I only had one alcoholic drink, but I enjoyed it a lot) :p  Then Mareli and I came back to my place and watched some SGA and had a sleep over. I made us some banana chocolate chip pancakes for brunch, and made hamburgers and poutine for dinner. 

Things are going well, except for how cold it is. This is, apparently, the coldest winter in the last 10 years.  Which I can believe, as I don't remember my water pipes freezing at all last year. lol.  But we are already in February now, so hopefuly it will warm up soon.  My Japanese lessons are going great too.  My teacher is awesome!

and that's enough for now :)

I hope everyone has a great week!!

Update

Jun. 9th, 2011 07:50 pm
frellnik: (Default)
Today is day 4 with no earthquakes!!! YAY!!!  I'm still nervous when I think about it, but I've looked online and the surrounding areas have had small ones so it isn't like they just suddenly stopped, they just aren't right under me.  So maybe it's just finally slowing down.

Today has been interesting.  I taught all 4 of my gr. 5 classes before lunch and they all went really well, except the last one. We reviewed the months and dates again and then did "When is your birthday?" and "My birthday is ... , ..."
Then we played Hot Potato with 2 balls - one being the question ball and the other being the answer ball. I played the song, Jumpstart by These Kids Wear Crowns, and the kids all seemed to really enjoy it.

Then 4th period I had a class of chatter boxes. Their teacher told them to be quiet at least 4 times. They were fine when the music was playing and they were passing the balls around, but they kept on talking and laughing when the 2 students who had to do the dialogue were trying to say their parts. Some of the kids had to repeat themselves 2 or 3 times to be heard.

Finally I yelled at them.  I told them to Stop talking when the music stops! Then the teacher told them that now both teachers were mad at them! lol  Things were better after they realized that I was mad and not just that their teacher was annoyed.

I decided not to give stickers that class and the teacher agreed with me.  The kids were dissapointed.

So, just as I came back to the teacher's room from eating lunch with some of the staff in the principal's room, ALL the kids from that class came into the teacher's room and formed a line at my desk, that went all the way to the door, and appologized to me one by one.  I'm talking formal appology: name and class introduction and what they were sorry for and that it wouldn't happen again and they will listen the first time I say something, etc. I just stood there and said ok, and thank you for each of them for their appologies.   Wow.

Later the teacher stopped by my desk to tell me that the kids had asked to come an appologise to me and that after they got back to class they were all relieved and happier.  :)  I've only gotten mad in class a few times (twice this year and different schools) and I've been appologized to before, but this was a bit different.  The kids always seem to realize they went too far when I get angry because I'm usually so happy and bubbly in class. I make the kids laugh alot....

DAMMIT!!!   BIG EARTHQUAKE!!!! so much for day 4!! shit.  ok...not sooo big, but big enough that if I had been sleeping I would have freaked out. again.  We were doing so well too!!!!  going to go turn on the tv to see what that one was.  .... and another one 45 seconds later.... M5.7 no Tsunami.  

Well, that was the end of my update so I guess I'll stop here and watch tv for a while.

 

frellnik: (Default)
We (ALTs) were all hoping to find out, yesterday, if our base schools would be changing and if we'd have to move apartments in August.  We were told that due to lack of information they couldn't tell us anything.

Apparently Iwaki is supposed to get 4 new ALTs in July/August and we only have 2.  There were three but one pulled out. These people don't even know that they will be posted in Iwaki. No one has been told their placements yet. So we are 2 ALTs short at this point and because of that we are stuck in limbo. All the new ALTs will be teaching Junior High School. 

I really want to know if I am going to have to move. It's a possibility because of how isolated I was after the earthquake and how when I hurt my back I basically had to wait 2 hours for Kodama Sensei and Takahama Sensei to get to me to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital.  If I had been living in Onahama there would have been 3 other ALTs that could have come over to help me and I, at least, wouldn't have been alone for those 2 hours.

That being said, I really like my town and my apartment and really don't want to move.  But moving to Onahama would put me with other ALTs and I'd have more people to hang out with.  So ...mixed feelings.

I just wish we could know for sure. I hate all this waiting.  I'm sure the new ALTs are all going crazy waiting to find out their placements! Last year I knew by the end of April where I was going.  I hope things get sorted out soon!!!

 

in other news, I re-arranged my apartment last night. well, the living room/kitchen anyways.  Moved my kitchen table closer to the stairs so that I could move my couch perpendicular from where it was, taking up the space where the kitchen table used to be.  Then I moved my bed/futon from my bedroom out into the livingroom where the couch used to be so that I can use the AC to stay cool at night. It's a bit cramped now, but still pretty good, and I can sleep at night!

Well I need to leave for school now and I'm still not ready...

Have a good night all! and those of you in Iwaki, have a good day at work!

frellnik: (Default)
I've  been wanting to post for a while now, and I kept forgetting.  So now I am. Not sure how long it will be so I'll put it under a cut just in case. lol

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

Oh! And I bought my plane tickets to L.A. for November. I will be going to the Farscape Convention in Los Angeles from November 17th to 21st.  The convention starts Friday the 18th and finishes Sunday.  I've booked the time off work and made sure that it was ok to go. The Fukushima Mid Year Conference that all Fukushima JETs must attend in Fukushima City is being held Novemeber 15th and 16th this year, so it will be a VERY busy week.  I get back from the Conference in the evening of the 16th and then leave for the airport the next morning to go to L.A.!  But it will be so worth it! I'm psyched!! =D

That's all folks!

Have an awesome week!!

frellnik: (Default)
I've bought my plane ticket and booked myself a bed at Sakura Hostel in Asakusa, Tokyo.  I'm all set :)  I'll be heading back to Japan on Wednesday the 20th, arriving in Tokyo Thursday evening and then spending the night in Tokyo before heading back to Iwaki on Friday!  I'm so ready to go home :)

I had originally planned on staying here for only 2 weeks. I was supposed to head back on the 4th, but the water hadn't been restored to my town and wasn't going to be worked on untl April 6th-10th.  So based on that I changed my flight to the 14th.  Then Iwaki got hit by a 7.1 that caused some land slides, and knocked out power and water to most of the city again.  Today 73% of the city has water restored and I think my town is included in that.  They are aiming to have the 100% restoration by the 20th.  So when I get back, I should have water :)

When I get back to Iwaki my friend [livejournal.com profile] syuria , who also lives in Iwaki, will be coming to stay with me for a while.  Her town had been hit by the tsunami and closer to the Japanese evacuation zone, so she is reluctanct to go back. So I get the pleasure of her company for a while :)  I'm really happy about that because she's a really good friend and we get along great, aslo I'm not thrilled with the idea of living alone just yet.  Everything seems easier when you have someone else there with you.

First thing I'm going to do when I get home is fill the bath tub with water, just in case something happens and we lose water again.  Then I'm going to do laundry and start cleaning up my apartment.  Iwaki has been hit with at least 2 large earthquakes (M6 and M7) since the big 9.0 last month, so I can only imagine how messy my place must be. I bet all everything is once again in my kitchen sink and on the floor.  Not to mention all the dust!!  I have this mentle image of my aparment floors (wood) being white with dust instead of brown. I've been gone from my apartment since the 14th of March.   I haven't been to work since the 18th of Febuary.  2 months! Thank god I get salary and have sick leave and special leave and paid leave. Jeez! (as an aside, my back is a bit better, I got pain meds last Monday that are wonderful!)

Anyway, I've got a few days left in Ottawa, and I'm seeing people pretty much every day.  Yesterday was the exception. I enjoyed a lazy day and didn't leave the house until 10pm! lol  Took a sleeping pill to help me get to sleep at 3:00am this morning and then got up at 10 to go out for breakfast.  I still have trouble going to sleep at night.  Not because of nightmares, although I do have the ocassional bad dream about earthquakes, I'm just not able to sleep.  Last night I had phantom quakes in the middle of the night.  That was different.  I haven't had that since I was in Tokyo before coming back to Ottawa.  It didn't scare me, I knew what it was, but I thought it was weird that after 3 weeks of not having them, it would happen last night.

So [livejournal.com profile] shaggiethegreat is coming over today which makes me happy since I haven't seen her since I first got here.  I'm looking forward to seeing her soon.

And I guess that is about it for now.  Aside from seeing my friends and not getting enough sleep, despite sleeping alot...things are pretty normal.  But really, it's time to go home :)
frellnik: (Default)
Hello~

I've been in Ottawa for 2 weeks now.  Having fun, sleeping a lot and keeping busy. 
Back is still bothering me, so I've decided to go and see about getting my health care taken off hold and see if I can get a temporary card so I can go to a doctor and get some pain meds.  yay. Going first thing tomorrow morning.

I had originally planned to go back to Japan on the 4th but latest intell says water will not be restored to my area until later that week.  So I will now be returning to Japan on April 14th.  I leave here around noon on Thursday the 14th, arrive in Tokyo at 5:30pm on the 15th, spend the night in Tokyo then take a bus to Iwaki on Saturday the 16th.  Long trip.  

So for now, I'm enjoying seeing all my friends and sleeping 8 or 9 hours a night.  Taking melatonin every night to help me get to sleep...some freaky dreams.  Seems everytime I think about going home, I have a nightmare about earthquakes.  =(   I'm hoping that doesn't last long.

Overall though, things are good.  I had to buy clothes when I got here, since I didn't really bring any with me.  Turns out I've gone from a size 18 pants to a 15!!  16s are too big and 14 is slightly too small. lol  YAY!!!! 

I saw PAUL in theatres last week and I'm going to see HOP today.  Hurray for new movies!!! Paul is absolutely hilarious!! I've seen it twice now and laughed all through it both times!  I highly recommend it!

That's all for now =)

Take care everyone!
frellnik: (Default)
So, it's official.  Half the ALTs left today and are either going home or to Tokyo or other parts of the country.  The rest of us are leaving in the morning.  I called my friend Aya and her family told me to come and stay with them.  I'm hoping that I won't have to be gone long but it's looking like the best thing to do is to get out. So we are getting up early to get gas, as the stations are all closed by lunch and the lines are long!  The highways are crowded with people heading out of Fukushima out to Tokyo and Niigata.  More and more people are leaving the area.  They've opened up the Iwaki Highway Junctions for people to leave, but no one is allowed to enter. 


In other news.  Sam and I got up early this morning and headed out tot he grocery store an hour before opening.  There was already a line up and by the time the store opened the line was almost 3 blockes long.  One thing that always impresses me is the way people here are so calm and organized.  No looting, just people lining up and waiting their turn!

We were let into the store 10 people at a time and each person was handed 1 bottle of water.  Sam and I had split our list so I ran for veggies and Sam ran for eggs and tofu and milk.  We spent over $100 on food for the 14 of us at Peter's.  Then we came home and were watching tv and saw on the news that today a 70 year old woman was pulled from the rubble after having been swept away by the tsunami.  She lived! Spent four days burried.  The worst thing we had to deal with was not having running water to shower and flush the toilet and stuff.  wow

lunch and dinner were wonderful! All vegitarian food.  We had Nabe (Japanese hot pot) with rice for lunch, and ten a stirfry with peanut butter sauce for dinner.  So good! I'm going to miss the food when things go back to normal...going to have to hang out with these guys more often.

So the decision was made to leave. so we'll be getting up at 5 to get gas and then coming back to pack our things and then heading out. 

I feel bad about bothering Aya's family about this because she's getting ready for her wedding in just over 2 weeks...and her new job.  Peter keeps telling me not to worry about it. It's not an inconvenience because of the circumstances and that they won't feel that it is.  I had asked my host mother to stay with them but they don't have much heat at night so it's not a good idea, but I am welcome to stay with them during the day.

I am definitely not happy about leaving my home, and this does feel like home, but it's safer to go. My pendulum said so lol.   I'm thinking that Iwaki may be evacuated soon anyway and if we leave tomorrow we will avoid the worst of the traffic, and if it isn't evacuated then..good!

So that's my update.  It's currently raining acid, so we can't go outside...so sleeping arrangements are going to be a bit crowded tonight as there are 7 people here instead of 5.

We have to be up in7 hours...so now is a good time to go to bed. 

I'll post an update when I'm settles in at Aya's.  First thing on the agenda at Aya's is to get a shower! I can't wait to have a shower!

Take care everyone!
Lisa

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