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Yesterday I taught the 4th graders at Izumi North.  We did big and small and short and long.  We also did the body, focussing on the head and face.
We played Pictionary.  6 groups (that's how many rows of desks in the class) and they have to draw what I tell them to on the board.  So each team has a circle on the board to serve as the face. Then I tell them to draw ... 3 small eyes, 1 small mouth, 1 long tongue... and the most accurate face wins.  

At the start of the class we were talking about today being a holiday and not having to go to school.  Then one of the kids pipes up and says " if Lisa Sensei taught English all day tomorrow I'd come to school".  That really made my week! The weeks only half over but I'm not sure what can beat that comment.

Today was Culture day, no school!!  So I slept in today which was a blessing because the wind woke me up this morning at 4am howling outside my window and wrattling the fan above my stove.  The wind in Izumi is amazing! I got back to sleep around 5 and slept until almost 8am.  I got up at 8:30 to put the guarbage out and then I decided not to go back to sleep. So I made breakfast and read for a while.  

At 10am I went online to chat with Dom.  And while we chatted I cleaned my appartment.  I finally got all my luggage stowed away and all the little things that I had left in them put away.  The room that I have designated as my office is now ready to use! I just have to put the rug down and buy a desk :)  Kiyoko and Rie have both offered to help with that.
 

Today I went to a concert in Taira at Alios.  Amaral Vieira, from Brazil, performed today.   Iwaki is the 8th stop on his 10 venue tour!  He is amazing!!!  He is a famour pianist and he played for almost 2 hours for us! And he's had peace talks with President Ikeda (SGI Buddhism) and he performed three SGI songs in his performance.  I swear to god, there were grown men crying in the audience.  The gentleman beside actually took his glasses off to wipe his face more than once.  It was amazing! I can't stress that enough.  I loved it :)  You can watch his performances on youtube. Check it out :)

Anyways, Kiyoko got tickets, not sure how, but her entire family went.  She had an extra ticket and asked me if I wanted to go.  I said, yes please!!  So today she picked me up at my place and drove us down to Taira and gave me my ticket ($40.00!!) and then we found our seats and enjoyed the 2 hour performance.  Just Amaral on the stage and he played beautifully with no sheet music.  Amazing. It started at 2 and was overy 4. 

Then Kiyoko took me to the Butsuden store to look at Butsudens and they have some really nice thin ones (that will fit in my suitcase) for about $25,  and even slimmer ones that are more expensive because they are so thin ($80).  They didn't have an of the super thin ones in stalk so we are going to go back to seem them next week. I'm not sure which I'll buy yet, but I will need one.  We also spent quite a few minutes talking with the shop owner. She was really nice. I bought 2 little bobbles to hang on my cell phone (or key chain, or back pack zipper) and they were 300 yen each ($3), but she gave me the two of them for 500 yen ($5).  That was nice of her :)  She made me promise to come back and talk with her again. I'm looking forward to it!

Next stop we went to a bread shop.  I got a piece of pizza (potato and cheeze and some sort of ham) and two sweet breads.  Then we drove back home and I had a small meeting in my house.  Kiyoko and Rie were there and two of the ladies from the women's group (the Tamatsuyu leader, where I live, and the greater erea leader).  They stayed for about an hour and we talked about all kinds of things and I was invited to a meeting on the 10th at Junko's house (The tamatsuyu area leader). (I live in Izumi, and my area is called Tamatsuyu.  For those of you in Ottawa area, Tamatsuyu is like Glenn Carin in Kanata).  Junko offered to lend me a butsuden for while I'm here in Japan and when I move back to Canada I can return it to her.  That way I don't have to spend any money.  It will depend on what kind of desk or book shelves I get. Her butsuden is quite wide so it may not fit.  If it does then I'll gladly use hers while I'm here :)

Rie took the two women's group members home and then came back to my place until 7.  Kiyoko took at look at my heater for me and found that the filter needs to be cleaned. That seems to be why it isn't working.  But it may need to be changed completely.  My place is really dusty, no matter how often I clean there is always dust everywhere. 

So tomorrow is back to school.  I've started the Japanese course that JET provided. I'm half way through week 2.  My VP at Izumi North set up a computer for me to use so I can listen to the CD that came with the textbook.  He's chained it to my desk so that no one can move it :) lol

Going to Tokyo on the 20th with some friends. We've got tickets for the Ghibli museum!!! I can't wait for that!! And a bunch of us are getting meeting up at Tokyo Disney land on the 27th!  It's going to be a busy month!  It's going to be a lot of fun!!

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I got a library card today and I can use the library internet for on hour at a time! YAY!! Internet!!! I have 18 minutes left on this session so I have to type fast! lol

Monday and Tuesday I went to Fukushima for the orientation...I'm pretty sure I mentioned it. It was ok...not that interesting.  Some of it was really helpful.  Some of it was kinda boring. There was no section for Elemntary teachers and that angered alot of us...quite a few of us are only teaching Elemntary schools.

Then on Wednesday we all took a bus up to Koriyama to get our Alien Registration cards.  The bus ride took about 90 minutes each way and cost about 15 bucks (1500 yen) each way. We were told it could take up to 4 hours to get everything processed so we should leave early.  So we took the 7:15 bus from Iwaki station.  That meant I had to leave home at 6:15 to catch the 6:24 train to Iwaki from Izumi.  I did it! No problem.  So we get to Koriyama Shiakusho stop and we get off the bus and make our way to where we need to go...and there on the corner of the street is the Soka Gakkai Koriyama Chuo Culture Centre! Holy crap!  Soka Gakkai (SGI) is my religion and I had been wondering how to get involved with it in Japan and where I could go for meetings and stuff.   So we went to get our paper work done and it didn:t take 4 hours.  It took....45 minutes!  HAHA! yeah!  It involved filling out paper work and then going to the post office to pay for the paper work and then going back and handing it in and then it was processed in 10 minutes flat!  Crazy!

So we were finished by 10:15am.  So I went to the SGI Culture Centre and explained my situation and they were so eager to help me that they called the Fukushima main centre and that centre sent us a fax with a map and phone number for the Iwaki City Culture Centre.  Then they invited me in for drinks and we talked for about 3 hours! They even fed me lunch (cup ramen) and then we chanted for about 5 minutes.  Everyone wanted to have their picture taken with me.  These were older ladies and had never met anyone from Canada before and we really happy to talk to me (in Japanese ) about Canada and anything else (how I became an SGI member and why I speak Japanese, etc)  Then I was walked to the bus stop where I could get the bus back to Iwaki.  It was an amazing day!

Thursday I went Zahn's house for the day in Ueda and hung out and watched tv.

Friday I didn:t leave the house.  It was nice. I stayed in and had fun.  Or was that Saturday....that was Saturday.  Friday I went to Taira and went to see Toy Story 3 with Sam.

 

Today I walked to the Soka Gakkai Centre here in Taira (Iwaki) and met Saitou san and Honda San.  We talked for a bit and I was told I need an SGI Introduction Card from Canada and that I should contact one of the Ottawa Members to find out more.  They were really nice though and they drove me to the Washington hotel so I could use the internet there.  The learning centre was closed though, so I walked to Latov where the library is and got my library card.  So I think that:s it for now.

I am pretty sure I wrote my address wrong when I gave it to people before coming to Japan so I am going to post the correct version of it here.

The postal code mark at the beginning is a capital T with a horizontal line running parallel to the top of the T.  I can:t make the symbol on the computer...

Lisa Chenier
T 971-8172
Fukushima-Ken, Iwaki-shi
Izumi Tamatsuyu 4Come 6-14
Excel Haitsu B202

Ok. I have 5 minutes left. 

Take care everyone. I'll try to get into Taira tomorrow to get online for a bit. No promises though.
not sure If I can do msn on this computer, but I know I can do facebook! 


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