Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dead Tired

So, I'd really like to keep this updated for everyone, but well... I can't seem to escape from life at the moment.

Today was the last day of my work week, and the busiest. Lately, I am always tired. I've figured out it's because we've added 4 classes to my schedule (I work the same hours, just with more classes packed in.) At first I was really confused, because I was working the same 8 hour days. But today I finally realized just how much energy it takes to teach a class. I mean, I knew it took energy to teach kids and all, but adults? I mean, half the time I am sitting down! So I just assumed I wasn't using so much energy. But actually I am. Wow.

So here's what my Friday's look like:

Today, I woke up at about 7AM. I spent some time reading my Bible and praying (I've been trying to do this every morning lately, it helps a lot.) then I showered and tried to leave my house by 8:30. Didn't happen. Made it out by 8:50 probably.

Walk to train station (5min) in the rain. Climb the stairs and watch train leave as I reach the top. Wait ten mins for next train. Put on my MP3 player and listen to music. Take off my raincoat because it's hot. Go to big train station and transfer. Buy a drink and a sandwich because I have time. Get on train. Transfer. Get on really, really, really crowded train.(couldn't fall down if I tried, honestly! I didn't know you could put so many people in one space.) Keep thinking, it's only three stops!. LOL. Get off at another train station. Loose my watch. (It's ok, it was a walmart watch, $7. But it was cute, so I'm a bit sad.) Get on subway. Ride 9 mins. Get off train. Be surprised by friend getting off the same train. Exit train station. Walk to the Center (where I learn Japanese, and do other things work related) together. 10 mins.

One way travel complete! Horray.

Begin Japanese class. It's fun.

Leave first because I have to rush to get back home in time for work.

It's still raining. Walk to train station. Subway has a problem Wait 5-10 mins. Train moves, and stops, and moves and stops. Transfer at appropriate station. Wait for next train. Get on train. This time I don't have to make as many transfers. Get to "home" station. It's too late to take the small train I wanted. Grab McDonalds and eat (double mac with cheese and egg! yum!) while waiting the 15 mins for next train. Get on train 12:45. Go one stop. Get off train, exit staion. Run, walk, run, walk fast to make it to class on time.

Arrive at church! Wait, no one is there! This is strange (they went to the tax office!). I have 7 mins before class. Just barely. Hope none of my students were early. Open the door, prepare for class. Students arrive. Teach class. Well, really, just talk with students. Oh, and I taught them the Squirrel Dance song. it's cute. After class, teach Bible study.

During break, eat lunch with students (they are about to study Japanese Bible) and type up worship service for tomorrow. (Usually I go home and eat or whatever. Today was special.) 4:00, start teaching kids classes. 3 classes come and go. It's fun. I like these kids. One private, one class of kids who used to live in America, and one class of 6th graders. good kids.

Dinner break. I did more preparation for tomorrow. (there will be a prayer meeting, then English Worship, then an English event tomorrow). Last class is at 8:10. Had observers. It was good. Maybe they will join. Or, they might want to start a new class. then I will be even busier on Fridays.

Answered the phone in Japanese. That's amazing! Really, it is.

Cooked vegetable cream soup for tomorrow's lunch. (I'm making lunch for the people who are coming tomorrow, because it's kinda far to come out here, and they are really helping me out.)

Arrive home, 12:30ish. Hey, it's stopped raining! Horray!

Yeah, so I'm tired.

I have no clue why I wrote all that out, but I did, so present for you! :-D

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Wow, lately things have been really crazy. I know I'm sleeping, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

It's almost summer here and you can tell. There's rain, lots of flowers, birds and bugs (sometimes in your house...) Oh yeah, and weeds. I need to do something about those...

I'm trying to make an effort to manage my time correctly. As in, make time to clean, do laundry and basic maint. Somehow, it doesn't seem to be working.

But I have been able to have good quiet time with God everyday this week, and that has definitely improved my outlook on life. I feel much more at peace lately. (still tired, but it's at least peaceful.) I have also taken up drawing some again, and doing some independent Japanese study. Oh yeah, that reminds me. I start Japanese class again tomorrow. It will be a group lesson this time. With some of my friends too. I'm really looking forward to it. But it's in the morning, so that's going to make my Friday's long now too. So I'll have three long days in a row, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fun fun fun. Good thing Monday's my day off. It's my recovery day.

All in all, I'm feeling much more positive about things. I guess it just takes me a while to get to where I'm going, but eventually I'll get there. :-D

Anyway, this week, and last, have been nice because my students have been bringing me presents! Last week I got roses (check out the pictures from my cell phone). They smelled really nice. One of my students grows them in his garden, and these were the first to bloom! This is the same guy who fixed my bike for me. He reminds me of a grandpa looking out for me. He's really cute!

This week, he brought me more roses. And then, a woman from a different class also brought me roses and flowers. (her's are a bit smaller, but just as pretty!) And then a different woman from the same class brought me matcha (powdered green tea) powder! I really love the matcha powder. And it's actually pretty expensive I think. It was ground at her mother's house. It's also really healthy, so if I drink some everyday it's really good for me. Hehe!

So yeah, presents are good. It makes me feel loved by my students. This Sunday we will probably go to a rose festival after Bible Study if the weather is good. We'll ride our bicycles there. I'm looking forward to it.

Ok, so that's the update!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


In case you don't know what the title says, it translates as "Flower Viewing." This is a special time in Japan when everyone goes out to look at the cherry blossoms and eat and drink with friends. There are usually lots of hanami parties all the time in this season. But Cherry blossom season is really short, ususally only two or three weeks. So you have to plan carefully.

Last year I totally missed hanami because I went home during my spring break. This year I was afraid the same thing would happen. But I was lucky, and the day after I came back, I was able to go hanami with my friend Jenae.

We went to one of the most famous places for hanami, Ueno park. Here are four of the pictures that I took. The rest are on my web albums.

Here is Jenae eating takoyaki (fried balls of octopus). It's really yummy.

We walked around a while looking at all the trees and eating some of the food. And then we decided to go in a boat together on a small pond. We rented a paddle boat for 30 mins. It was our first time in a paddle boat, and we found out that we were both a big bigger than was comfortable for a paddle boat. But it was fun anyway. :-D

The next two pictures are from inside the boat. We had a lot of fun just paddling around. When they tried to give us a boat, they first tried to give us a pink one. We looked at each other and said "no way." So we asked the guy for a different color. He thought we were a bit crazy I think. But in the end we got a yellow boat. We were both so happy to not be in a pink boat. We would paddle around and then say something like "this is so much better in a yellow boat." Then funny thing - you can't even see the boat color from the inside!

But we still would have known. It was a lot of fun.

After boating, we walked around more. We took lots of pictures of flowers and stuff. I really think you should check out the rest of the pictures. The link should be somewhere on this blog.

Yeah, it was a good time. :-D
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Band pictures.

Ususally I see the band in the dark, so it's hard to get nice pictures. But the weekend I came back to Japan, it was raining, so they were playing inside this underground walkway. The lighting is much better, and there was a cool mosaic for a nice background. So here are some cool pictures of the band.

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Year end parties.

In March I had parties in every class to celebrate the end of another school year. This means we go out to resturaunts a lot. It's fun.

Here are some pictures of me and my Friday afternoon class. We went to eat Okonomiyaki. I really like this food. So here's me and my class and my food! Enjoy.
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Last trip with Bethany.

So, I came to Japan with Bethany. There was another girl in our orientation group, Lauren, but she came later than we did and left earlier. And she also had already studied Japanese, so she had separate classes than Bethany and I.

So many of the things we did in Japan, Bethany and I shared together. Getting off the plane together, eating the first meals, etc. We had a good relationship together, even though we were both really different.

So, Bethany's time in Japan has ended, and she has left the country. It's a bit strange being here without her, but that's the price you pay when you stay longer.

We decided that before she left, we should do something special together. So we went to one of her favorite places in Tokyo, an island called Odaiba. On this island there is a really fancy Onsen, or Hot Springs. It's made to look like an old fashioned village. It's really nice place. Inside everyone wears yukata , or traditional robes. It was a really nice experience. Here are some pictures from the trip.

The top one is a picture of Tokyo Tower from the island. You can also see one of the famous bridges in the picture. I think this was my first time to actually go to Odaiba and have the weather be nice.

Then you have pictures of Bethany and I out front and one of Bethany inside in her yukata.

It was a really good experience. There are more pictures on my web albums if you care to look. (yeah I finally got the pictures off my camera, so it's a big update time.)

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