July 16, 2008

Me on a webpage!

Oh yeah, I forgot. This is me with one of my elementary principals. We are at the Furosatomatsuri. It's a tea festival. In the picture, you can see the kanji (Japanese character) for tea made with tea bushes. It's pretty cool. Good luck reading the page! ;)


2 weeks later...

It seems that I'm destined to not keep up with this as often as I did when I first got here. Gomen ne. (Sorry).

The day of that last post, I actually tried to get pictures off my camera to post on here. But my computer is messed up. After it's been running for a while, all the programs get a glitch. The glitch involves the pop-up windows within a program. Like when you click for options or tools or something. The window will open, but all text is missing so I don't know which buttons are which and or in some cases the box is completely misshapen and unusable. I can sometimes get things back to normal by simply rebooting the computer, but it's not a definite fix.

Anyway, hopefully pictures to come soon. Not tonight, though. I'm tired.

Let me tell you that I am better though! It was about 2 weeks of unpleasantness. But by last Friday I was feeling almost normal again. Which was good since Saturday was our Sayonara Party. It was pretty fun, especially after being cooped up in my apartment for 2 weeks. We basically take over an island for a couple days. I got there around 2pm and left at 1pm the next day. It's just a great beach day with most of the JETs in the prefecture. Grilling, swimming, talking, dancing, drinking, bonfire, fireworks, etc. I finally got to use my underwater camera feature again. I'll try and post some of those on here. I didn't get to sleep until about 3 and even then the really drunk people who stayed up all night kept me up. And then in the morning around 5 or so, it was quiet and winding down. But that's when the crows or something started cawing right above the tent. I couldn't believe it. And then the whole sleeping on a slant started getting to me and I was up at about 7 I think. But I stayed and enjoyed some swimming and frisbee until about 1. It was sooooo nice to be outside and on the beach. I LOVE the beach and swimming and being out and active. I really need to do it more. Since the soccer tournament I haven't really been running and working out. I need to get back into it.

Hope all is well with everyone back home. Love and miss you all!

July 1, 2008

Sick Day

So I'm sick and decided it was best to stay home. It's a stomach thing. Maybe best not to describe. But anyway, I have the time to update my blog finally.

I'm really sorry for not posting a lot. When I first got here I was posting at least 3 or 4 times a week it seemed. Now it's been a month since my last post. I've been thinking it might be easiest for me to just do a sort of update through pictures instead of writing about all the stuff that's been going on. You guys know how long winded I can be. But even that's going to take time. I haven't uploaded pictures from my camera in a while. But I think I'll get started on that in a bit. I'm just moving slowly today, not having slept really the past two nights.

Anyway, I'll just get started by doing a post about the past weekend. Which really started on Thursday night. And, of course, is probably the cause of me being sick now.

Thursday I had class at the closest elementary in the afternoon. But when I got back the young new teachers were learning the school's sports day dances. (It was weird I thought that the new teachers to the school that are older don't have to learn the dance). I never got to learn them last year. So I went in and tried learning them, too. But they had already been going for an hour so I didn't really get it. Afterward, us young teachers played a few games of badminton which was surprisingly fun. That evening we all went out to an izakaya. It was pretty fun. One of the young new teachers is an English teacher, but I didn't have to ask her to translate everything for me. I was able to mostly follow along and even participate sometimes in the conversation. It was nice. This place we were at is called Yamacho, 'mountain bird'. It's probably because they specialize in sashimi chicken. Yes, that's raw chicken. And of course, I had to try some. I had breast, thigh, heart, and liver. The liver had a very complex flavor that was amazing. The thigh was the easiest to eat and tasted good.

Friday was a long day since we were out until midnight and I had had 5 drinks. On top of that, I had a special lesson at an elementary and I had to ride my bike there and back. Then, in the afternoon, I had my regular elementary lesson. By the way, these elementaries are the 2 farthest and most uphill of the 5. After, that 2nd lesson, I went out to another izakaya with some of the teachers from the first elementary for an otsukare (good work) dinner. I wasn't going to drink but then was convinced by the principal to have a beer. I only had two though. She was also determined to "challenge" me with different foods. So, I had sashimi (fish, this time) which I've had before. I tried some raw squid that had been in this weird sauce. Not that good. I also had whale for the first time. (For you save the whale types, apparently, there is a time period when it's ok to kill certain types of whales, and usually the meat comes from whales that have been collected by scientists for testing, etc.)

Saturday morning, I went to my friend's apartment and she helped me buzz my head into a mohawk. I'd been wanting to buzz my head, and why not have a mohawk for the weekend. (A mohawk wouldn't go down well at school, or I might have kept it.) After that, I went to a friend's photography exhibition closing party. I even got the retired music teacher who cooks for me sometimes to come with me. But she was shy about speaking in English and didn't really try. But we had a great time anyway. Lots of people were there. Afterwards, we went to an izakaya. The teacher was quite the center of attention there. She kind of does that. She went home and the rest of us went out to karaoke. By the end of the night, I kind of wished I had gone home. I had a great time, but I was regretting having stayed out so late and that I wouldn't get to sleep in my own bed. Sunday, I was up early and already feeling a bit sick and so went home, but I felt well enough to meet everyone again to see the new Indiana Jones movie. It was ok. Didn't like the ending so much. Then did some shopping. By the time I was heading home I was really feeling tired. And that night is when I started feeling really sick.

I went to work yesterday because I felt fine in the morning. But after a couple hours, I could tell I wasn't well. But I was lucky because it worked out that I had only one class. So I figured I'd tough it out. But just after lunch I started feeling really hot. Near the end of school I asked the school nurse to take my temperature and it was 38.7 C (101.6 F). I didn't really know what that meant at the time, but she said it was a fever and so one of the assistant principals took me to the hospital and I got some medicine to get me better. But last night was no better than Sunday night so that's why I'm home today. No real sleep in two days (actually three since I only got about 4 hours Saturday night) really sucks.

Anyway, so obviously this past weekend was really busy. If you can imagine, about the past 4 or 5 have been this busy. And during the week I've managed to stay busy as well. Hence, the slip in posting. I'll try and do better though. I love and miss everyone back home.