August 6, 2008

1 YEAR!!!

I can't believe I let the day pass without posting! It has officially been a year since I came to Japan. (As of July 29th)

Time really flies.

People I run into keep asking if I'll stay another year and I say yes. And then they ask why. It's funny because I don't really know why. JETs who knew that I was wavering on my decision back in January/February ask me if I regret signing on for another year. It's hard to answer. Parts of me wish I was already back in the US but other parts are perfectly happy being here and have plenty of things to do before leaving next year. Sometimes I have pangs of "Why did I decide to stay!!!" But just as often, I think... "Maybe I could stay for 3rd year."

Well, most of you know, but just to set the record straight, I won't be coming home this summer. It would really be a major expense and wipe out all of the savings I have managed to accumulate (since I started saving in December after I realized I had spent more money that I had made in Japan by that point). Not to mention my family and friends are now all over the map and just traveling to Atlanta wouldn't provide me with the opportunity to see everyone. I'd want to go to Arizona, Savannah, Pennsylvania, London, Sweden, etc. and that just can't happen. Plus summer is the easiest time to travel home for an extended period, but it's also the time when I have to say goodbye to the leaving JETs and I get to welcome the new JETs. And if you recall from last year, it's the time when there are summer festivals EVERY weekend. I'm getting to see ones that I didn't get to see last year. And I'm going to travel up to a big music festival in Osaka and possibly Hokkaido!?! Still working on those plans. I'm a little upset because I'll be missing Tokushima's Awa Odori Festival. But I did get to go last year and I don't get to see my Osaka friend Alana very often. She's a blast to travel with.

I'm still working on getting pictures up on the blog and picasa and facebook. My friends here are always mad at me because they see me take lots of pictures, but I never put them up on facebook like everyone else. I just need to start making it a habit. I think I may try to use mainly the picasa albums online and just link to them rather than trying to post on all three sites. I'll let you know when that gets started.

By the way, I just took over the eikaiwa (English Conversation Class) in Takase that Dan used to teach. He's gone home now and so I've got the job. It didn't go how I thought it would last week. They have been doing it a certain way for 2 years and they don't really want it to change much. Every time I try to stretch my teaching wings here, it seems someone is there trying to cage me back up.

Anyway, It may be a while before I post again. I've got a lot of cleaning and packing to do before Friday. That's when I head to Osaka and who knows where, after that. I'll be gone until the 18th or 19th. Then a couple more weeks of summer vacation and then 2nd term starts at the beginning of September.

Good luck to all my teaching buddies back in Cherokee who are starting a new school year!