Sep. 8th, 2011

Ok, so I'm alive an well an all that. I've been in Morioka for about a week short of a month and I'm happy and enjoying life here. There's a lovely amount of grapefruit flavored things which makes me happy.

Basic daily schedule for me is complicated but . . . Mondays I go to classes at a local university from 9 to 4 but I usually try to get in early so I can use the internets and check in with people and leave a little late to do the same things. Tuesdays I get up and head out to host school, buy a lunch at a combini on the way. (MACKENZIE, QUESTION: did you ever go to the bento place sort of near us on the corner where you turn to get to Morioka Eki??) Then I do whatever my English teachers tell me to do in classes. There are 2 women teachers who I work closely with and then a group of 5 student teachers at my school and usually at least one of them is observing one of my classes so I spend a lot of time with them in the teachers room. They're really cool and fun and I want to spend time with them outside of school but don't know them well enough yet to bring up that option. My school was the only Junior High School in the area to be physically damaged in the earthquake to the students are separated into 3 school buildings. The English teachers rotate what schools they spend time at I think but I'm not so clear on the pattern. So far I've only been working with the third year students but tomorrow I have my first day with the 2nd years so I'm excited. They're all really sweet and cute and intense and they remember all the ALTs they've had before and want to talk about them. Then I help the students clean the teachers room and go home and collapse for a nap while my host sister takes her nap. Then there's dinner and Full House and all sorts of stuff with homework shoved in there somewhere before bed. Wednesdays I got to my host school for half a day and then usually go somewhere shopping or wandering around with one of the other SICE people or I go to Gandai for the internets and get home around 2:00, just in time to go pick my host sister up from preschool. Thursdays I have classes at Gandai again and then I have homework time and Thursdays are Pokemon night. Fridays are another full day at my host school, just like Tuesdays. The group seems to try to meet up on Friday nights but I haven't been able to go yet so hopefully this week I'll be able to.

This past Saturday to yesterday we went to the coastal area of Iwate to do some volunteer work and help people clean up after the tsunami and earthquake. We spent most of that time at a camp sort of place called Shinomori that's run by Waseda students and has been there for like 50 years or something. It was founded after a big forest fire in Tanohata and the main purpose of the camp is to take care of the forest on the surrouding mountains but me and mountain climbing didn't work out so well because it was soooooo steep I got dizzy and couldn't keep really move so much. I'm proud that I didn't actually throw up but I wanted to. So for the rest of the time Rosa (knee problems) and Katie (???) and I copped out of the mountain climbing part of the camp and helped them clean up the beach and deal with the debris / garbage we found there. There was a lot that was sad, a lot that was sort of astonishing, and most of it was unidentifiable. It was hard to see everything that was lost but Tanohata was on the good end of the disaster so things were already starting to look up and I'm hopeful. The last evening and day we spent in Tono at a volunteer center place that I need to find out the details of because it was really great and welll organized and awesome etc and it would be a good resource for people who want to volunteer in Japan. We spent the only work day we were there cleaning out an irrigation ditch around a rice field. We found a lot of house building materials and a lot of car parts and a lot of small posession things that hit hard but it felt good to do and was a really good experience. And Xan and I made a friend at the camp who will be in Kyoto when we are there and wants to meet if possible so I'm excited for that.

Otherwise I'm good, generically awesome but the program is a very full program so I am having a hard time finding time to myself which is starting to take it's toll. I am also upset that I tried to buy Sexy Honey Bunny and the only (non used) CD store that I can find doesn't have it! My fangirl is upset. I'm happy with the food, with my host family, with classes for the most part (I don't like being the only student in my Japanese class, it's really draining and the class is three hours long with only one break so I'm dead at the end of it and it's only lunch time) and I'm having lots of fun. ALSO, there are Okada's on Gandai's campus so that makes it all better.

Sorry for taking up so much space and I'm sure there's so much more I should tell people but I can't think of it and I'm out of information to share atm. If you ave questions for me etc, either email me or ask them here. I can only get online a couple times a week but I'll get to answering them as soon as I can.

I love and miss all my peoples out there so contact me, keep the love alive!! I'm getting silly, I need to stop typing :)

x-posted to my tumblr so sorry for additional spam if you have one of those too!



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