One week in Japan.
One week of rice, and greetings, and learning, and walking everywhere, and buying expensive groceries.
Thankfully our jet lag days have passed, and we have been waking up early on purpose. Caleb has to be at the train station by 7:25 each morning, so we’ve been waking up and eating breakfast together every morning. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep this up (and maybe I’ll start running again??), but I can’t make any promises since I don’t have to be in the office until 9. 🙂
Self-introductions and greetings are very important in Japan, so our week was filled with introducing ourselves in both Japanese and in English. On Friday our team walked to City Hall, and we met the Board of Education as well as the Mayor of Tamura. Each person (including the Senior Teachers) introduced themselves in Japanese, and each member of the Board of Education introduced themselves in English. It was encouraging to see that they were just as nervous to talk to us in English as we were to talk in Japanese.
Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon we had a photo scavenger hunt, and we were able to get better acquainted with the city. When we first arrived, I felt a bit intimidated by my new home – especially because we only seemed to walk around after it was already dark – but yesterday proved just how small this city is. Buying bikes is still a top priority – especially for my glutes.
Last night we had a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant, and after church today there is going to be a Welcome Luncheon hosted by the church congregation/family.
Highlights of the Week:
- Sushi Nobu: This Mom & Pop sushi restaurant is right across the street from the English School, and has fulfilled all of our sushi dreams. The owners bring out green tea & miso soup, and give you whatever sushi they have that is fresh. We told them that we were willing to try anything, so they gave us shrimp, salmon, tuna, scallop, fish eggs, and cucumber & bamboo (maybe??) rolls. This was the best sushi I’ve ever had (fish eggs = incredibly weird & delicious), but it was a bit pricey compared to the Conveyor Belt sushi restaurant.
- Work / the dollar store: So far, I love my job. Being back in a classroom is so exciting, and hopefully I’ll start teaching by myself by the end of next week. I also have a desk in the Wakakusa office, and bought a few cute things from the dollar store to make it my own. **Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the dollar store in Japan.** If only I could describe to you in words how wonderful it is. Everything, and I mean everything has a cute version. To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, here is a picture of our sponge:
My co-workers are also fantastic, and we seem to have clicked really well. Next week we start co-teaching at the elementary schools, and might also teach at the Kindergarten & Pre-school. Caleb’s job description is a little bit different than mine (he’s an assistant to a Japanese teacher), but he is also hoping to start teaching a few classes on Monday. On Tuesday he starts teaching his night class at the Wakakusa English School.
Maybe it’s the Honeymoon Stage talking, but I am joyful. I’m thankful for the Facebook Messaging App that allows us to call our parents whenever we want, and the grocery store that sells meat for half price a few hours before closing. I’m thankful for the blooming flowers that greet me on my walk to work, and the community that we are a part of.
Happy Sunday everyone!