Saturday, August 06, 2005

"Youkoso" to Kamikawa-cho

Yes, I have finally made it to my new home in Japan. After a nine hour flight, a two hour bus ride, a few days of orientation in Tokyo, another hour on a plane and three hours in a car, I made it!

My contract started the day after I arrived in Japan, so bright and early after arriving in Kamikawa (tired and jetlagged) I started work. Conveniently, school is on summer break at the moment, so work consists mostly of studying Japanese, and making my co-workers laugh when I say "bless you" after someone sneezes. I'm trying to plan some kind of introductory lesson, but I was never very good at lesson planning, and I don't really know what is expected of me. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough.

The town is small, but the people are incredibly warmhearted. I already have a shodo (calligraphy) teacher, and a line on someone who can get me involved with kendo. I've been taken out for dinner, drinks, and karaoke; to festivals and to an onsen (Japanese hot springs); been given gifts and had vegetables dropped at my door; and I've only been here a week.

My apartment is bigger than the one I had in Victoria, and I'll get around to posting some pictures soon.

Tomorrow I head off to the neighboring town of Pippu for Tanabata (literally the star crossed lovers) festival, where I am volunteering to help run a sports day and then two days of a kids summer camp. Should be fun! I just hope the forecast for 31C turns out to be wrong...

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