Friday, August 18, 2006

At home in Higashimatsushima

I'm back! Hey everyone. Sorry for the rather sizable gap in my postings- I just today got internet access in my apartment. Until now I've been shooting out quick emails from the Board of Education every few days, but things should be gravy from here on out.

So what's new? Well....Unfortunately, since so much time has passed, I'm going to have to edit out a fair amount of what's been happening with me and just give you some highlights. Let's review the past two weeks, shall we?

Tokyo Orientation- Met lots of new people, had a lot of fun, and collected enough useless paper work to cover all of Hokkaido. The true shame of orientation is that, after meeting lots of new people, you're torn away from them and scattered about the country.

Luckily, the people in my area are also very cool. I just got back from a prefectural orientation where I got to hang out with them. (oh....and receive more handouts)

Everyone here, locals and those in the JET program, have been really great. My supervisor is a clerical wizard. The teacher who I am assisting has been open and very helpful. And the kids seem really excited to have me around. Although I haven't seen much of them yet as we're still on summer vacation.

I go to Sendai quite often. It takes an hour by train, but it's worth it as it's a pretty happening place. We recently had a festival here known as Tanabata. I'm pretty sure it's Sendai's biggest festival. The main thoroughfares are lined with huge lanterns and there was a pretty impressive fireworks show one night.

The other day I traveled to the prefecture west of Miyagi known as Yamagata to a famous temple called Yamadera (literally- Mountain Temple). To reach the aforementioned temple one must climb a rather lengthy staircase, but it's well worth it as the temple itself is quite lovely and the view it provides of the valley below is amazing.

I think that's enough for one post. Obviously, there's been a lot more going on with me but I don't want to bore you with too much detail. If you'd like to know more, you can always email me.

Oh....and what you've all been waiting for- pictures!

In Tokyo I went to a party with old friends from Sophia (the university I went to while in Japan last time)-

Here are some pics from Tanabata. The first is an up-close of the origami work on one of the lanterns and the second is from the fireworks show.

And here are two pics from Yamadera. The first is of me, two of my local friends from Sendai (Harumi and Aiko), and my buddy, and closest neighbor, Hashmatt. The second is of a small temple with the valley in the background.

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