(click on the photos to view the images at a larger size!!)
Okay so since my last post... Friday night was my Welcome Party from my base school Natori Kita High School. About 25 people were there. It was pretty fun. The food wasn't that great. Japanese love to drink. It was a great chance to talk to my co-workers outside of the work setting and to get to know them better. So it was my welcome party and also the farewell party for a substitute teacher who was teaching English. And the welcome party for the teacher she was substituting for, Tanaka Sensei. Tanaka had only worked at the school for a few days before she went on maternity leave. In Japan you can take maternity leave for about 3 years! So she has been gone for 3 years (i don't think all of that is paid leave). Tanaka and I clicked right away. She has 4 daughters from 4 to 12 years old. Her English is better then any other teacher in the school in my opinion. She studied in Sydney and Chicago. All of the staff at the school have been nice but it's great to finally meet someone beyond the standard niceness. I've heard stories from my other friends who have met people like that at their schools. Tanaka already invited me to her house for tea! Technically I don't have any classes that I'm supposed to teach with her, but I'm going to help her with classes anyway. The most surprising thing about her was that she studied Urdu !! i was so surprised i had to ask her a few times. it's quite rare i think to meet a japanese who has studied urdu. She said there are only 2 universitied in japan where you can study urdu, so she studied at Osaka University. And her husband teachers Japanese. She's never been to Pakistan or India, but she visited Singapore and went to Little India in Singapore and bought saris and wore a sari in her wedding.
In the picture above from left to right, Chiba (the substitute who is leaving), me, another english teacher, Tanaka, and in front the guy is Shimanuki Sensei, my supervisor. most people give the peace sign in pictures, but of course in this picture i'm the only one doing it!
The picture below...Ikue, she is the chemistry lab assistant. I didn't even talk to her and as everyone was saying goodbye she was like lets take a picture! of course on the cell phone. so yeah that's a picture from a cell phone...pretty good eh? very japanese.
saturday we were going to go to mount zao and do a small hike and see the crater lake Okama, but the weather was pretty cloudy and wasn't a good day to do that. so instead we went to Yamadera, famous for a temple up in the mountains. about a hour train ride away.
here's a view from the top:
above, from left to right: andy, me, laura
oh and here's me eating DELICIOUS soba and tempura before we did the climb:
yesterday, sunday, we celebrated laura's birthday by going to the indian restaurant Namaskar and had cake afterwards. most apartments don't have ovens here, so chris and andy made the cake in a rice cooker. it was awesome! i'll have to get the pictures from laura and post them.
in my first post i mentioned the dance class that i go to, below is a picture that steve took (he drums for the dance group). okay that's it for now!