Monday, August 6, 2007


it`s been quite an eventful few days! i have been whisked around town setting up everything I could possibly need, exploring quite a bit on my own on my brand new bike (courtesy of the honjo board of education, how nice!) as well, spending a lot of time with amelie and the new jets owen, cathy, and edel (all irish - I am already starting to notice myself speak a little more irish sounding than american!).

Friday morning amelie brought us on a tour of the town - we went to a giant buddha temple just outside town, as well as a waterfall quite off the beaten path. So beautiful! We also went to a second hand store and 100 yen store, both of which were pretty amazing. We also went to the beach for a swim as we were dying in the heat. It was lovely, clear water, no seaweed and they had man-made breakers that made the beach quite calm, almost like a lake. I plan on getting a floaty lounge chair to go hang out there all the time! For lunch we went for my first time at a kaiten sushi, where the little plates of sushi go aorund on a conveyor belt and you pick off what you`d like to eat. That place could be dangerous for me, I could have easily eaten 10 plates! On Friday night we went to a festival in honjo of traditional dance - many women and a few good men dressed in yukatas all doing a coordinated dance in a big circle in the main street, quite impressive! We were invited to join in for a bit, but did not make it very long!

On Saturday I spent some time setting things up in my apartment and I did a little shopping with the girls at the local department store called `JC` for Joyful City. There were supposed to be fireworks on the beach that night, but they were canceled due to the `typhoon` aka rain. so we all went to an izekaya instead, where we cooked our own food on hibachi type tables, it is quite clear that i will not go hungry here!

On Sunday i explored the local park, which is quite nice with a few small shrines and a random giant cage full of parrakeets. It is on a hill with a nice view of the town. That night the board of education staff drove us all to akita city for kanto matsuri, the lantern festival. It was quite impressive, and a bit hard to explain, hopefully i will have pictures soon. We were invited to join in on the taiko drumming, which was quite fun! My board of ed colleagues told me they thought i was kawaii (cute) I`m pretty sure that is the first time co-workers/supervisors have told me that!

This week I will be at the board of ed office for most of the week, where I can use the internet and look through the tons of books on teaching they gave us at orientation. The other JETs are in other board of ed offices/schools so I am the only one here. On Wednesday a few more new JETs are arriving, so that will be exciting, and I will get to play `big sister` a bit as Amelie is on vacation this week. From Thursday-Sunday we have an intensive Japanese class in akita city which should be very helpful.

Yumiko-san just came up to me to show me pictures of last year`s board of ed team for the local regatta. Ever since I mentioned at dinner on my first night here that i was interested in getting into rowing here, they have been trying to find ways for me to do it. They offered me the coxswain position in the boat they are organizing for this year`s coming regatta in september, but i told them unfortunately i am not a good coxswain, can`t steer very well, so now they have invited me to organize my own boat that they will help me enter in the race! Just have to teach a few of the other ALTs how to row then...


Regine Roumain said...

hey sophie,

it sounds like you are having so much fun! you missed all the craziness yesterday with the torrential rain and the subway system coming to a halt. there was even a tornado in BK... glad to hear that things are going well. we miss you here.

Awreye said...

We Boccenalians always thought that you were the kawaii-est member of the team! Akita seems to be treating you well. Hope that your Japanese class and boat organizing is going well. Can't wait to hear more! (oh, this is Iris btw)

Ruth said...

Sophie... i miss you, can I come live in Japan with you? I will row your boat...

any way, more letters to come for you!