I’ve been remiss in my blogging duties in the past month or so – and before you blame my newly acquired 3DS, know that that’s only about half the reason! The rest is just that I’ve been monstrously busy, and the free time that I have has been dedicated to jogging or like hanging out with my boyfriend. But this time of year is always busy for me, and it’s nice to feel like I really am accomplishing things at this job and in my life! But I guess it doesn’t feel real if I don’t livejournal it, you know.
In the past month or so I’ve:
+Ran a 17k up an extreme mountain course covered in gorgeous autumn leaves
+Went to Kuzumaki, a small hamlet in the far north of the prefecture, to hold a Halloween party at a tiny elementary school. I’m talking, only thirty students in the entire school – first through sixth grade. The building was old and rickety, but they had a live sheep outside as the school pet. They named him Sui, and he chased me because he thought I had food.
+Went to Ichinoseki, the city farthest to the south of the prefecture, to hold another Halloween party in cooperation with an elementary school and the local seniors club (who were quite confused as to what a “powerpoint presentation” was).
+Went to Sendai for a wedding of a friend of my boyfriend’s, stayed in a fancy hotel, and met his best friend
+Went to tiny Numakunai to go to my first ever pre-school visit
+Went to Tokyo for the twice-a-year JET Prefectural Advisors conference
+Went shopping in Shinjuku on a Friday night…
+Ran in the Miyako Salmon Marathon, my last race of the year, and the first time I ever beat 60 minutes in a 10k!!
+Did three school visits in one week, talking about the U.S. to elementary students
+One of those school visits was a return to Kuzumaki, where the students gave us a surprise Yosakoi performance. Probably my best school visit ever
+Interpreted for a bunch of young people from Indonesia, one of which lost everything in the 2004 tsunami but wanted to share his experience with kids here who suffered in 2011
+Participated in my third One World Festa, which is the huge international festival the International Association runs every year. I spent a whole day with other American friends talking about our country and interpreting announcements
+Went on a local morning entertainment show with some other foreign girls where we spread the word about One World Festa (ie, I finally did make it on Japanese television…and was awkward as heck)
+Went back to Tokyo for the annual CIR conference, and got to spend some time with R
+Wandered around the new Tokyo Sky Tree and checked out all the shopping (unfortunately, actually going up the tower would require selling my first-born)
+Had an amazing 26th birthday with the boy, eating fancy sushi (Maesawa beef!!) and feeling so amazed that we share the same birthday
+Celebrated my birthday another two times with two different sets of friends (somehow, my birthday is always kinda like that)
And there was much more where that came from. I need like a few weeks off, to be honest. While there were times where I wanted to just crawl into a hole from the stress of it all, I really am grateful that I have this opportunity and this job. Not sure where life is bringing me next, but for now I’m content to just enjoy the ride.
Next up: Christmas shopping and going home for the holidays…!