2007 JET Podcast
Some helpful hints from folks already on the JET Programme. It covers all of those very specific things that you really need to know but may have forgotten to ask or that you just couldn't find answers to. Click here.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just Me Hanging Out

And not doing anything at work...again. Bought some fake glasses at Uniqlo that I thought were kind of cool. What do you think?

Fuyuki says they make me look to serious, but I disagree. He said, however, that he is biased because he wears glasses and doesn't like glasses at all.

Planning my Thanksgiving/Christmas vacation to Bangkok (now changed from Bali cause cheap Bali tickets were already sold out). Will post more on what I plan to do and where.

Also, what do you think of me posting video every once and a while? Would you watch?


...from Andrea. Always thinking of others and always the person to cheer people up, Andrea sent me this wonderful care package for Halloween. Isn't it cute?

Here in Japan, Halloween is not as big of a deal (of course) but because of the influx of so many foreigners who do celebrate the holiday (particularly English teachers) the kids are getting more in tuned with the tradition of scary costumes and candy. I was down in Sapporo station yesterday and they had banners up for trick or treating inside the mall. There were also many Halloween-themed goodies and gifts at the different stores I saw.

In other news, this whole week, I was in Ebetsu, just outside of Sapporo, being a helper for a Board of Education conference given for Japanese Teachers of English. All-in-all it was a welcome break from regular school work and I learned a bit about teaching English on the high school level (actually junior high even though I only teach at senior high schools, but it's about the same).

We had a rocking farewell party for the teachers this past Thursday and I got some shopping done in Sapporo during the week.

This weekend, I'm sitting out several Halloween party invitations and whatnot to recooperate for the coming week.

I've already booked my hotel for Thailand and will book my flight just as soon as I get the go-ahead from my school to take the days off. Can't wait! Plus, I will hopefully have my new camera just in time to take some amazing pictures of my trip!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Eikaiwa Welcome Party!

My lovely and thoughtful eikaiwa (night school) students threw me a big welcome party on Thursday. It was lovely! One of my students, Mariko, had a Thai student who is studying Japanese in Tokyo staying with her. He cooked some traditional Thai dishes that were delicious.

We also had okonomiyaki and Genghis Khan (what party is complete without Genghis Khan). All very, very good food!

After all of that, we played Nintendo Wii, which is apparently a past time for many Japanese people no matter what their age.

Camping at Mt. Yotei

According to Wikipedia, Mt. Yotei is a volcano located in Shikotsku-Toya National Park. A few weeks ago, I went camping right at the base of it for the Hokkaido Southwest Welcome Party. Had a really great time. I had been looking forward to it as I had never really been camping before. I bought this most awesome and huge tent and stuff -- you know the typical one a person who has never really been camping would get.

We arrived on a Saturday. I rode in a cramped car with Jennie, Leslie, and Brent. It was a really fun drive. Stopped at some great restaurant that served delicious Chinese style rice. After getting to the camp grounds and getting set up, we realized that everyone (and more) could fit into my gigantic tent, so that's what ended up happening.

There was a big barbecue that night with much drinking and making noise and inviting the other Japanese campers to come over and join us.
The next day, some people went on the 8 hour hike of Yotei, but I was a bit too lazy. I was also too lazy to do the paintball thing that many others did. Instead, my group went to Kutchan in search of great pizza which we found and it was really great. Then we went to an onsen in Niseko. Niseko is a foreigners heaven because almost all of the signs are in English because (I hear) the population is more Australian than it is Japanese. Will definitely be going back for snow season because Niseko is littered with ski resorts.