It’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog. The two reasons for this are that I am too busy and I don’t have any good pictures. I have been really lazy to pick up the camera and take photos for some reason. Next week on the 23rd I am taking a day trip with a family of five and they said that the place where are going to, called Tsumago, is AMAZING and like taking a step back into time…a very OLD town with lots of things to see. It should be great and I will take lots of photos.
Today was a great day…some days here are so good I imagine I could stay in Japan for a long time. Other days aren’t as good and I miss home more on those days. Today I had lunch with a sweet lady from Texas, played with her kid, and then I had my kids’ class at the Green Chapel – I have four very cute 4-year olds and they love English! We play games, sing lots of songs like “The Hokey Pokey,” color pictures, and learn the ABC’s. We also do puzzles, I use puppets, and play games so we have a good time learning English. I have to use some Japanese in the class because the kids are so little, but they are learning soooo quickly.
Soon I am starting three brand new English classes in two weeks through All Nations Fellowship, one kid’s class and two adult classes. I hope we get lots of students. I am going to be teaching across the street from my apartment so I think that it’ll be a good way to get know my neighbors.
I am busy gearing up for a national Japanese language proficiency test in December called the JLPT. There are four levels, one to four, with one being the hardest. I am taking level three (I feel fairly confident that I can pass) and have a goal of passing level two next year. Level one is like native level speaking/ reading/ writing ability so maybe years down the road I’ll attempt that test. One can possibly get a job in a Japanese company with level two and definitely with level one. I think the test has been a good motivator for me to study Japanese everyday so that’s been a good thing.
Besides that I keep getting asked what I miss about the U.S. I think it would take a while to list everything but here’s what I DON’T miss:
1) bad customer service (you don’t realize how bad it is until you come to Japan and customers are treated like a walking god)
2) the food (Japanese food is so good!)
3) the dirt (Japan is really clean, even the subways and streets)
4) having to tip (there is NO tip system in Japan and eating out is NOT that expensive at all)
5) buses and trains that may or not be on time (the Japanese transporation system is absolutely amazing and ALWAYS ON TIME 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Here’s what I miss about the U.S. in no particular order: how international and diverse the U.S. is, hearing lots of different languages in the city, Reese’s peanut butter cups, having long chats with friends I have known for years, being free to talk to strangers (Japanese rarely talk to strangers), my church, not having to be ultra-polite all the time, big yards and lawns, the Jersey shore, Chick Filet waffle fries and lemonade, driving a car, dressing casually (Japanese people dress up so much but Americans are much more casual with their jeans and t-shirts), and being with lots of lots of Christians all together (there are so few here).
I’ll write again and I promise to have more photos in my next post!