Our host family was incredibly generous to offer to take us to the annual Girls' Day festival in Hitoyoshi, where we got to wear kimono, eat an exquisite traditional meal, soak in an onsen, and simply delight in the beauty surrounding us.Read More
That's right — the final countdown is on! I wanted to take the time to share what I've been up to since my last post.
The first exciting piece of news is that I've gotten in touch with my predecessor as well as the person whose apartment I will be taking over. They're both lovely and have been incredibly helpful in answering my questions. I’ll be living in a modest-sized apartment just a little ways away from the city center. I’ll have a supermarket nearby, and I’ll probably be walking or riding my bicycle most of the time. I was happy to find out that my rent will only be ¥35,000, which is roughly $310. I also found out that I’ll mostly be teaching at local Junior High Schools, though I'll also get to visit a couple of Elementary Schools once in a while. I’m looking forward to finding out more about my new city in person!
Recently, most of my time has been spent selling my possessions in order to have enough funds to start a new life in Japan. Before leaving my job at Kenton Animal Hospital, where I worked for the past few months, I had hoped that upon leaving I would have plenty of time to study Japanese. Although I've found some time for studying, I've ended up focusing more on some bigger picture stuff. For example, I've taken the time to meditate more, to reexamine my goals in life, eat healthier, spend time with my husband, skype with my family, and pare down my possessions. I was definitely in need of regrooving, so that's what I've taken the time to do. I hope that by doing so I can be the best teacher, cultural ambassador, co-worker, and friend that I can possibly be.
It is with great delight that I announce that I’m moving to Japan at the end of next month. I recently found out that I have been chosen to work as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) through the JET Program and will be moving to a small city called Minamata in Kumamoto Prefecture. For better reference, Minamata is located in the Southern island of Kyushu, but I will write more on my specific placement later.
It has been a dream of mine to participate in the JET Program ever since I found out about it almost thirteen years ago. This is why, even though the application process requires patience, perseverance, and emotional endurance, I had no choice but to give it a try. I should also point out that since I first felt the desire to participate in the JET Program I have changed and grown quite a bit. Both my personal and professional goals have morphed, but when I searched inside myself, I realized that the desire was still very much there, which helped me take the plunge. Thankfully, the stars aligned to make this little dream come true.
Now that it’s really happening, it feels somewhat surreal. As we get closer to the departure date, I have to admit that my emotional life has gained some complexity, especially since I will be separated from my husband for at least four months. Yet, all things considered, I’m genuinely excited to help teach English and to promote intercultural understanding in Japan. I’m about to start my preparations, which will include fundraising, selling many of my possessions, and figuring out what to pack. I’ve decided to use this blog to document this new chapter of my life’s journey, so stay tuned for further updates.