Kid's Plants

This is the plant that Selah has been tending at school. It is called アサガオ or asagao.

And this is Mixon's. It is called ホウセンカ or hosenka. No idea what it means.


Highly Anticipated Event

Every night, for several nights in a row, she would come to me with kleenex and toothpick in hand and demand that the tooth in question be removed. It was firmly stuck.

Yesterday she came. It was stuck. She insisted.

So I told her to go get it out. It took her a few minutes, but she persisted through the blood and then...やた (yata)!!

Tradition in Japan is that when you lose a bottom tooth, it gets buried under your house. A top tooth is thrown onto the roof.

It appears that the Tooth Fairy isn't used to coming to Japan, so she may be delayed a few days.


夏休み (Natsu yasumi...summer vacation!)

I am officially on my summer vacation. It was a little weird going half-way through July before the summer break, and having started in the middle of April, I am hardly feeling as burnt as I usually do after the school year.

I am officially employed by a company named 'X. 'X' is one of four organizations that provide ALTs to the Nagoya Board of Education. The others are JET, which is a Government organization, Altia and I forgot to remember the other one. This is the first year that 'X' has been in the ALT business. You should never do anything for the first time. My direct supervisor's other job is as a music promoter...I will let you imagine what happens when a music promoter is given responsibility for 30 teachers. In the first week or so, I heard him say 3 or 4 times that the teachers at the schools seem nice, but they are not like us, they are government people and you can't really trust them. Being one of them, I wasn't terribly impressed.

Every other Monday, we have a staff meeting at the 'X' office in downtown Nagoya. At our last meeting, it was suggested that in order to improve our teaching that we should make sure that we don't put our hands in our pockets because Japanese people don't usually do that. It was pointed out that we were hired because we do things differently, we are expected to be different.

It was also suggested that after the summer holidays, in the few days before school starts, we should all go down to the 'X' office and let them know that we are ready to work. The plain answer to that was 'no'. It would cost me close to 2000 yen (20 bucks) to make that journey, when the same could be accomplished with a phone-call.

The boss persisted. We resisted.

The boss looked to his boss. She said ok, but we would prefer if you came down here.

Then they came up with this brilliant idea to have a training session this week. This training session would be 3 hours long, again, at the 'X' office. The training session would not be mandatory. It would not be paid. I had to think about that one for about as long as it took to stop laughing. I have better things to do with my holiday than travel an hour into Nagoya (in the pouring rain as it turns out), sit for three hours listening to someone tell me about how to keep my hands out of my pockets, and not get paid for it. I don't think anyone will be going to the training.

So, I have 6 weeks off...woohoo! Made the most of my day off today by hopping on my bike and going for a nice long, fast ride. Twas glorious!



Amazing Juggling Finale

You Gotta see this!!!


Water Falls

This is Yoro Falls.
We visited this beautiful spot on Canada Day (July 1st).
Whether or not it is actually the fountain of youth...as delcared above...we'll keep you posted.

This is the other water fall I wanted to tell you about. The one from the sky! Can you see the rain? This is the view from our "balcony" during monsoon season. (The opposite side of our apartment looks out on to rice paddies, which are being flooded/filled with this rain) Those of you in Canada may think this looks refreshing and feel the coolness creeping up your arms as you see the heavy rain. But, let me asure you, it is not in the least refreshing! The temperature is hovering around 30 degrees C (and creeping ever higher) and everything is wet and sticky and hot. When I sigh (which is often) I can feel a tingling sensation all the way to my fingertips. Colin says this is my blood reoxygenating because the air is so heavy with water! (I had this sensation here last summer too, and it disappeared in mid-September...about the time the air started drying out a bit)
We are now shifting from monsoon to typhoon season. No "snow days" here. A "typhoon day" gets you a day off school.