April Updates

Has it really only been a month since my last post? It feels like so much longer! So much has happened that I don’t even know where to start.

Just like March, April passed by in a whirlwind of activity – outside of school, anyway. Although the school year had officially started, the remainder of the first week was filled with student orientations and meetings, so I got to sit at my desk and read eBooks “do work.” The second week was much the same with students having their first real classes and getting syllabi, although I did give my new self-intro lesson to the new batch of 1nensei!

Around this time, the cherry trees started to bud, and then blossom. They were every bit as beautiful as I imagined (if not more beautiful)! I also got to fulfill Japan Bucket List Item #4 – Hanami in Honjo Park – but there’ll be more about that in my cherry blossom-dedicated post in the near future. :)

Our city had the Spring Sports Tournament on Easter Saturday (although there is no such thing as Easter here – not an egg or a bunny to be found anywhere!) and I spent the day driving to a city gymnasium and cheering on the volleyball team, eating ice cream, and then hanging around at school. It was a really fun day! Plus, because we “worked” on the Saturday, school was closed on Easter Monday as a replacement holiday. Then it was Tuesday, and then my mom and brother arrived in Akita on Wednesday!

To say I was excited to see (part of) my family after nine months apart would be an understatement! Mom and Bro stayed with me at my apartment for a few days. They got to meet the other city ALTs over hanami and a tonkatsu supper, see my city, visit my junior high school, and see how my life is over here in Japan. It was a tight squeeze fitting three of us in my tiny apartment (apparently Skype makes it look much bigger than it actually is!), but we made it work for three wonderful days and nights.

On Saturday, we embarked upon our Japan Trip 2014. Over an epic 13 days, we visited nine different prefectures and saw so many iconic Japanese places! It made me really happy to be able to share that experience with Mom and Bro, even though Bro didn’t know where he was half of the time. :) This blurb doesn’t do our trip justice, so one of these days I’m going to have to sit down and write a proper blog post on it. However, I can say with confidence that Japan Trip 2014 is my favourite trip of all time (it even beats my Arashi-Tokyo trip last December, and that’s saying something)!

Unfortunately, my vacation is over and I’m back at school now. I’ve been really sad since Mom and Bro left. I got used to having them around and Japan feels lonely now without them. It was nice to be able to ignore reality, too, like the fact that I need to buy new car tires, or that I need to contact my apartment building management about the bird’s nest on my electricity meter outside my front door, or that I am no longer living out of hotels and thus have to make my own bed/clean the bathroom/go to the grocery store, etc… Plus, my workload at school is increasing, even though I don’t have a fixed class schedule yet. And I still don’t feel like I fit in with all of the new teachers, especially not after being away from the Teachers’ Room Dynamic for two whole weeks.

It’s been a sad weekend filled with listening to Adele (on full blast) and building my newly-purchased Nitori furniture, but I’m hoping that my mood picks up again soon. I don’t want to spend my time in Japan wishing I were back in Canada and then get back to Canada only to regret the time I wasted feeling sad in Japan.

That being said, I’m already planning my flight home for Christmas. I can’t wait to go homeeeee. (Seven months and six days, but who’s counting?)

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