Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Protestors Leaving Bangkok Airport!

So I have been a bit worried the last few days that my Thailand trip was going to have to be cancelled because of the protest at the Bangkok airports. A lot of progress was made today, and the Prime Minister was forced out of office and the protestors have said they will leave the airport on Wednesday. I'm soooo happy and glad that it won't ruin my Christmas plans. I'm sad I won't be at home with my family, but I would have been even more sad if I had to change my plans to volunteer and travel in December and January! So, it looks like the plan is still on! I will be volunteering at Baan Unrak (House of Joy) Children's Home from December 21-December 28 and then traveling until the 10th of January.

You can read about Baan Unrak here: www.baanunrak.org/

You can see pictures of my most recent trip to Nikko (North of Tokyo) here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jans0176/sets/72157610493813636/

In other news, I am still loving my adult conversation class. I have been going out for coffee with them each week after class as well, and one of them invited me to a Christmas Party with some friends next week.

I have been trying to study Japanese a lot this week...I feel like I am not moving very quickly. But I have started to try using it more in every day life. It's easy to just not ask questions and not say anything...as it's what I have been doing for a few months now. So I am working on using Japanese whenever I can...using it is the only way I'll get better, right?! I tell my students that, so I am trying to do the same thing. We'll see how it works out.

I am also starting/joining a Spanish conversation club. Me and another teacher here thought it would be a good thing to get together once a month to practice speaking Spanish, so we don't lose our speaking abilities while we are here. I'm looking forward to it, although a little nervous that I've gone rusty. But, we're all in the same boat, so it will be nice to have somewhere to practice. This starts next week! Que Bueno!

My car is officially registered with a "Fuji-san" number. I guess recently the prefecture starting giving out license plates for the Fuji area. Previously, everyone in this area had license plates from Numazu, the nearest bigger city. So apparently it is a big deal to have a Fuji-san number and more than a few people have commented on it....never knew a license plate could be so exciting :) Still working on getting a picture of me in my car, Nicole. I usually drive it at night when I am with other people and it would be difficult to take a picture of myself in the car :D It's a sight to see however when you cram 4 people into the car! The trunk is bigger than the backseat...doesn't make a lot of sense! Having a car has really helped me to settle in. I don't have to worry about spending hours biking and walking each day and am able to get groceries at the larger grocery store, and buy things for my apartment (like big trash cans! I only had little tiny bathroom sized ones before!) and not have to worry about rain!

Mount Fuji has be beautiful lately. The snow on top is here to stay, and it's interesting to see each day whether there is more or less snow. Also, I can see it almost every day now, as opposed to the once every two weeks during the summer time cloudiness.

The cold weather is setting in. I am running heaters most of the time when I am at home now. But I am also a bit of a baby I think. I freeze at school though, I need to invest in some long underwear but Uniqlo was out of XL's when I was there the other day. Molly suggested hitting up the men's section, so I'll have to go look there soon! I bought a long sleeved undershirt there the other day though (XL of course) and the sleeves only go halfway between my wrist and elbow. Maybe the men's undershirts will fit better...but I have a feeling the sleeves will still be short!

All of the students I tutored for their English Proficiency Test passed! I'm proud of them! Now, I'm just waiting to hear about my last student. I worked with her for almost a month, so I really hope that she passed her interview questions for getting into college. There's so much pressure here and she worked with me every day all for 2 interview questions "What is your city like?" and "How close do you live to Mt. Fuji?" (but she didn't know the questions before going). That's a lot of work for two questions. I'm crossing my fingers for her!

I hope all is well in Minnesota. Keep enjoying the central heat for me!

No comments: