Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marathons, International Festivals and Earthquakes

I've been extra busy this week working on the committee I am on for It Takes Two. Every free moment at work was spent working on it and a lot of hours on my day off on Wednesday (go Japanese holidays!) and the weekend too. BUT there were a few fun highlights this week. We had our school marathon. All the students in the school have to run in the marathon, which is really about 3.5 miles (5.5 Km) for girls and about 5 miles (8 Km) for boys. Everyone has to run it and they get cards as they finish. The top 30 boys and girls got cups, the top 10 medals, and the winner a trophy. It was kind of fun to see and felt like one big track meet. First the girls run, then the boys, two separate races. Some ALTs run in their school's marathon, but they didn't ask me to, and I wasn't dissapointed by that, so I didn't ask to run either! Here's a few photos from the marathon. The poor person in back is followed with a bike that says "last" ... poor kids! The top picture is the girls starting out and the one below is the boy winner, crossing the finish line.

Also this week, I went to an international festival. They had food from all over the world (I came too late for the tacos, I was dissapointed!) and had a bunch of different Japanese cultural things to try: bonsai, tea ceremony, calligraphy, kimonos, flower arrangement, origami. I did calligraphy (see photo) and the guy pounding the mochi (pounded rice...makes a sort of fluffy ball that looks like marshmallow, but doesn't taste like it!!) is one of the guys in charge at the community center where I teach adult conversation (eikaiwa). It was a nice afternoon!

Finally, tonight I was on the phone with my mom when I heard my windows rattle. I just thought it was the wind for a second because it's been windy the last few days until I realized my bookshelf and the chair I was leaning against was shaking! I jumped outta my kotatsu table and ran to my doorway (maybe a little too frantically in retrospect) and then it stopped. It probably lasted 5 seconds, but it was enough to make my heart start beating fast!! That was the first earthquake that I have noticed and realized that's what it was while it was happening. I guess Fujinomiya got the most of it. Check it out: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/.

The weather her has also been super nice the past few days, which apparently puts us at risk for a mudslide. Mother nature apparently isn't on my side. But I'm not too worried for the moment. If you're feeling into news today, you can check it out at: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090215a1.html.

Alright. That's all for tonight. My schedule got thrown off this weekend when I was staying up late and sleeping in and today I took a nap from 5-8 pm after the exhaustion of only a few hours of sleep last night. So now I am up late again and the cycle will probably continue all week long! No more naps for me!

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