久しぶりね！That means its been a while hasn't it? It seems like its been forever since I wrote in this thing. Anyways, I will try to give you a short and brief update as to what has been going on over here in the Land of Rising Sun.
Well things have been quite hectic since I began my new job to say the least. However, I have really enjoyed my new job a lot. Its been great. It is actually hard to believe that I have almost been working there 2 months already. In this post I will give you and idea of what my new job is like and some of the mission work I am continuing to try and do.
To start out, I moved from the Tomobe, Kasama area to Mito. Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki. I have found my way around the city pretty well for the most part already even though it is the capital. I am currently employed as an English Teacher for Iitomi Junior High, Elementary, and Kindergarten Schools. Iitomi is actually a fairly smaller more small district of Mito. However, I love it that way because I feel like it is easier to get to know everyone. It is basically like a small little farm town. Every which way you look from the school are farming fields its actually quite amazing. Also, they have way better school lunch than I ever had once in America when I was in school.
All of the new Mito English Teachers
All the farming fields by the school
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I go to Iitomi Junior High. As I mentioned earlier, Iitomi is a really small area of Mito. In a lot of schools in Mito, each grade has about 3 different classrooms worth of grades. My school is 3 different classrooms of 3 different grades. Therefore its actually quite small. In all about 71 students go there. The students are a lot of fun and are your typical junior high kind of kids. To be honest, its as if I am doing vocational youth ministry, and I love it. A couple of weeks ago, our 8th graders went on a cruise to Hokkaido; Japans most north island. It was cool because I got to go send them off and spend a little time on the ship with them before they took off. I also really enjoy working with the staff there, especially the English teacher. Iitomi's old English teacher has been in the hospital for some time and so they brought in a temporary 22 year old to work with me. We have lots of fun together teaching the classes. We have even spent some time together outside of class fishing and hanging out.
The Junior High
The 8th graders heading to Hokkaido
My English Teacher after catching a carp
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work at the Iitomi Elementary School and Kindergarten. I actually only go to the Kindergarten on Tuesday mornings from about 9 in the morning to lunch and spend the rest of Tuesday and all of Thursday at the Elementary School. While working with the junior high kids are a lot of fun, the elementary school is also fun in a different kind of way. We sing lots of English songs and play games with the kids to help them become better at the language. At the junior high, I get to be more like a vocational youth minister and at the elementary school I feel like I get to be a kid again. Each of the schools has amazing things about each of them. They are just amazing in two completely different ways. Also, after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have been joining there after school Brass Band Club. I was never that great in percussion in high school, but I have enjoyed knowing music well enough to help the elementary percussion section with their music on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also, it seems like anytime I run into these kids outside of school or even at school, they think you are a rock star. They always want you to come and talk and hang out with them. They are also awesome in their own way. All in all I am loving my job working with the Iitomi schools.
My Elementary School
My English Classroom
Cleaning Time at the Elementary School
(The Kids Clean the School Themselves,No Janitor)
When I am not working at the school, I am continuing to stay quite busy with doing my mission work still as well. Every second Monday of the month, I continue to go to the Hitachi Christian camp meetings. This last one made up for working about an 18 hour day. However, I really enjoy staying involved in the church and being an associate missionary. Every first week in May, Japan has a week where there are four holidays. This week is known as Golden Week. While we were on our Golden Week vacation, Cassie and I also went to camp and hung out for a day as well. Aside from camp, we had a goodbye party for a girl named Miki. She had to move home to be closer with her family and help them out because she lived in the disaster area from the earthquake and tsunami. Miki has yet become a Christian yet still and so Cassie and I tried to just encourage her and be a good influence on her. One of the ways we did that was by having a good bye party for her and making mexican food. Miki loves Mexican food and so do so that was a great fellowship party we had at my apartment. Last month, Cassie and I also attended Accappella Praise Night at Ibaraki Christian as well. There is a couple of people in the group that our not Christians and so Cassie and I went to have some good praise time and to support them as well. We were supposed to have a Bible Study today with Saki, but she had something come up and had to cancel. Keep continuing to pray for the studies I have with her. Aside from those things, we stay very busy with the church on Sunday mornings and afternoons too. However, by about 3 Cassie and me are normally just shot from going non stop all week and try to spend Sunday nights just relaxing and doing nothing with one another opposed to keeping a 100% busy schedule. Its about the only time we have nothing to do during the week and we enjoy every minute of it. In the next few weeks I will be busy leading worship at Tomobe Church tomorrow, preaching at Tomobe next Sunday, and preaching at the church in Tokyo the week after that. I really do have a plate full.
Everyone at Hitachi Christian Camp
Miki's Goodbye Party
Well thats kind of an update of the things going on with my new job and some of the mission work I have been doing. Aside from those things not much else is going on except things like getting gout my first week on the new job. Besides just going to camp for Golden Week, Cassie and I decided to take a day trip together to the NW prefecture of Tochigi to spend some time for a day at the Twin Ring Motegi. This is actually where Japan has their Indy Japan 300 event. We got to see the race track and lots of cool cars while we were there. Also a couple of weeks ago we got to see the solar eclipse as well and that was quite awesome. You can see a picture of what we saw below.
Cassie and Me as we entered Tochigi
The Race Track Entrance
Solar Eclipse from Japan
Cassie and I also went to one of her Teachers house for
a barbecue on Golden Week
.....And we saw an old friend from OC, Yukari
Well I should probably stop here, we are having a good-bye party for Toru tonight because he gets to go to Oklahoma Christian. I need to get his presents finished so we can present them tonight. If you guys have any questions or want to know anything, hit me up at email@example.com and I will be happy to let you know anything. Also, I will be home in Oklahoma from July 28th, August 8th if any of you would like to meet and catch up and talk more about my adventures here. Have a good day and God Bless You all.
Cassie and I under the Cherry Blossom Tree at Church