Saying Goodbye

It has been a crazy week here, getting ready to leave Japan. Goodbye parties, packing parties, cleaning parties etc..

Today I leave Chikugo! I don’t have anything eloquent to say but it’s been a great year, and I’m so glad I was lucky enough to be placed here and meet the people I have.

Goodbye Jutaku!

寂しい!

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Japan and Canada – Cultural Adventures

One of the side goals of the JET programme is ‘grassroots internationalization’, a phrase I have heard so often this year I forgot it wasn’t a thing that people elsewhere said. Regardless of any slang I picked up, interacting with students and the community and teaching them a little about Canada was one of my favourite parts of living in Japan. While I am not sure that they understand what poutine is, or that it’s not cold in Canada all the time, at least they can accurately draw our flag, which is more than I can say for many Canadian students, or me.

I held a quiz this morning and the students could tell me that the most famous sport in Canada was ‘ice hockey’ and that the most famous food was ‘mapalru syrupu’, and that the capital was Ottawa. Of course, they also know that Avirl Lavigne and Justin Bieber are from Canada, and I think that endears them to the country more than I ever could. It was my last class with the second year students, and I am going to miss them a lot.

Teaching here definitely has it’s frustrations and disappointments, but it’s all worth it when a student finally greets you with something other than ‘how are you?’. My favourite new saying this month is “What’s cup Heather? What’s cup?”

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Japanese bucket list

Two months ago, I sat down with my friend Maureen, and started dreaming up a list  of things we wanted to see before we left Japan. There are so many things we wanted to see and experience, we didn’t want to forget any!

Now that we only have two months left, I have been checking my list more and more often to make sure I get it all done!

Things I plan to do this month include: Firefly Festival, planting rice, going to a famous ramen restaurant and an onsen town, and seeing a gigantic buddha statue.

Things I may never be able to cross off – going to Tokyo, Nara, Osaka. I am running out of time and money to see these places, so they will probably be left for a return visit to Japan.

Japan Mind Map

Sure, it’s a little obsessive and anal.
Sure, making lists may take you out of the moment and may make you forget why you wanted to do those things in the first place.

But if feels so good to tick them off!

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Hanami: Partying Japanese Style

In the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom, Japanese people flock en mass to fields with cherry blossom trees, lay down a blanket, bust out the BBQ and enjoy Hanami – or cherry blossom viewing parties.

On Saturday the JET program had a social Hanami party at Kokura castle, in Kitakyushu.

At the bathroom we met some Japanese people who invited us to join their party. Since they had really cute children in Anpanman sweaters and a magician, we couldn’t say no.

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