Weekend Update

[Taylor]

Within our first five minutes in Noheji, a few months back, we met an older man at a local grocery store who spoke fluent English.  Over the weeks and months that followed we would occasionally see him around town and our conversations usually ended up with one of us saying, “We should eat dinner together sometime!”  On Friday, we finally invited him over.  As we ate sushi and mobudofu, we talked about his sibling who lives in the states, work, music, Christmas, and karaoke.  It was a great time.

On Saturday morning we went to Aomori City to watch my high school’s basketball club compete against some other teams in the region.  In the afternoon we returned to Noheji and explored Atago Park for the first time.  Here are some photos:

That vague rectangular shape on the horizon is actually Mutsu Bay, part of the Pacific Ocean.

That vague rectangular shape on the horizon is actually Mutsu Bay, part of the Pacific Ocean.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

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During the evening we accepted an invitation to attend a zazen meditation ceremony at a nearby temple.  After two twenty minute sessions of staring two meters in front of us, trying to think about nothing and wondering how exactly to keep one’s eyes half-closed, we ate an enormous dinner with some other ALTs and some local members of the community who attend an English Club in the town.  Once we finished dinner it was off to karaoke.

On Sunday we ate lunch with one of Julie’s coworkers.  When Julie visits one particular school in Noheji, this person stops by to help translate.  We had a wonderful time with her, her awesome husband, and their adorable four children in the afternoon.  After eating a feast we won’t soon forget, Julie and I played Othello, Mario Galaxy, and a puzzle game with their kids.

In the late afternoon I made an appearance at Go Club.  I didn’t have time to play any games so I just watched the other people finish up their matches.  Although I was only there for less than half the time I normally am, I still learned a lot.

Speaking of Go Club, on Sunday evening we ate dinner with a person we first met in September in Noheji.  When I went to Go Club for the first time, the librarian who worked next to the community center called her over to help translate for us.  With her help I introduced myself to the members of the Noheji Go Club and I’ve been going just about every week ever since.  It was good to catch up with her.

The coming week is looking like a busy one.  I have to edit a video my seniors filmed that I will be sending to a high school in Oregon as part of an intercultural/bilingual communication project.  On Thursday and Friday we’ll be attending a mid-year seminar with all the other ALTs in the prefecture in Aomori City.

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2 Responses to “Weekend Update”

  1. adventureben Says:

    That’s cool that you were able to have a guest! I had some guests over about a month ago, but I wasn’t much of a host. In fact, it was more of a “let’s go over to Ben’s house and teach him how to cook” deal.

    The idea is still kind of beyond me. I guess it’s a little easier with two people looking after the house instead of just one.

    Thanks for the kanji comment on my blog. Usually, my advancement in kanji means that the bunpo is killing me. I go to it whenever grammar becomes frustrating, which is… all the time. So needless to say, I’m still a very poor speaker, and 95% of all conversation still goes right over my head. But I guess all those video games when I grew up made me enjoy visual things very much.

  2. RyanMcGruffthecrimedawg Says:

    “After two twenty minute sessions of staring two meters in front of us, trying to think about nothing and wondering how exactly to keep one’s eyes half-closed, we ate an enormous dinner with some other ALTs and some local members of the community who attend an English Club in the town.”… ataboy J&T…

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