Wednesday, June 29, 2011

trash talk

i cant get this tune out of my head.  its a happy little jaunty tune that sounds like it should be coming from an ice cream truck down the street.  i hear it every monday, wednesday and friday while im teaching.  it seriously makes me nuts and today when i heard it, i lost track of what i was teaching the 4th graders sitting in front of me.  it is that distracting.  where does this singy little tune come from you ask?  the garbage truck, thats where.  it really is the damnest thing.  a trash truck that plays happy tunes as it goes about its business of loading our waste into its belly.  some days it makes me really smile to think that the japanese people thought to do such a thing and some days i just want that song out of my head.  today is the latter. 

im not even going to mention the fish truck...oh man.

by the way, this blog officially does not like my videos.  i cant seem to get a single one to upload.  im blogger challenged.  know i have tried though and continue to try...

love and hugs

Monday, June 27, 2011

this one time...

i want to tell you a little story about this one time when i made the right choice.

sooooo... the weather was forecast to be terrible, as in typhoon terrible.  i had made plans to go with some friends from the islands to the mainland for a good-bye party with many of our mainland friends in an attempt to start the inevitable good-bye process.  this would be a one last chance to see those who i had grown closest with on the mainland and have one last good hurrah with them.  i made these plans prior to knowing about the typhoon.  i had also made plans, or rather they had been made for me, to have my debut with my taiko team for the 20th anniversary of our team's existence.  the good-bye party was saturday night and the taiko performance was sunday afternoon.  this meant that i would have to catch an early boat sunday morning in order to make it back in time to perform, for the first time in front of people, with my taiko team.  okay, i can do that, i can make it happen i thought to myself.  no problem.  this was before the typhoon forecast too. 

after i head about the typhoon i started to doubt the possibility of all of this happening as i had planned.  on one hand there was missing the good-byes to consider and on the other hand there was missing my debut with my team to consider.  still on a third hand (i know there is no third hand in life, but just go with it okay!?) there was the typhoon to consider.  we rarely have weather really pan out to what it is forecast to be, so when everyone around me is telling me a big typhoon is coming i tend to not really believe them.  upon investigating it myself i found that they just might be right this time.  just maybe.

i really, really, really wanted to go to say good-bye to my mainland friends.  after all this was kind of the one last time where they would all be there together and a final chance to see many of them.  i wanted to go if there was even a chance i could do it.  i also really, really, really wanted to be able to perform with my team after all of the months (I've been practicing with them for 18 months now) of work and i didn't want to let them down as they were counting on me to be there.  what does a girl do?

i woke up saturday morning early to check the weather and finally decided that it just seemed like it might be too big of a risk to get on a boat because having them canceled on sunday would be devastating for me and my team.  i let my friends know i was going to stay put and sent them off with hugs for everyone i was going to miss.  sniff sniff.  then i had a little pity party for myself and tried to get excited and focused on what i wasn't going to miss.

as saturday wore on the typhoon slowly came on full force.  the rain pounded down and the wind made being outside nearly impossible.  it raged on, as i knew my friends were too on the mainland.  i wished i was there with them, sent my love to them from here and tried to sleep.   i woke up sunday morning to the island intercom man announcing "ohio gozaimasu.  good guess work beth.  all of the ferries for the day are canceled.  no one is getting on or off this island for awhile."  (okay, he didn't really say that, but he did tell us that all of the boats were being held.)  a HUGE sigh of relief.  if i had gone i wouldn't have been able to make it back for my performance.  yesssssss!

sunday was fantastic.  i spent most of the day preparing for the party with my team who thanked me again and again for staying and giving up my party on the mainland to perform with them.  i couldn't believe how much they actually cared.  they repeated this thanks in front of all of the guests later at the party after we had given a really fantastic performance.  the kindness of these people really is just astounding some days.

so there it is.  the time i made the right choice.  not easy, but i just listened to my heart and the weather report and decided i should stay.  what is not so easy right now is dealing with the choice i have made to go come august.  I'm sure this will all work itself out, but for now I've got a lot of goodbyes to get on.

leaving you with some pics of my team practicing last week and from the pre-party last night.  trying to get the video up of our performance last night.  gambarro.

hope life is letting you know you're on the right track too, whatever track that it.  and if you find you're not, take a chance and skip onto the next one. 

love love

ps-sorry about the photos that arent right side round.  i still cant get my computer at school to do as i ask.  appologies for my lack of kanji skills. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

happy solstice!

...annnnnnnnd rainy season is officially upon us here in the goto islands.  i was ready for it this year though.  things are going off without a hitch and my rain boots and umbrellas were ready and waiting for the rain.  here i am walking to an enkai (eating/drinking party) last saturday.  the party was to celebrate the hard workin day we (parents of my students and my coworkers at the jr high and elementary school) had on saturday.  we all took the day to present english lessons to anyone who wanted to come see them and then took the afternoon to play volleyball.  it was indeed the strangest volleyball i have EVER played and no my team didnt win.  i wish i could say i didnt care, but i kinda did.  dang Nohara sensei holdin my team back! ;)

real pics of the day to come. 

hope all is well out there in the world with any of you still reading.  today is the first day of summer and the rain has indeed stopped for the day and the sun in shining down on us here in Goto.  was a lovely thing the solstice is.  makes me happy every year knowing the entire summer is before me and adventures await.  currently i am working on living in the moment here and making all of the 40-some days that i have left living here in japan really count.  i am going to miss this place more than i ever thought was possible, but i am also really looking forward to being back with things that at least used to be familiar.  i leave my lovely island august 3rd and head for south korea to meet my friend becky (its been such a long time!) who is working there for a few days and then travel onto china to meet my fantastical cousin megan (really looking forward to being with family!!) who is living and working there from there i head back to my family's homeland of sweden for a week of exploring and music festivaling (can you say EXCITED!!>>!>!>!??).   then from there i will be reunited with my best friend erin (no words can describe this excitement) in italy who i havent seen now since before i left to come to japan and from italy we will travel back to croatia where she will be working in august.  from croatia i will head back to italy to do a little bit more solo exploring and then finally get on a plane back to japan and from japan i will finally at long last, at the end of the month return to portland.  if you are reading and will be in portland august 30th, get your hugs ready cause im coming for you!!!!

okay, thats my run down for now.  lots going on here, and today i have to keep my head in the teaching game as i still have lots more classes and fun with my students before i say goodbye.  yesterday i had my LAST demonstration class with my 3rd grade elementary students and their homeroom teacher and apparently it went really well and people really enjoyed it.  great!  feels sooooooo nice to have all of that done now.  there are a few more weeks of lessons and then tests here and the summer break will start for kids in japan.  i have packing, good-byes (loads of them...yuuuuck), more packing, giving away, swimming, biking, eating and general enjoying to get done before i go so wish me luck. 

hope to be seeing many of you in the coming months and weeks ahead.  in the meantime take some moment and welcome the summer right today, or tomorrow, whatever day it is where ever you are.

sending lots of love from my little island to yours.  namaste.

more taiko

 another shot of the taiko practice area.  i konw its a small picture, but again it was taken with my keitai.  this is our taiko sensei, masa-san on the right and a few of my team mates on the left.  gambatte, ne?!!


  another not so great shot taken with my keitai, so appologies again, but this is the taiko studio i practice in every week.  we have been hard at it lately especially because we are having a big show this weekend celebrating the 20th anniversary of the taiko team here in Naru.  it will be my official debut and yes, i am very nervous.  another great chance for me to stand out in front of a crowd.  oh how i really hate performing in front of people!  yikes.

horse face slight return

  appologies for the horrible photo, but it is proof enough that i am still alive, eh?  was modeling the skirt i bought in thailand for my coworkers and managed to remember to send it to my blog.  hi!  this photo was taken in the staffroom at my high school by my lovely tea lady (the one who called me horse-face.  remember her?)  she is wonderful.