Friday, July 24, 2009

In Hokkaido

Tyler and I are on Japan's 2nd largest island located at the top of the country's boundry. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you all in 2 short weeks!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Final Countdown

As of today, Tyler and I officially have 5 more weeks in Japan. I have; rather, the board of education has purchased my flight from Tokyo to Houston and I will purchase my flight from Houston to Albuquerque soon. I will be making my long trip home on Tuesday the 4th. We have to pay for Tyler’s flight so we are waiting until we can get the cheapest fare before we book it. I believe that my last post explains my anxieties about returning so I won’t go into it again but, I will reiterate that as eager as I am to get back to the states, I am equally sad to be leaving.

Five weeks usually seems like a long time to me but I have no doubt that these will fly. Tyler and I have A LOT going on in these remaining weeks.
  1. This week (week 1 we’ll call it) I am preparing a farewell speech to be translated into Japanese. We also have a 4th of July party this Saturday.
  2. Week 2 (5th-11th) holds my last visits to two of my schools.
  3. Week 3 (12th-18th) brings a farewell party and my final visits to my other two schools. It also holds mine and Tyler’s last English conversation class. Fortunately, the week is ended with my last day of work and Ichinohe’s community beer garden.
  4. Week 4 (19th -25th) Is the week that Tyler and I are planning on backpacking around Hokkaido, Japan’s 2nd largest island, to the North of us. Any time that is left will probably be spent maximizing our time with our friends as well.
  5. Week 5 (26th-1st) Is the week that we’ll head to Tokyo. Some of our friends are following us down and we’ll spend a few days sightseeing and going to Tokyo Disney. Then, we’ll depart from Japan on the 4th.
I am realizing that this doesn't include writing thank you letters, shipping, our weekly English conversation class, packing, cleaning, and canceling utilities. Yikes!

I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you all soon. See you in 5 weeks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Geez it's been a while

I will start off this post as I start many of them by saying that I'm sorry for not updating recently. I am usually motivated to update the blog when notable things happen. Over the past month and a half (my last post was near the beginning of March) I didn't feel like anything blog worthy has happened. I was wrong.

Tyler and I are approaching the end of our time in Japan. We are beginning to be reminded of this. We have sent our first big box home filled with winter clothes and goodies that we've purchased while abroad. We also returned our rental car; I've been riding my bike to my schools again and we've been riding the train and getting rides from friends. I have also revealed to 3 of my 4 schools that I am leaving at the end of July. One of the elementary teachers put it into perspective, "You're only at our school 4 more times!?!"

Lately things have been going really well for Tyler and me. Since about March, we've really begun feeling like we live here and not like we are just visiting. Because Tyler and I are without a car and we walk within town, we have met/become reacquainted with many people. It is pleasant to walk to the grocery store and have conversations with people. I can also tell a difference in my student's comfort levels around me. I am not being treated like a visitor at my schools by them or the staff members anymore. The students and teachers make an effort to talk to me between classes and when I see them outside of school. I also feel like I know what I'm doing in the classroom now. Tyler is meeting with friends during the weekdays and she started working at a preschool/kindergarten once a week. Last week, we started an adult English conversation class on Thursday evenings.

Yeah, life is good. But despite the cute students, the hospitable friends, the cheerful townspeople, the gracious teachers, the beautiful scenery, the spectacle that is Japan, and the great times (oh yeah, and melon soda,) we know that we are only meant to be here for a year. As much as we are nervous and sad to be leaving, we are anxious and excited to return home, see our friends and families, and continue along on our path.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April trip to Tokyo

I just finished uploading pictures and writing descriptions from our trip to Tokyo. We took the night bus down on Thurs. the 2nd and returned Monday night (the 6th). Some highlights from the trip include:

  • The weather
  • Sakura (cherry blossom) viewing in Shinjuku and Ueno Parks
  • Shopping in Omotesando (that is where Tyler go her cool new shoes)
  • Sightseeing in Yokohama
  • A night in Roppongi
  • Shopping in Ginza
  • Concert in Chiba
  • A day in Odaiba
  • Meeting one of the bands on the street

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


If you have visited our blog recently you will notice that I have made some changes to it.
  1. You will notice the new color scheme that I am currently in love with. You will see this scheme popping up on a few of my other sites.
  2. You will see that I have moved the picture slide show to the side bar; I think that it looks better, but you will have to click the play button to view the slide show.
  3. I have integrated a twitter feed into the sidebar as well. Twitter is another service similar to a blog but instead of posting lengthy posts/updates, you post short (under 140 characters) updates and you do so more frequently. Here is a link with their rational for signing up (there is a video too). Sign up if you wish but whether you do or don't, you will be able to view my daily activities from my blog.
  4. I have posted new pictures in: Craggily Coastal Photos, Teaching, Karumai Forest Park, and Tendaiji Temple. I hope you enjoy them.
ps. If this post was emailed to you, you can view the actual blog by clicking on the title "tyler anne and dancan" at the top of this and every following mail message.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's a nice day

I think that I'll take the afternoon off and go for a bike ride.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kunio Kato - La Maison en Petits Cubes

This is a video (in two parts) by Kunio Kato. Kunio Kato is a Japanese animator who is the first Asian to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film since the category was initiated in 1932 (