The new year has almost lost its novelty. Most things are back to normal. Unlike Australia where the school year begins just before February (and uni starts early March), in Japan, kids were back at school on Monday 7th January. Schools here get a 2 to 3 weeks holiday over new year. In Japan, students start school (or move up a grade) in April.
So, after two weeks of work already, English school is back into routine, primary school English classes are going well. It's a down hill run to the end of March when I'll teach the last class for the grade 2 and 6 classes and probably a few students from the English school.
It's Friday, our day off. It's about 10 degrees outside at 1pm. The sun in streaming through the open doors of our apartment facing south (nice mix of cool air and warm sun), but it's quite noisy since it faces Route 2 (which is 8 lanes of traffic). Friday are good days to relax, do the washing, bit of shopping, write emails, catch up on things, plan a little, clean up the house for the weekend and get ready for a restful Sabbath.
Today is pretty much a typical Friday as described above.
I'm getting to know a few of the youth from the church here. Making good friends with them. Some are teachers at the primary school or kindergarten. Some work around town here. My Japanese is quite poor. They don't speak a lot of English either. Despite that, we have a good time. We've gone for onsens, eaten out together, done a bit of shopping, etc. They're good friends. Glad I have the chance to know them.
Also been making some friends at the Hiroshima International Center. Been eating out and will start learning some Japanese from them. I'll share some English with them also. Many (maybe most) Japanese people either know some basic English, would like to learn English, are learning more English, or know English. It's seems like they all would like to know it.
We have English Sabbath School 3 times each month on Saturday mornings. George and I lead out in that. Also, English Church once each month, which either George or I preach at. Friday night vespers programs are also on once a month, where we eat dinner, share a short Christian message, sing and pray.
Tomorrow night we're going ice skating with the English school... mostly kids and parents... it's going to be a lot of fun! Sounds like we might be having a few sports evenings coming up.
Hope to get to the snow for some skiing (which I've never done before) before it starts getting too warm again. Also, would like to visit Shikoku (the smallest of the 4 main islands of Japan, not far at all from Hiroshima). Cherry blossoms should be out in late March, early April, so it'll be a ncie time to look around Hiroshima. Golden week (late April, early May) I'll probably go to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara for about a week as a tourist. And, after 10 August, I hope to see a bit more of Tokyo, northern Honshu (north of Tokyo) and Hokkaido. We have a three week break in August.
But, who knows... haven't decided if I'll stay another year or not. If I finish up, I'll end in August. If not, I'll still be here!
Sabbath Peace to you all.