Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009-

Three big firsts for me today! 1) I experienced my first earthquake last night! It woke me up sometime in the middle of the night and I was so groggy that I thought it was merely a nightmare in which the whole room was shaking until I was told this morning that it was real.

2 ) THE TYPHOON’S HERE!!! School was fun today because we were given an early release due to the weather. I had two hours of English and two hours at the fishery, so it was a pretty low-key day. The photo on the right is of the part of the fishery where all the delicious 魚 (fishies) live. It was just before the Typhoon really hit.

I did have to say good-bye to all the Sasayaso people this morning and they presented me with a beautiful Japanese pottery rice bowl to take with me. It has really intricate leaf patterns around the outside with the symbols for home and something else I can’t understand yet. I’ll definitely be going back for a dip in the Onsen sometime soon.

3) That aside I moved into the Sato’s house today. It’s been a strange journey getting here but I’ve had fun the whole time. Mr. Sato (or Otoosan - Dad - as I’m told to call him now) is still in the hospital and won’t be getting out for another 10 days or so. I learned that in fact he did have a heart attack and therefore they’re being extra cautious about bringing him back home. But my host mom's name is Kimi Sato. We spent several hours talking over dinner and I gave her the gifts I had for them. Woah, I have a long way to go in my Japanese, and the fact that neither of them speak any English is a little daunting, but we'll survive! It was comforting to know that she was willing to sit down with a cup of hot green tea and struggle through a conversation like that. I know that they’ll be a kind and understanding host family.

Now allow me a second to describe their “home.” I say that because Dr. Sato is also a dentist, and therefore they live on somewhat of a complex. Their house is half a dentist clinic and half their home. One of their two sons is also part of the clinic, so he has a dayroom building behind the main house but he still lives in Utsunomiya an hour away. It turns out their other son is a doctor living in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The bottom of the day-house, however, is the room that they have given to me! It’s huge, I have a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and large tatami mat bedroom with futon. These two pictures are of my room after I got settled in. It should be very nice.

Ok Beske’s this part is for you! Alisa are you ready for a crazy coincidence? The Sato’s have hosted two boys before, both from Sweden, and one of the two is from…you guessed it, Örebro!! Imagine my host mother's surprise when I described how connected our family was to the city. I think she understood because she kept saying the Japanese equivalent of, “Oh my, is that so? Is that so?” Hah, I was so caught off guard when I walked into their house and there was a rotary flag hanging on the bathroom door reading Örebro, Sweden! Small world, huh?

Well the typhoon is slowing down a little bit and I am ready to try out my new futon, it’s reassuring to have a place to call “home” once again. Plus tomorrow I’m supposed to have a kayak test in my 5th and 6th hour classes so I need to be well rested : ) I’ll dream of typhoons and fish and earthquakes…hmmm sounds just like Japan!

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