Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Leaving Japan today

I will be departing Narita Airport today with a group of 20 students. We are going to the University of California, Riverside for a two-week program. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Niigata City

I went to Niigata on Saturday for a PTA meeting and was able to meet the parents of ten students. I was also fortunate to see Ayaka, a former student who brought her son Yuzuki-kun to the hotel--he is running now and has also started speaking. He's growing really fast!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back in Japan

I arrived back in Japan today and probably this was my last Japan Airlines flight from Brazil. JAL has decided to close their office in São Paulo and their last São Paulo--Narita flight is going to be in September. Really sad considering the number of Japanese people that live in Brazil and also the history between the two countries.

The photo was taken one morning when the temperature on the farm went down to 2 degrees centigrade. You can imagine how I felt today when I arrived at Narita Airport....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I'm going to be in Brazil until August 23 and won't be able to update my blog very often.
I wish you all in Japan a great summer vacation!

A nice surprise

Today an orchid bloomed in my office. It is hard to believe because the vase has been there for a long time and it's been really hot in the office. When I'm away, I'm sure the temperature inside the room is really really high and orchids like this one don't bloom in the summer in Japan--at least not in my experience. However, despite all the suffering that this orchid went through, it surprised me today. I'm only sad that I won't be able to enjoy it as I'll be going to Brazil soon.

English for High School Students

The special course "English for High School Students" ended yesterday. Approximately 85 students came to the Togane campus four days to improve their communication skills in English. They had five classes a day and we ended the program with a certificate ceremony and a farewell party.

Fukuoka & Matsuyama

I didn't have time to upload this over the weekend.... I went to Fukuoka on Thursday to visit a high school and then flew from there to Matsuyama on Friday in order to attend the PTA meeting on Saturday. I took the photo of the jet one minute before boarding... It looked quite scary, but it was actually a very good 30-minute flight. Meeting with parents all over Japan is always a great opportunity to learn more about the students and more ways of helping them get good jobs or deal with whatever problems they might be having.

A guest

On Monday a high school student from Koriyama came visit us. I met her at her school last month and invited her to come meet our students at JIU. I was very glad she decided to come despite this terrible heat. She met two of my former students who are from the same high school. Akiko is already working as a Japanese teacher and Yukie is in graduate school. It was really nice having her on campus.

Preparations for the Program in the US

The 25 students who will be participating in the 国際交流研修:アメリカ西海岸 (UCR) have been preparing for the program. We have met more than ten times now and have made decisions on the origami we'll be teaching, on the songs, and on who is going to be doing what. We have also discussed some problems they might encounter and ways to deal with them or avoid them. We'll be meeting today and then only on August 30, one day before departure.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Dinner at Yutaka

We didn't plan this, but Tsukasa, Ryutaro, Ryo and Mina joined me for dinner at Yutaka tonight.


今日は初めて市山先生と食事できて楽しい時間でした。夢が叶いました!ありがとうございました!これからは飯◯先生のOfficeじゃなくて市山先生のOfficeにお茶しに行きます! Ryo

私も今日初めてゆたかでご飯をごちそうになりました。ゆたかのご飯はどれもおいしかったんですが特に!杏仁豆腐にはびっくりしました!!こんな杏仁豆腐は初めて!味はもちろんおいしいです!!どんな杏仁豆腐か気になる人は是非ゆたかに行ってみてください!笑 Mina