aaaand....just like that folks, we're already a month in to 2017.
Coming back to Japan this time around felt different. Landing at Narita, buying a drink from the vending machine, reloading my SUICA card, hoping on the train and riding it back to Kita-Kashiwa felt so...normal. I had two days of rest before returning to school, where I was greeted by the all familiar sound of the brass band practicing, the shuffle of students running through the hallways, the coziness of the English office and greeting my coworkers after all our holiday travels. ahhhh, Japan.
It's been fun being back in Japan and gearing up for all that's ahead this year. Here's life back in the motherland...
It was great seeing all the students after the long holiday break. At English Club on Monday we met up and played a few writing games and passed out some candy we brought back from the states. The things they loved the most were: Hot Cheetos and sour patch kids!!
I also attended two awesome January events...one being the mochi fire party out in the countryside. They burn all the new years decorations and use the fire to roast mochi on these insanely giant sticks. So random and awesome. It was freezing out there, but we headed inside to Liane's house after for a warm meal and family time so that was nice! I also went to Tokyo German Villiage, famous for it's Christmas lights, with my friends Mina, Naoya, Steph and Alyssa (visiting from Torrance). The lights were insaneeeeee and the rainbow tunnel was by far my fav.
Last Saturday I taught a class for KIRA (my weekend job) and after the class, the KIRA members who hosted it took me out to lunch like they often do. They know tonkatsu is my favorite Japanese food so they took me to one of the best tonkatsu places in Kashiwa! It was so cute eating lunch with 5 retired folk chatting about travels, my job, the weather in CA, and if I can cook or not. One of the ladies said to me after, "Amie I really like talking to you because my English is not good but you make me feel comfortable." That makes everything worth it folks!!
After teaching my class and enjoying my tonkastu lunch...I headed into Tokyo for the day. Man, it felt good being back in Tokyo and I realized how lucky I was to casually spend a Saturday in the best city in the world! I met up with my friend Nathalie for boba (amazing) and brought along my journal which of course, I didn't get to write in since we spent a few hours just chatting and catching up haha! (as expected when two extorverts meet up). Then, we went to Onistuka tiger so Nathalie could look for shoes but funny enough, I ended up leaving the store as the one who bought shoes!! But actually the best part was seeing my friend Midori who works at Onitsuka. She graduated from Ichikashi and is the sweetest person ever! love her.
Sunday was a fun day back at church. Pastor Kaylor preached on loving and reading the Bible and encouraged us all to make time this year to get into the Word!! amen to that. Then, after service I finally met my good friend Haruka's baby Alan!!!! THIS KID. How cute!?? And we also celebrated my dear friend Meg's birthday with lunch and cake. The chocolate cake was amazing and the funny part was when Meg said, "I am going to be 17 forever" shes so spunky and full of life!
And back at school...
This week the 3rd year (senior) students finish classes. They have the month of Feb off to take college exams (or play around all day haha) before returning in March to graduate. I've taught these kids since last year, so it was sad wrapping things up with them. Steph and I were sure to send them off with some words of advice and take a few photos as well. Here we are with the girls from 3A, the international class who all went to Torrance! They have a special place in my heart.
Here's all of 3A! Let's play a game called...name all of the students off the top of my head READY...GO... Yuyu, Satomi, Hazuki, Erika, Masaki, Momono, Shion, Maki, Masaki, Rio, Saki, Shoma, Kei, Methawat, Sakura, Ryutaro, Ryo, Muhkbaht, Shinya, Aruto, Tatsuaki, Takumi, Kakeru, Ryusei, Asuka, Souichiro, Reza, Yuichiro, and Hayato! Wow!
And here's 3C! Who I can also name..but you get the point. These kids are awesome and I was blessed by each and every one of them.
Thank you Jesus for this adventure!!