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I'm currently teaching English in Japan and traveling when I can. I don't want to forget anything. So, I try to blog. This is my life.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well, Australia was amazing. It exceeded my expectations as far as vacations go for sure! Here's a rough overview of what we did:

Saturday- Shopped at Target (yay!) walked around the town, went down to the Esplanade
Sunday- Went to the beach, shopped a bit, ate Mexican food (yummy!)
Monday-Went sea kayaking (saw a sea turtle, stingrays, random fish, barracudas, among others) Snorkeled a bit, licked a citrus ants butt (it tasted like lime!), fell asleep on the beach. Went to the theater and saw My Sisters Keeper and bawled through the whole movie pretty much, haha. :)
Tuesday- Shopped
Wednesday- Were supposed to go horseback riding/ATV riding through the bush but they forgot to pick us up. So, spur of the moment we decided to go bungee jumping. Jumped twice!! Pretty much the most amazing thing ever! Ate Mexican, again. :)
Thursday- Horseback riding and rode ATVs. Shopped in the Kuranda
Friday- Rented a car (we named her Tawanda!) she was a manual- it was interesting to say the least! Drove up the coast to a different(nicer) beach. Drove up the coast even further to Cape Tribulation and stayed in a hostel there. Saw the most amazing starry night imaginable. It was incredible. If you ever want to see an awesome display of stars, the middle of the rain forest is the place to do it!
Saturday- drove to a private beach - it was beautiful! We were the only people on the beach, which was both peaceful and a bit scary! (There were crocodile warning signs posted all over!) We went on a night walk through the rainforest- saw some really cool trees, a dragon, and some other stuff. Then we went out for the night to the "happening" spot in Cape Trib.
Sunday- Went to the ice cream factory- disappointing! It was not what you would envison an ice cream factory being by any means! We stopped at the WWII bomb site to get our cultural/historical experience in for the trip. Then we hung out on the beach for a while, then drove back down to Cairns.
Monday- Shopped around town
Tuesday- Went snorkeling and scuba diving. We saw a shark, sea turtle, Nemo, and a lot of other really cool looking fish! I went scuba diving and snorkeling twice each- it was amazing!!
Wednesday- Went to the beach and it started to rain. Went to the theater and watched another movie- The Ugly Truth.
Thursday- We rented scooters. It was so much fun! They were both bright yellow. I have decided, should I decide to stay in Japan another year, I am going to buy a scooter! In America, it might be a bit dorky..but here in Japan it's pretty much the norm. We drove our scooters up to the Crystal Cascades. That night we hung out at our hostel and played Trivia with everyone. Our team actually did pretty good!
Friday- We took a train up to the Kuranda. Held a koala, rode on an Army Duck, saw an Aboriginal show, threw a boomerang, watched a guy play the didgeridoo and throw spears, saw kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, cassowaries, dingos and a couple other cool animals. Then we took the skyrail back down- an awesome view!
Saturday- Went to the beach. A festival was beginning in Cairns, so we went to the parade and watched fireworks at night. We also had a mini didgeridoo lesson and got to play them! It's harder than it looks for sure!
Sunday- went to a Baptist church. It was the most awkward church service I have ever been in. There was a guest speaker, and when he went to take an offering at the end, one of the ladies in the back of the church started asking questions and arguing with him! I mean, arguing! Talk about hurting the guys offering! After church we went to the beach to get our last little bit of sun in. We got some Pizza Hut for dinner and packed up all of our stuff.
Monday- Left the hostel, got on a plane, flew to Tokyo, got on a bus, drove through the night, got on the subway, got in a taxi, finally arrived home! Had to work just a couple of hours later.

It was an amazing trip!! That was a very long summary, but..I didn't know how to shorten it. I mean, it is two weeks worth of activities! It was a much needed vacation, but it has been very hard getting back into the swing of things here in Japan. I miss America. I miss English. I miss having a social life outside of work! But, I know that I am here for a reason, and there are 16 beautiful children to remind me of that! These next two weeks are going to be crazy. My kids have to learn two dances for Field Day- dancing is not my expertise! Neither is teaching it, I am sure. But, the kids love it..and I know they will eventually get it. I am looking forward to my friend from college coming in September, and even more so to my mom coming in October! Can't believe it has almost been 7 months since I got here. Time is flying! I miss everyone back home though, that's for sure!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I am leaving in about 5 hours to start the journey to Australia! I can't believe it is actually here. It still doesn't even seem real. We will take a bus to Tokyo (about 5-6 hours), find our way to the subway, head to the airport, get on a plane (about 8 hours) and we will be in Cairns! I am so excited and need a vacation so much right now.

Summer camp and summer school both went pretty well. It was a little overwhelming since I was the only new teacher that didn't really know what was going on. Camp was a blast. I didn't realize how much I actually missed my kids until I saw them all again. I had really missed them! At camp we made three crafts- bottle art, fans, and t-shirts. It was so cute, the kids loved it. Then we made these hats that looked like a campfire. We stuck sticks in the middle of the "flames" and put marshmallows on the ends of the sticks. So the hats looked like we were roasting marshmallows, cute. We wore these hats at night for our real campfire when we sang songs.

We had water play which was so much fun. The kids (okay, I did a little too) got to use finger paint to paint their bodies. I may have started a few "paint your friends" fights. :) For snacks afer water play we made ice cream sundaes. Yummy! Then we had challenges for all of the kids to do (ring toss, walk on stilts, those kinds of games) all over the campus. The kids were in groups and were given maps to follow. It was so cute to see them all stop and look at the map together to figure out where to go next. At the end of the challenges we went on a treasure hunt. The kids had previously made treasure boxes, so we used those to fill up with candy and toys and put them all inside of a big treasure box that we hid.

At night we had the campfire and s'mores, and then we went across the street to watch fireworks. This school goes all out on fireworks for camps. They were awesome! After that the teachers did a skit (Bear Hunt) and then we put all the kids to bed in tents inside of the gym. My kids loved playing in the tents, they thought it was so cool. I ended up sleeping with my girls. I started out in one spot but one of my girls kept rolling over and kicking me, so..I moved. Haha. She thought it was hilarious the next day when I told her that. I definitely didn't sleep very well though. Every little sound was keeping me awake. Some of these kids, this was the first time they had spent the night away from their parents so I was a little worried. They all did so great though. Two of my girls were up at 5:30 so I had to convince them to lay quietly until we were supposed to wake the kids (6:45).

That next morning we had breakfast, watched a video, then played some games in the gym. All in all I think it was a very successful camp and the kids really had fun. So did I, really. I was exhausted at the end, but it really was worth it.

Summer school went well. Just longer days and some special things everyday. It was hard saying goodbye to my kids this time. It will be 21 days until I see them all again. But, at least this time I will be thinking about them while laying on a beach. :)

All of the craziness lately has thrown my back out of whack. I've gone to the chiropractor off and on since I've been in Japan, but lately it was just been really bad. I ended up going two times this week and really should have gone again. I actually went by myself this week, without a translator. My chiropractor actually knew English, who knew! I mean, not a ton, but enough to tell me what to do and to ask me simple questions. I've decided the difference between chiropractors in America and ones here. In America (as is everything else) it's all about speed. You are in, cracked, rubbed a little maybe, and then you are done. It is all so fast and so forceful. Here, however, they are all about slowly moving things back into place. At first, I thought it was weird and unnecessary. I am there for at least a half hour sometimes more, and the entire time he is working on me. I think I am starting to prefer the chiropractor here..less shock to my body, I think.

Anyway, this was a very choppy blog. It is 2:35am and I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. So, I thought I would get stuff about summer camp down before I go to Australia and forget everything around me. I can not wait to relax on the beach. This will probably be the last post until I am back from Cairns and back in the swing of things. Thank the Lord for vacations!!