I've been putting off blogging for two reasons this time:
1. I've actually been busy so I haven't had the time.
2. I've been lazy with my camera so don't have much in the way of photos to show you so I was waiting for other people to post some up on Facebook I could steal, but they are being too slow.
So here goes.
A week and a half ago on Friday, my host family left to go on vacation in Hawaii. I found it ironic that they went to America while I stayed in Japan especially with my homecoming so close. Because of their absence, I tried to fill up my time with stuff that got me out of the apartment which meant I was super social.
The day after they left, I went to Kate's house for a birthday party. We ate really yummy food, played with kittens, cats, and one dog, then lit a bunch of sparklers out in the street. Super fun.
Here's the group gathered for cake. Me, Kerry, Megan, Rachel, and Kate. Kerry and Megan left before we broke out the sparklers sadly.
This is the birthday cake! It says "otanjoubi omedetou Kate" That first part just means Happy Birthday. Japanese people seem to favor strawberry cakes for birthdays. Interesting.
This is one of the kittens investigating a bag of dried mango I'd bought earlier that day. I would have more kitten pictures, but once again I have two reasons that I don't: 1. kittens don't stop moving when you're playing with them so they're hard to get good pictures of and 2. I was far more interested in actually playing with them than snapping photos. This particular kitten is my favorite. They're rescue kittens and are all up for adoption so they don't actually have names. Kate calls him Marumaru and I called him puff ball though. It's sort of the same thing in the end ("marumaru" gives sort of a round image).
No more pictures from here on. Sorry. If I get my hands (digitally speaking) on some, I will do a picture post later on.
The day after Kate's party, my program had a farewell lunch gathering that included host families. Tomo and Hiro came (with Ryo-chan, of course) since my family was in Hawaii. If you don't remember, Tomo is Mami's younger sister, Hiro is Tomo's husband, and Ryo-chan is their baby (he's six months old now! He wasn't even born when I first got here!). That was nice though not terribly exciting. It's our last official gathering as a group, however. In reality, that was probably the last time I will have every seen some of them. I'm not exactly best buddies with everyone in the group.
Then the week of classes started. It could have been worse, but I'm really tired of class already. Thursday was cool though because my Japanese class went on a field trip. This time we went to a disaster training place (not sure what else to call it). We were taught how to correctly use a fire extinguisher, what to do in an earthquake, and how to escape a smoke filled building. All of these came with us actually doing these things (seriously they have an earth quake room that they make shake while you hide under the table). It was pretty cool.
After the field trip, Rachel and I had plans to go to Harajuku, but it was raining that day and so neither of us were actually terribly enthused. Rain sucks.
Friday I was incredibly productive in a boring way. I got a lot of pre-leaving Japan stuff done (my winter clothes have been safely shipped to Knox on a slow boat). Not much to tell really though I was excited to get all that stuff done. That evening I babysat and then the family I work for fed me dinner since they knew I was alone for the week. It was okonomiyaki which is a favorite of mine.
Saturday was the 4th of July. I missed Thanksgiving, Christmas was pretty lame, I was NOT going to miss out on having some fun on the 4th. A bunch of us went to Enoshima for a day at the beach. We were super lucky as the weather was warm and surprisingly clear. I swam, ate hamburgers, then when it got dark we lit sparklers and set off some fireworks! It was so much fun! I hope I can get some pictures from that day at least to show you.
Yesterday (Sunday) I went shopping in Shibuya with Cat and....Connie! Los Alamos Connie! Connie that I hadn't seen since graduation! She's in Japan for an internship so we met up to hang in Shibuya. Cat knew a little shop with really cute (and really cheap) dresses that were nice enough for us to wear to the SILS closing ceremony. We ate at Mos Burger and just had a good time hanging out.
And that's about it. My host family got home around 7PM last night so I'm no longer home alone. Only two more weeks here in Japan.