Let me start by saying time is flyyyyyyyying by!! I cannot believe I have been here for practically 4 months!! The weeks go by so fast and the weekends even faster. Ben and I haven't been able to make it off the island again, but instead had two canceled trips! Our first one was canceled due to the Marine Corps: Ben's Marines were having a very busy week/weekend and he wanted to be a good leader and stay with them throughout the weekend. Whatever.
We were still able to spend all day Sunday exploring the northern area of the island, which was a lot of fun. We did some hiking and swimming. We took a ton of pictures, and here is the link:
You should be able to view them even if you don't have a facebook account.
We tried to plan another trip off the island last weekend, but it was canceled partly due to the weather (a typhoon was in the area) and partly due to the Marine Corps, yet again.
My Japanese is coming along at a snail's pace and it takes a lot of discipline to sit down and study. It is too easy to get by with the little Japanese that I know and the little English that most people know...but I am still determined to learn Japanese! Ben leaves for Thailand next weekend, so maybe I will be more motivated to study when he is gone. I do feel motivated to learn Japanese by my need for friends! It is very hard to meet people when you do not speak the same language, so I have still not had much luck making new friends. Of course, I am friends with the staff at FES, but they are all male....which is fine....but it would be nice to have a few girl friends. I get along great with the school's secretary, Maki, but she is planning a traditional Okinawan wedding ceremony and is very, very busy.
School has been busy. I am teaching 2 additional private lessons now and 1 additional outside class at the Naha airport. I really like both of the adults that I started private lessons with, and the lessons at the airport went well this week. I am teaching the air traffic controllers, and they have a lot of personality! These additional classes have made my schedule a little hectic right now, but I am sure after a few weeks I will feel comfortable fitting them in and having less planning time.
We make a pretty big deal out of Halloween at F.E.S. and it has been fun decorating the school with pumpkins and skeletons. The kids love it, because they don't have anything like it in their Japanese schools. Grant (my boss) wants the staff to wear costumes the entire week of Halloween, and even some of the students will come in costumes. I am excited for my students to be able to celebrate such a fun holiday--too bad they won't be able to experience trick-or-treating.
The weather is cooling down and I actually have my A.C. off and my windows open!! It's about 10:30 at night right now, and the temperature is 81 degrees. I am excited to be able to sleep with my windows open.
That's all for now.....send me e-mails!