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Christmas vacation and getting back into the swing of things

7 months! I have been in Okinawa for 7 months as of January 18th! Wow!

Christmas break was amazing. We celebrated the close of 2009 at work with a Bonenkai, which is a party that most companies throw for their employees to reflect on the year and look forward to the next. We started at an izakaya which is a bar/restaurant and then continued on to a karaoke place where you rent a room and sing all the karaoke you want! It is still a little odd to me how much Okinawans love to karaoke, but it is usually a great time. Ben and I left for America on the 24th and spent Christmas Eve recuperating from our flight and hanging out with my family. We headed to Indiana to visit my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and Grandparents on the 25th and had a delicious Christmas dinner with everyone. We did some shopping (mostly late Christmas gifts!) on the 26th, and then went out downtown to meet up with some friends later on in the night.
Before we knew it, we were on another plane and on our way to North Carolina for Ben's sister, Sarah's wedding! Her wedding was in a beautiful cabin/winery tucked away in the mountains. It was a very personal, romantic wedding and Sarah was a stunning bride! Everything went smoothly and I think was just what Sarah hoped for, from a fun evening wine tasting, to a delicious rehearsal dinner, a beautiful wedding, and drinks/socializing after.
With six of us in a van, Dennis drove us from North Carolina to Highland so we could make it for the New Years Eve party. Ben and I both were able to see a lot of people we care about at the New Years Eve party which was nice because neither of us know for sure when we will be back.
We came back to Okinawa on January 4th and both returned to work the following day. I am finally starting to feel back on track at work with the students and my routine.
Ben left today for Thailand and will be there for 40 days, which means I am going to have a lot of free time in the next month and a half! I am planning on studying Japanese a lot more, I am really close to being able to read Hiragana/Katakana. I am also planning on using Japanese more often, we'll see!
A new teacher has finally arrived, his name is Charley. Charley is from Florida and decided to change his career from a paralegal to a teacher. His fiance is Japanese and lives on mainland Japan. He just got here on Saturday so I still don't know too much about him, except that he loves his protein shakes...(ha). He seems like a nice enough guy though.
Well it's time for bed! I hope everyone had a warm Christmas surrounded by loved ones!


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