Pre-Departure Orientation; Day 3

So with all the official Pre-Departure Orientation done, we had one more event in store for us. Having signed up to go to the AJET UK Q&A session, we made our way to Baker street, running into our good friend Sherlock homes. I had actually never been to baker street before, and perhaps if I didn’t have to drag my suitcase around with me for the third day in the row, I would have spent a little more time lingering and looking around.

The Q&A was held in a lovely venue, and the various talks were more than interesting and really gave me a good insight not only into JET life but into what happens after. Everyone was wonderful and the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement.

IMG_0102

Tea and Biscuits in London

By the afternoon it was down to just me and Hannah, and thanks to my horrid lack of distance perception, we ended up walking much further than I had preciously calculated to get to the motherland of Japanese food; Wasabi.

IMG_0050

Enough food there Naomi??

For those of you who have been to Wasabi before, I’m sure you will agree, that as far as Japanese food goes in Britain, it’s pretty damn good. The race for a table began as soon as we entered, standing like hawks with our suitcases, waiting to pounce on anyone that left their table unattended. Twice we were outsmarted, but in the end we succeeded. God, the food was worth it though!!

We spent out day getting roped into spending too much money by a man who oozed charisma, like truly, it seemed from his pores, and melting in the sun! I also bought a great book called Strange weather in Tokyo, which I really enjoyed. Maybe I should do a review on it? What do you guys think?

We arrived back In Swansea around midnight and thankfully my bro came and picked us up, bringing us back to my place to crash.

Such a busy three days, but honestly, it was amazing!

IMG_0025

This girl though

Pre-Departure Orientation; Day 2

Day two started of with the disappointment that was breakfast. Having been denied the treat of veggie sausages that I craved due to it not being included in the package, I settled on some cereal and rather unsavory pastries. We sat grumbling like old grannies about the masses of young kids around us, all here on a summer language program (or so we assumed) and making such a mess with their cereal one had to wonder if they were not animals after all.

Suited up once more, I walked the long way to the Japanese class, petrified I had over estimated my skills with ticking the “Advanced” option when asked. With a pleasant shock however, I fount that this was not to be the case! It was a long day, with much sitting around and introducing myself around four times, but the teacher was fun and I got to meet some more people. So from around 9 am util 4:30 pm, we sat and studied, oiling up all our rusty Japanese.

The day didn’t end here though, and a late taxi and sub ride later, me and Hannah found ourselves changing out of our suits and into pretty dresses in an underground bathroom. The dank and dreary walls surrounding us far contrasted out newly adorned attire. So armed with our new glamour we made our way to the embassy, finding ourselves being greeted by, who we liked to call, charming Tom.

To my utter surprise, the first person I saw upon entering the reception room was my Japanese teacher! It was so lovely to see her! The speeches were amazing, the sushi was amazing and the people even more so. I am so grateful to have had that wonderful experience at the embassy and I’m sure I will remember it for the longest time. Especially since I got humorously complimented by the most wonderful and sassy Japanese lady, (who I’m sure all my fellow London Orientation attendees will know who I’m talking about and agree).

It soon moved down the pub, the officials and JETs alike having a drink or two. Me, Hannah and Rebecca ended our night on a high, going all the way to China down for some delicious dumplings before heading back to our hotel, crashing out as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

Successful day I think.

IMG_0032

Down town in China Town

 

Pre-Departure Orientation; Day #1

So since my house is haunted and I can’t sleep, why don’t I write this horrendously late status about the London Pre-Departure Orientation day 1!

So, since JET didn’t book accommodation for the evening before (a fact that deeply confuses me, even to this day), me and a handful of others from the lovely land of Wales, took the mega-bus to London. A grueling four hour journey made better by the company and copious amounts of welsh-cakes my mamgu( welsh word for grandmother) made for us.

Rhian, Rebecca, Me and Hannah

Finally arriving in London we spent hours on the tube, arriving at our travel lodge just before out souls were sucked from our body completely. The evening was then spent meeting new amazing JETs (many of these my fellow Nagasaki goers) and drinking beer. It also included stealing tea and milk from the caddy outside out door, courtesy of the rebellious H.Thomas, a fellow Welsh JET. So, with the knowledge that we would have to wake at 6:30 am the next morning in our heads, we all went to bed.

——

tumblr_n9f2h7bUqp1tcjakao1_1280

Adding a bit of spice to my life

I had honestly never felt so professional as sitting in a suit, especially since I had been healthy had bought apples and water from breakfast ( tesco meal deal is your friend). There is nothing, however, that can ease the horrible gut wrenching feeling you get when someone checks over your documents, knowing if there is but one mistake you would be kicked off. Waiting in the wrong que or 10 minutes didn’t help either, even if I did make some wonderful friends. By around 10 am we were all ready to go, seated in a lecture hall looking bad ass and professional.

By the time 7:00 rolled around we had finally finished out ‘work’ day and were free to roam around! With out head full of knowledge and the mass of names we had collected from all the friends we made, we were really in the need for some food. The evening ended with chilling with some pretty cool people also going to Kyushu! and having a nice drink.

All in all, absolutely cracking day!

Flight Information!!

Flying with British Airways! I’ve heard they have good luggage allowance so I’m really happy with that. My flight is at 13:30 on the 2nd August and arriving in Japan at 9:10 on the 3rd. I’m glad I get the day In Japan but It means I have to be in Heathrow by 10:30am, which is a good ol’ trek from Wales! So excited now and with the Orientation the day after tomorrow (although I’m going to London tomorrow ready) it’s all starting to feel real.

rout

Rout

Nagasaki-Shi it is then

With just 26 days to go I finally know of all my information regarding my placement. After weeks of waiting impatiently I wake up one lovely morning at 6:20 am, finding it hard to drag myself out for my 5 mile walk; until I glance down at my phone that is. With a lazy hand and sleepy eyes I reach over for my i-phone and check my e-mails on habit, expecting nothing more the general spam from the likes of etsy and amazon I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover more not one or two, but Three of four e-mails from the BOE of Nagasaki along my with my various predecessors. And just like that I jumped up with the energy of a hundred wound up toys as I scanned through the library of information before me. I was so overwhelmed I missed out on a bunch of information the first time I read it so It’s a good thing my excitement had me reading them over and over for the rest of the day. So as you can guess from the title of this post I’m going to be living in the southern part of Nagasaki-shi and I could not be more excited! With a population of 430,000 people crammed into 406.35 km2  Nagasaki promises to not only be rich in history and diverse culture but also to be a very exciting place! With the Dutch and Chinese influences Nagasaki surely will be an exciting and interesting place to live and yet rather peaceful as it has been described to be a glorified town.

For blog

Map of Nagasaki City

Nagasaki-shi

Thank you Google maps

I did have a surprise coming my way, however, in the news that I would be teaching at 2 Junior High Schools and 2 Elementary schools. At first I was a little unsure on how to react since I had been looking forward – if not a little daunted- by the thought of teaching in Senior High schools but ultimately I am really happy with the schools I will be in! One of them will be up a mountain, from which I will have a wonderful view and with all my schools being around 40 minutes away walking distance at the most I have the option of taking a nice walk to school or catching the tram (an option which I am most definitely looking forward too). Near two of my schools there is also an orphanage so I will be teaching a lot of orphans who attend them and I think it may be a sad and yet very rewarding experience so I am particularly looking forward to that.

unnamed

View from one of my Elementary schools

I’ve been really lucky with my apartment predecessor and she’s been absolutely wonderful with giving me pictures and sending me a list of things to buy from her ready for when I get there. I have to admit at the start I was a little disappointed with my apartment for a few reasons but on reflection I think I was just getting a little scared and overwhelmed and all of my anxiety and fear attached itself onto this one thing like a parasite, sucking all of the fun and excitement from me. Good thing I had people around me to laugh and tell me lovingly that I’m a fucking idiot. Being 2.5 hrs away from Fukuoka and 3.5hrs away from Kumamoto I am defiantly going to be visiting these two prefectures, especially since Fukuoka was my first choice and Kumamoto was my second! I also have loads of friends back from my year at Kitakyushu university in and around Fukuoka so I’m hoping to visit them often! (Especially since I found out there there is an owl cafe just opened in Hakata, Fukuoka) Let me leave you with some photo’s of places I have been recommended to visit by one of my wonderful predecessors.

4412_01

Nightscape from Mount Inasa

peace_park___nagasaki_japan

Peace Park

peace_park_nagasaki_japan_photo

Peace Park

Nagasaki-Suwa-Shrine-1558

Suwa Shrine

June_26_2009_12_04_2074208646

Penguin Aquarium

Got some of my pictures from Google and here:

http://www.globeimages.net/img-peace-park-nagasaki-japan-photo-5105.htm