Things have been fairly hectic the past week or so. I`ve been engaged in visa, flight and insurance enquiries, numerous talks with Jyoki-san and Kataoka-san, and email-phone call tennis matches with the GAP coordinators, all over the issue of my staying out here longer.
I can happy write however, that I`ve nearly sorted everything out. I`m staying until the end of June, working as a volunteer, although with a different timetable as I will no longer be under the `GAP` organisation come March 25th. From March 1st-9th, I`m more than likely travelling to Tokyo, and I will be staying for a few days with my penfriend`s, Ayako`s, family. From the 9th for a couple of weeks or so I am going to Malaysia travelling with Heather and her two aunts, which should be nice break from the routine care work at the moment.
The work during the week has usually been quite flat, as I`m sure I wrote several months ago as well, though it really comes alive at the special events they hold and in my travels at the weekends. You could probably deduce that from my postings anyway – it`s not often I have much to write about the usual work during the week (but as an exceptional note, we did make a fantastic `Party Ring` of choux – pronounced `shoo` – pastry, fresh cream and strawberries for last week`s GAP program!)
So, aside from my trip to the Immigration Authorities in Kobe last Monday to sort out my visa, most recently on Wednesday I went snowboarding for the first time! I went with a couple of staff – Kondou-san and Matoba-san – to a resort called `Sky Valley`, about two hours drive from Haga-cho in the early morning. It was very expensive for the rental and ski lift (about 47.50 for the lot), but definitely worth every penny – sprained wrist and innumerable aches included ^_^. I began typical beginner style, falling over several times just trying to stand up, before completing my theatrics by crashing into Kondou-san on a virtually flat descending slope. I began to get the hang of the balance and feel of the board as the day wore on, but falling over many, many times. Turning was very difficult, at times even frightening, hurtling down the slope knowing full well an ineluctable fall is approaching and trying desperately to think of the most comfortable way to end it o.O;.
Conversation with the staff was difficult without my dictionary while on the slopes, so I feel grateful for all the effort they put into trying to teach me. It`s very frustrating having been here for a substantial length of time and yet still finding myself unable to engage in casual conversation, but there`s little I can do but have patience. I hope if and when I return to Japan in two year`s time on my University course that I won`t have this problem so much.
I haven`t felt as sore as I have these past two days since the evening after my first Pro Wrestling lesson a couple of years ago. I only ended up attending for a couple of months, not really quitting for any real reason other than that I had an injury and never returned. But yes, I feel like I`ve pulled every muscle in my body, so even getting out of bed has been a challenge lately – not that it`s ever easy when I`m healthy anyway!
That`s pretty much it for this update. I have another month`s work before I start travelling and next to no savings from the money we recieve each week, so I`ll probably have to dig int my bank account a little. I`m still writing letters, slowly. As always, bear with me o.O;.
Take care all.