August 20th!

I got my ticket!

There was a slight problem as my host district told me to come into Misawa Airport but there was no flight that I could take there. However, I am now scheduled to arrive into Aomori Airport. It’s only a 13 and a half hour flight! I also have to find some way to get to Haneda airport by myself with a limo bus. I’ll be with a group of exchange students but I’m not sure who yet. I am really mad though, because the ticket costs $700 more than what the travel agency originally told me and it is due on Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll be able to get all the money. So much for spending money…

Itinerary

20 AUG 10

Leave Albany 10:10 AM
Arrive Washington Dulles 11:39 AM
Leave Washington Dulles 12:57 PM

21 AUG 10

Arrive Tokyo Narita 3:30 PM
Leave Tokyo Haneda 7:45 PM
Arrive Aomori 9:00PM

Good bye Albany!

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Less than a month

It was almost exactly a year ago that I first contacted my rotary club, last July. Now I will be leaving in less than a month. What a year this has been! Everyday is so stressful as I prepare to leave America and set out for Japan. I still can’t imagine how I will feel as I board the airplane and not see my family for the whole year. Sure, boarding school in California was tough, but at least I came home for Christmas. This year there will be no breaks, just Japanese all the way. It’s better like that and makes it even more worthwhile.
Anyways, my job at the Fire dept. has been great so far. It’s not quite as busy as last year, but the guys there all always really nice. I’m still waiting to help put out a fire!
I’ve received a lot of help recently from members of my community. I am so grateful to them, there’s no way I’d be able to pull off all the money without having to go into debt! I’ll be sure to send out postcards to all of them. 🙂

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6 more weeks!

I figured it’s about time I added a new post. I was going to wait until my friend made me a blog, but it seems that won’t be for a while. Anyway, I have lot’s of news.

First, I had a great time at the district orientation back in May. I spent the weekend at Camp Chingagook in Lake George. I met lovely outbounds (many to France and Brazil) and awesome inbounds (from Brazil, Romania, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, Indonesia and Russia). We did a lot of fun activities (rock climbing, canoeing, rope course, etc) and made lots of friends. There were a few lectures, but all very interesting to hear.

As I arrived, I met Mr. Dwyer, our district exchange chair, and he handed me my host family and city information. I only had about 5 minutes to look at it before my parent drove away to spent their weekend at the Green cottage. As soon as I got home, I looked up as much information as I could about my host city and school.

I will be living in Hachinohe in Aomori-ken. It is right on the north-eastern coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. It has around 240,000 people and is a fishing city. So that means a lot of fish for me! Specialties include cuttlefish and scallops. Yum! The climate is pretty similar to that of Albany, so I won’t be missing out on snow!

I will be staying with the Tajima family. I sent them a fax, as they don’t have e-mail, but they have yet to respond. I don’t know if my Japanese is too terrible to understand or if they never got it (probably the second).

My school! Check it out if you know any Japanese. It is a private Catholic school called St. Ursula. It used to be all girls, but added boys a few years ago. So it is still like 90% girls. It is pretty small and they specialize in music and English. The uniforms look pretty nice. They have exchange students pretty often and classes for me. I probably won’t stand out at all (being half Japanese)!

Another piece of news is that I got my Rotary blazer! It fits me perfectly and the best part is that it traveled to New Zealand back in 1981! I owe my gratitude to my Aunt Megan and my grandparents for allowing me to use this blazer! Now I need to design some pins and business cards before I leave. I’ll also be sending out a letter to my relatives and friends, but that comes later.

I’ll add any news if I get a reply from my host family. My Japanese studies aren’t going as well as I’d like, but with some intense cramming, I hopefully will be able to be conversational before I leave. Just 6 more weeks! I start work tomorrow so that will keep me busy.

All the best!
Katie

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Aomori 青森!

    On Sunday, I got an e-mail from Rotary saying I was assigned to D2830 in the Aomori prefecture! For those of you who don’t know where that is, it is the northernmost prefecture in Honshu, and just south of Hokkaido. The climate is about the same as it is in New York, maybe a little warmer.
    I expected to get this way later, so I am very excited! I still don’t know the exact city I’ll be in, but knowing this makes everything feel way more real, like I’m really going this year.

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Japan!

Found out on the 29th, my last full day in Austria, that I was headed for Japan! Japan was my first choice out of Taiwan, Switzerland and Japan. Japanese will be tough, as I have less knowledge of the language than Chinese and German, but I will determine this new year to study very diligently.

I’ll fix this website later.

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