Hana-chan. She really likes tummy rubs.

Dad, you’d be proud. I’ve caught more fish in Japan than I have in a 2 years of the US!
Granted, they were about 2 inches long, and were caught with a net, but it’s the thought that counts am I right?
Saturday, Kouyo and I walked outside and noticed that the water feed to the rice fields had been cut off, and we ran to the feeding pond to go see if it was still full of water. There was about two feet, and a lot of fish trapped because of the cut off flow!

They were feisty little beggers, and kept jumping out of the container. Kouyo would shout OH NOO OH NOOO in this Japanese accent and it was hilarious.
He also fell in.
AHAHA-I mean DAIJOUBU KOUYO??? [Are you okay??]
Let me follow up with



Okay I’m done.

Sunday was very guuud!

ORIENTATION WAS SO AWFUL.  2 hours of speeches from Japanese Exchange stud
ents who just returned. And the only parts I really understood well were when they were speaking in French FML. [Although it was kind of cool because I kinda zoned out and suddenly was all WAIT WHEN DID I START UNDERSTANDING THIS]

Anyway so introduction time… all the other exchanges students knew we had to make a speech but me! And I had to go second! It was sooo bad. After my awe-inspiring 30 second speech, I scurried off the podium and my host mom was just laughing so hard. I was all mouthing SORRY SORRY SORRY and she just laughed harder. No problem, Mama, I’m happy to be a source of amusement. Later, in thecar, she said EMIRI WA ICHIBAN KAWAII NE [Emily is the cutest no?!] which brought on a bit of a case of warm fuzzies.
After Orientation, we went to hanabi, which any self respecting weeaboo knows are Fireworks. Kouyo dragged me into this Carnival game thing where you get 10 minutes to sort through a large pit of rocks covered in water for a diamond. I cannot say it was overly exciting, but there you go. Cul-ture.

Japanese bus!

Monday, I went to school and went over my schedule with the head of the foreign department. He spoke okay English but was kind of… um… well, let me say that Japanese seem to really like to threaten corporal punishment. At that point, I hadn’t been made to feel bad about my inability to speak great Japanese yet but he managed to do it somehow;;
Although later, he left and came back while I was talking to my hosties about how the American school system was different. He looked kind of and was all ‘Oh! Wait to what extent can you speak Japanese?.’ and seemed to be nicer after tha
t. Odd.

Breakfast for one morning! Onigiri.
Uh, I completely forget what I did on Tuesday.

Wednesday was the first day of school.
You know how in movies, characters who undergo traumatic events experience amnesia?
Then you know why I can’t remember anything about this day…

J-JUST KIDDING… sort of.

Got up in the morning, got help with my new sailor fuku uniform… pictures next week, I promise. Drove to train station, took train into town, took bus from there to school.
Do you know how expensive transportation is here? Definitely a thriving commerce. My bus/train pass for one month is… around 155 dollars. SFKJDSF SOIDJ AHHHH
Fortunately, my club is paying for it.

Yuri and Misaki [Her friend] On the way to school

Anyway, first I had to introduce myself to all the teachers in Japanese. Kinda scary. Then I got lead to my class, and had to introduce myself to the 40 other students there. Kinda scary. They all clamored at once and I heard the words ‘Kawaiii!” like a zillion times [Cute, basically, it’s so overused here.] They didn’t crowd around or ask any questions, but they were receptive to questions and very helpful.

This all sort of pales in comparison to what they just casually sprung on me next.

YO EMIRI… YOU’LL HAVE TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF… IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL…. ON STAGE…. RIGHT NOW … HAVE FUN. Oh, stop looking so scared, it’s just 900 students sitting expectantly in long, impeccable rows, [military style] staring up at you on stage while you try to speak in a language you are mostly unfamiliar with. Please don’t worry about the oft severely hard to spoken understand manners code that I won’t bother to instruct you on for this case! Sheesh, it’s a wonder Americans get
anything done with such wussy youth.

I totally skittered off stage after getting out my short intro, probably did it completely wrong. I try not to think about it. Anyway, now, the entire school knows who I am and I keep getting “HI EMIRI!!” in the halls. It’s all HUH HUH.. um do I know you…?

Anyway, I don’t actually remember this day too well. I did my best to kind of try to talk, and I sort of did, like I feel like I did okay. I could only remember one person’s name by the end of the day, though. Japanese names are wicked hard to remember. And they all kinda looked the same. Literally, half the girls in my class have the same haircut. Or is it three fourths?

Wakayama Trainstaition~ Second stop on the way to school

Anyway, was pretty glad to be done, even though it was only a half day. All day, I’d been so highstrung, one overly enthusiastic twang could have snapped me in half. These people in my class, I will literally spend 7 hours a day, 5 days a week with for 11 months. Messing up the first impression would be like shooting myself in the foot, only more painful.

Now, up till this point, I’d been coasting on the LOOK I’M FINALLY HERE high. But somehow, even though the second day of school went pretty damn fantabulous, and I managed to get friendly with many of my classmates and get myself involved in stuff, my mood just crashed when I’d got home. It’d started veering a little after school, but after my host brother starting throwing a fit it took, a complete nosedive. I think it hit me then how very long I’d be here for and just how far away from everything I was.

This mood persisted into Friday. Students were taking tests and I was trying not to sleep in the international room, keeping myself awake by contemplating how much I didn’t want to be there and just how hard I was going to fail at this exchange thing.
After Math and Japanese exam, I returned to participate in English and things started to look up.
I conversed [By conversed, I mean I spoke haltingly, played charades, and motioned at the dictionary a lot. Much hilarity ensues.] with many of my classmates. I remembered some names and recognized some faces, practiced the dance for culture festival [I am HORRIBLE. Everyone kinda knew it already, add this to my lack of coordination and inability to understand] and giggled madly over the this bag with the Jamaican flag and a marijuana leaf that some girl in my class has. [She didn’t know…]

Anyway, after school was done I came back home and, after dinner, we did these sparkler things. They were very pretty, but it was way too hot and I got more bugbites that are swelling as we speak. On one hand, it’s incredibly itchy, but on the other, it’s kind of cool how my arm and right leg look broken in 2 places haha!

Koyou doing Hanabi

Mama and Kouyo on porch, Yuri walking from inside
Anyway, today I’m home all day, some of it home alone! Soon. HMom and Hbro are at a Kendo thing, HSister will be going to Juku [it’s like MORE school only outside of school;;] I plan on playing my little brother’s wii games and turning the music up. I am looking forward to it.

In anycase, I should really start writing my 10-20 minute rotary speech I have to give Monday, so sayonara, everyone.

Week one, over and out!