Sunday, January 23, 2011


Just a small update.  I took the SAT yesterday.  Which was mentally draining, but nothing caffeine can't fix.  I replied back to the Kato's email, it took me awhile because I've been busy.  When I hear back from them I will talk about it.  Today I am writing some scholarship letters and editing some to submit.  Thank you all for your support!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A snow day

This morning I awoke to discover that I had received an email from that Kato's.  Apparently it had snowed that day, and quite a bit at that.  Yoshiyuki and Chiharu made a snowman outside, expressing they wanted my opinion on it which I was happy to give.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Today I went to AFS Pre-Departure Orientation.  There I met some of the volunteers I have been talking to during my application process.  I also met other exchange students. I believe there were 10 of them. (Two going to Argentina, One going to Australia, One to Italy, One to France, and 5 to Japan (including my self)) It was fun talking to the people and very informing of the program.  It was a general overview so it wasn't really country specific.  Some things I learned there was that there are 3 rules to AFS 1. Don't Drive 2. Don't do drugs and 3. Don't hitchhike. All of which will get you sent home immediately.  Also if I am to learn the language and experience the culture I should use English as little as I can.  This means that while I am there I won' have my laptop and calls are probably not going to be good.   I will continue to post on my blog and send email news letters.  Snailmail works too but for all my friends I require them to be in Japanese :P (Its better for the both of us)  It's exciting to finally come to realize that this is actually happening.

 Also today when I came home and napped.  I received an email from Chiharu talking about her day etc.  I to talked about mine however it was a bit more lengthy.  I was one of the few that have already learned who my family was so I count my self lucky that I am able to have communicating with them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fragmented conversation

I have made contact with the Kato's!  After some confusion with emails I was able to talk to Yoshiyuki.  There was only a couple sentences and the English was fragmented, but I could still understand him.  I replied in Japanese at some length, the quality of which I am still curious about.  The next day Yoshiyuki replied confirming that the current email he was using is the working one.  Then wrote about how it has been cold in Obu, therefore he was sitting under the こたつ (kotatsu). A kotatsu is a table that has a blanket skirt around the sides and heater underneath.  I also found out that they have a dog named Ruby (the dog was under the blanket as well).  Before I could reply I received an email from Yukie, my host mother.  Which gave a brief description of the family.  It was interesting to hear about the family also her English was much better than Yoshiyuki's, with only a few minor errors.  In return I replied in Japanese, which I now regret.  After I hit the send button I read what I had actually written, which leaves me to wonder what I really did learn in those 3 years of Japanese.  My verbs and sentence structure was odd and I even used the wrong post-fix on a verb that strictly is not suppose to have a post-fix.  When I was writing I used a Japanese dictionary I had received for Christmas and so I was worrying about my vocab rather than the actual Japanese I was writing.  I would like to think that I was still understandable however it must have made a bad impression.  Since then I haven't received a reply.

Here is a picture of a Kotatsu for those who don't know what I meant.