It's absolutely beautiful--Japan is in the middle of their rainy season, so it's definitely muggy, but today is a steady drizzle that coats the mountains in a thick fog that makes everything really shrouded and lovely. One of my favorite types of weather, especially after the dry weather back in Denver.
The flight went as smoothly as international flights can go. There were a few hitches along the way (for example, realizing sometime Thursday night that my flight was actually on Friday morning, not Saturday morning, and my boarding pass and ID getting lost in the security bins at DIA) but for the most part it was lovely. I was surrounded my a Colombian ultimate frisbee team on the flight to Japan, and finally got to watch The Hunger Games, although I think the tiny screen takes away from the drama a teensy bit. I arrived in Narita around 3:30 pm on June 30th.
It's hard to define the way I'm feeling right now, honestly. I've spent so long looking forward to the opportunity to finally make it to Japan. Ever since I began studying Japanese more than five years ago, it's been my dream to make it here. Now that I'm here, I'd love nothing more than to venture out into the country, talk to a million and one different people, and immerse myself in Japan. With my job being what it is, however, I'm not going to have the opportunity to do that for a while. I know it's what I signed up for, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing. Today, the only opportunity I had to speak Japanese was with an elderly Japanese tourist that flagged me down at a rest area to see what a big group of Westerners was doing in Japan. I'm not sure why he picked me specifically (as it turns out, very few of the people in my fellow counselors actually speak Japanese). Maybe it's a genetically-gifted ability that Japanese people have.
I know I'm here to teach children, and I'm looking forward to it. I think the camps will be really enjoyable, both for me and for the Japanese students I'll be working with. I'm incredibly grateful to Guy Healy for giving me the opportunity to make it to Japan, something I wouldn't have been able to do without some serious help. Still, it's frustrating to not have the immersion that I know I need to get better.
So far, it's been like being in a dream. It's feels like I'll wake up tomorrow, sweating on the couch back in Denver, and everything that's happened over the last couple days just won't have happened. The plane ride, last night's hotel, breakfast, orientation. It's going to be a long six weeks, but hopefully a rewarding six weeks as well, and then I can reward myself with two weeks of adventure and no-strings-attached travel through Japan. For now, I have communal showers, excessive amounts of green tea, and a ton of rice to look forward to.
Until next time!