Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kamagaya Here I Come!

After spending a few days in Tokyo and meeting quite few unforgettable friends, I meet with the other Chiba bound JETs and we left with promises to visit and little expectations for what was to come.

After another 2 hour drive, the 8 of us arrived at the Chiba City Woman’s Health center to meet and leave with our contracting organizations. We all headed upstairs for a quick ceremony. There are ceremonies for all things. We sat in the same room as our contracting organization representatives, the MC called forward our town and those who had come to receive us stepped forward, then our name was called and we went to the front for a brief introduction. And that was it. We were then lead away to the parking lot and driven to our new hometown. Now, I realize that what I wrote makes it sound like we were somewhat abducted, but it was kind of intense. By that point we had all become somewhat close, and I’m sure it will be awhile till I see some of those friends again.

Then it was off to lunch! In the car were 3 of the Board of Education (BOE) members and the other new JET, Kimberly from Wisconsin, who had arrived a week prior. It was amazing to have Kim there as she speaks both English and Japanese. Now what was for lunch you may ask, I’m sure you’re probably thinking sushi, udon, or some other amazing Japanese type food, but alas you would be wrong. We went to, I kid you not, a restaurant called Los Angeles (written in English) and I had, drum roll please…a pizza.

Kim & I at the ever authentic Los Angeles restaurant.
Then it was straight to the BOE to meet the other members and I sat down with a translator to sign my contract, talk about my pay, rent, bills and apply for my Alien card. Everyone was sooo kind and while our conversations were limited, LOTS of smiling and nodding, I am determined to learn how to speak so I can get to know them better. I also NEED to learn how to read, I hate that Ican’t. My next step is to label anything and everything in my apartment with index cards, that I bought at the 100 yen store (dollar store) today! After signing all kinds of papers I then rode my bike home while a few guys from the BOE drove my luggage to my new apartment!

When I got there I was greeted with mail, including a card from Carol J, 95 degree heat and the gas guy to help me set up the utilities.

Then I was left alone with my apartment to unpack and decorate! After some unpacking I meet the other ALTs, Sinapi a 3rd year from New Zealand, Richard a 2nd year from Ireland and Richard who is actually in SF & LA on vacation (weird right?!), will be going into his 5th year and is from England. Thus far I’ve been hanging out mostly with Sinapi and Kim, going to the store, playing Wii and watching movies.

Today I paid rent…in cash…at the ATM…by far one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done. I also hit up the 100 yen ($1) store, grocery store, and a veggie stand, all on my little red bicycle with a basket in the front AND back, thank you very much.

So far things have been great! Tomorrow I’m getting a tour of town from Toki (who works at the BOE) I’ll probably get to see the schools I’ll be working at! One middle school and three elementary schools.

I think that’s about it, stay tuned!!

Mata ne!


  1. Kate has a little red too now!!! Glad to hear your having a blast kate! I am sure the 9o plus degrees is a nice change from SF! Right now it is 53 degree outside, I JOKE YOU NOT!! We miss you, and piere says hi!

  2. You are sooo cute!!! Let's skype sometime soon!!
    Claire and I want to come visit you :)

  3. How was the pizza, like CPK? Can't wait to see your home when we hook up to skype,& need a picture of you & your bike!!!! Mata na (whats it say?) love ya

  4. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING!!! and thank you for all the comments!! and "mata ne" means "later"!

  5. Kate,

    How nice to read this and glad to know you were settled in to your place without any problem.
    Can't wait to read more and I can tell you will be fine there.
    DEWA MATA NE/Will talk to you later.
    GANBATTE NE/Take care.



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