Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two Years in Japan

Hello folks,

Happy Monday! It has been a busy past few weeks here in Fukui. Jonathan, Grainne and I went to visit the lovely Jen in Aichi prefecture last weekend. We had an excellent time shopping, eating delicious food, and enjoying city life. We met up with Mrs. Deguchi and Ashley, some friends from Ohio University for an Italian lunch in Nagoya. After that we went shopping and got some cute clothes, foreign food, and new beauty products. For dinner we had Indian food with Ashley's friends and then we went out for karaoke. Sunday was a lazy day where we did a bit more shopping and we got Starbucks coffee.

Jen came back to Ohi with us on Monday. She stayed until Thursday morning and we got to do a lot of fun local things together. We went to the beach, visited a temple, and also went to a library/art museum/creepy puppet house. Mostly we just hung out and enjoyed each other's company. It was a fabulous start to summer vacation. I took Monday - Wednesday (the 25th-27th) off. I believe this is Jonathan's last week of work for the summer. He gets most of August off. Yay! I am back at work after another busy weekend.

Group A of the new ALTs came to Fukui Wednesday night. Thursday after work I took the train up to Fukui city to meet them at the welcome BBQ. The BBQ was a lot of fun, and it was great to see all the northerners again. Friday was their second day of orientation. I had to be there for the "Settling In Workshop" to introduce them to the South (Reinan area). There were 6 new southern ALTs so Lucia and I had our work cut out for us. I focused on the Obama area people and Lucia focused on the Tsuruga area people but it always feels like we don't have enough time to cover everything. They are very interested in learning about the area and always have a million questions. I remember those days...

So the coolest part of the orientation situation this year was that I got to meet Conor's successor. Her name is Rebecca and I already like her a lot. We have been talking via facebook for over a month so I already knew we would get along well. Our supervisor and another person from the Board of Education came up to Fukui City to pick us up and bring us back to Ohi on Friday around 1PM. We got some paperwork done and she is out right now doing more paperwork and visiting our schools. On Saturday the new Obama area ALTs, Grainne, Jonathan, and I hung out and had okonomiyaki for dinner. On Sunday we all hung out again and were joined by Lauren and Ryan, a pair of veteran ALTs from Obama, for the Obama festival. There were food booths, music, a stage, and a number of dancers and performers. The fireworks festival is tonight (Monday) but Jonathan, Rebecca, and I have a BBQ with our Board of Education so we cannot go. Luckily, Ohi town will be having its fireworks festival this coming weekend so we will not be missing out too much.

So, in conclusion, we were very busy! I am feeling a lot better now that the worst of the morning sickness is over. I only threw up once last week. I suppose I am not quite ready for medium salsa and guacamole chips. Especially since I took my prenatal vitamin with them instead of taking it with something mild right before bed. So as long as I limit my spicy food intake I have been eating almost full portions at my meals. Yay! The baby is getting bigger. I know this because my belly is getting bigger, haha. Apparently my uterus is the size of a cantaloupe now that I am 5 months pregnant. Pre-pregnancy it was about the size of a pear or an avocado. Ha!

I cannot wait to feel the baby moving around in there. Sometime over the next month I should be able to feel him/her. Also we may know if the baby is a boy or a girl in less than 2 weeks. Yay! I am still worried and nervous about the pregnancy, but I am starting to feel like the baby will be coming into our lives soon. The pregnancy is almost halfway done! I had a dream the other night that we had just gotten back from the hospital and Jonathan was feeding the baby. He asked me to take over and I realized we only had the one spit-up cloth. I panicked because I felt like we were so unprepared for the baby to actually be here. When we were planning for the pregnancy, we spent a year researching about the physical, emotional, and financial realities of pregnancy in Japan. I bought books, read blogs, and spoke with foreign mothers and fathers living here before making the decision. I spent so much time and energy planning for the pregnancy but not as much time planing for the baby! I know that it makes sense to wait until the 3rd trimester to buy baby stuff and all that, but I am feeling a little restless having to wait to make the proper preparations.

Well that is all for now. I will try to post again this week. It seems like I have a lot to say if I wait over a week to post, lol. Also, pictures! Sorry about the delay I will put them up soon.

Laura (and Jonathan!)

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