I Think I'm Turning Japanese
Is it already nearing the end of February? Where did the time go? 

I am more than halfway through my time in Japan. The weather has already changed from being sticky hot in the summer, crisp and colorful in the fall, mind numbingly cold in the winter, and already it is gradually getting a degree or two warmer to fade into spring. I've also felt the change in mood, from confused and stressed, homesick and frustrated, to relaxed and content. I owe that to the fact that I have made some great friends here, and I've gotten to do some pretty awesome things, with only more awesome things to come!

I had a pretty amazing weekend. It was equal parts fun and relaxing, allowing me time to reflect on all the things that have changed since I have moved here. What a great way to spend a year and take the opportunity to gather my thoughts and reasses my career in teaching. I am convinced more than ever that I want to work with younger children. 

The weekend kicked off with the discovery of a great Hawaiian restaurant, Olu Olu, for Bridget's birthday. Not only were the food, drinks, and company awesome, but the restaurant itself felt like Hawaii and I got nostalgic for the days of living in my tiki-themed apartment. We had nomihodai/tabehodai, and rounded out the night with ukelele sing-a-longs with Bob and one of the waiters. Others decided to move on to Osake for some break dancing, but I had plans for the next day to play with little kids!

Sunday I had the opportunity to work an event at Kobekkoland. Kobekkoland is a wonderful preschool where children are allowed to go for free. There are all sorts of activities for them to participate in, and yesterday there was an international fair where kids and their families were invited to come experience different exhibits and play and interact with ALTs. I got to work in the "Movers and Shakers" group with Cherrelle, Romel, Bob, and Latoyaa, and we basically played freeze tag and freeze dance. The kids were much too young and tiny to play anything with more complex instructions. Most of the kids barely came up to my knees! I wore my panda costume, which got many kinds really excited and attacking me with high fives. One little girl came up to me and gently placed her hands against mine and told me her name in her tiny little voice. She was the sweetest little girl ever, and if her mom wasn't watching, I would have smuggled her out of Kobekkoland in my panda suit! I thorougly enjoyed having the tiniest kids coming up to me and joyfully exclaiming "Panda-san!" as if I was some kind of celebrity. Seriously, can I wear this panda suit every day in America?

Anyway, sorry, Mom, for slacking on my blog writing!

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