Thursday, July 15, 2010

Electronic Dictionary at it's Best!

So here in Ishigaki almost all the students have electronic dictionaries to help them understand English.  My friend Ashley's host sister lets her borrow hers so Ashley and I have had a little fun with the electronic dictionary...hehe!  So here are a few words we looked up and the definition given by the handy dandy electronic dictionary:

 (Please Enjoy)

Pudgy- fairly fat

Waddle- to walk with short steps with your body moving from one side to another-used especially about people or birds with fat bodies and short legs.

Poke- to quickly push your finger or other pointed object into something or someone

Squash- to press something into a flatter shape, often breaking or damaging it

Burp- to pass gas loudly from your stomach out through your mouth

haha! so yes, we have been quiet a fun time with the poor little electronic dictionary! >:] haha! 

A little Japan Info.

Differences between Japan and America

When entering a house or sometimes even a classroom one has to take off ones shoes and place them either next to the door or, if in school, a cubby. 
Here in Ishigaki, many kids ride bikes.  They ride them to school, to friends houses, to the store, anywhere.  Most teenagers have bikes and that is their mode of transportation.  No cars for them.  But hey, biking helps you get into shape!  After biking for about 6 weeks I think my legs have gotten stronger! :D

Well, driving, here in Japan, they drive on the opposite side of the road.  I get confused while biking because in America I look left-right-left, but forget about having to do the visversa and almost getting hit by a car...haha xD But yeah, instead of a left turn being hard it's now the right turn that is abunai! (dangerous) haha.  I still haven't gotten the hang of it.  Oh! and because they drive on the opposite side of the road, the drivers seat is on the right of the car, not the left.  And, here in Ishigaki, only the two people up front have to wear seatbelts.  Everyone else is free to be seat-buckle less...yes I know abunai!

Here in Japan there are karaoke!  Yes, karaoke! :D  You and some friends go to the karaoke bar place and reserve a karaoke room.  There you can sing to any song you want whether it be; j-pop, american, korean, etc.  You can order food and get fat while singing.  It's great! Why doesn't America have this??

Money...Yen! yay! So American money is ugly compared to Japanese yen.  The yen are colorful and pretty and have awesome pictures of Mt. Fuji-san!  Awesome I know!  So for yen there's the 1 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen, and 500 yen (all in coins).  In the "dollars" there's 1,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 10,000 yen.   To convert yen into dollars you just take away two zeros.  So 1,000 yen equals about $10.  100 yen equals about $1 and so on an so forth.  Who knew that an equavilant to a five dollar bill could just roll away from you...haha! xD

So in school like I've said before, sometimes you have to take off your shoes before a class and place them in a cubby.  It's very nice actually to be able to walk around in your socks! :D

So before everyclass there is a sort of ritual.  One person in the class says these words in japanese.  Everyone stands up and says "onegaishimasu" which means "please", bows and then sits down.  I think that they are saying "please teach us" to the teacher.  After the class is over the same person says something in japanese and the students respond with something about thank you for teaching us...I'll edit this post once I remember...sorry! xD This process happens every time. :]

I've noticed that in my school not that much homework is given. I never see my host siblings slaving away on homework for hours.  They're lucky haha.  All I usually see them do is study for tests...yuck!

In school the students are given a lot of indapence.  For example in gym class one time the gym teacher went somewhere so two kids decided to be in charge.  They "taught" the rest of the class for the remainder of the period.  And students weren't being rude they were listening to what their fellow classmates were saying.  In America there'd be bon-fires being light and people throwing spit balls everywhere...-_- ahh...

Actual classes are mostly lectures.  Not that much discussion.   But the teacher are very nice and very supportive of their students.  Sometimes the teachers do have conversations with their class about random things like the World Cup Soccer Tournament, or their kids.  It's not stict death lectures where students can't make a peep.  Students can talk to each other and talk to their teachers about other material.  It's nice.  Here in Japan the teacher is looked upon very highly.  Sometimes if the student got in trouble the teacher would be notified first instead of the student's actual parents.  If a teacher scolded a student the parents wouldn't freak and call the cops and sue the teacher, they'd be like "what did you do?" yeah.. Teachers are awesome! :D

Here in Ishigaki the temperature can go up into the mid 30 C.  Which translates to the mid 90's in F.  Sometimes the rooms don't have proper air conditioning (a.k.a. fans) so sometimes the classrooms change.  Sometimes if the students have been waiting in a hot classroom before their teacher arrives they can convince their teacher to change to a cooler room.  It's really nice when that happens haha!  Go student power! Whoot!

Sometimes the teacher just doesn't show up to class..HAHA. Yes. So sometimes they leave nothing to do so the students have a free period to do whatever they want.  It's awesome!  Sometimes the teacher leaves some work to be done and the students do it.  Unlike in America where again there'd be bon-fires and spit balls flying all over the place.  Probably if a teacher just didn't show up the kids would be like "see ya later brothah" and just peace out...haaa Americans...  One time we waited for about 15 minutes for our teacher to arrive to our class but he never showed up.  I asked my host sister where he was.  Her reply was: "He's probably busy doing something else"..HAHA.  That would NEVER happen in America! lol.  The teacher would get fired ASAP. lol! Yay Ishigaki! :D

Here in Ishigaki it gets very hot and in school there's really no air conditioned room.  Just fanned rooms.  So it gets very hot and when that happens the body perspires giving off a bad smell... well, I've noticed that here most girls and/or boys don't use deodarant.  They usually just spray this can of "i don't even know" which smells good.  (Maybe it's just sweet smelling water haha) but alas that does not take the place of deodarant. T-T so it can get very smelly some times!  Also, it appears that most girls don't shave their legs regularly.  haha. I've seen some very hairy legs. 

Here in Yayeama the students are very skilled at flipping their pens/pencils with their hands.  I alas cannot but most of them can.  It's just like an average skill.  haha, I suck!

Here in Ishigaki the most popular writing tools are a mechanical pencil or a pen which is able to change colors.  No regular pencil in sight.  Everyone has a mechanical pencil and a multi-color pen.  It's awesome!  :D

Most students are right handed.  Someone told me that they were probably forced to be right handed when they were littler, BUT I do know some left handers.  It's nice to know that youi're unique! :D

In school, the guys are with the guys and the girls are with the girls...if a girl is spotted with the guys "HEAVEN FORBIDE!" haha.  no, it's not that dramatic; it's just rare to see someone mingle with the opposite gender.  I acutally like it that way xD haha!  Even if you're dating one of them you still don't hang on their shoulder every minute.  Usually I only see a couple together once in a blue moon, haha xD  But when I do it's SO cute! :D (Oh, the average dating time here in Ishigaki is about 1 year. yeah I know.  In America it's probably about 1 month.  HAHA) The guys here are all just cute. haha.  xD  BUT they are all still taller than me ^-^ yay for being short! :D

Here in Ishigaki there's P.E. and that involves changing out of ones uniform into ones gym uniform.  But alas there are no changing rooms designated for that sole purpose soooo they just use their classrooms. HAHA.  So I've had to walk into my homeroom class just with my host sister, two girls, who are amoung like 20 guys shirtless just changing like no ones business.  >_< haha.  How embarrassing! So whenever that would happen I'd just grab my swiming gear and run out as fast as my little legs could carry me. haha! 

Oh yes, there are uniforms that students HAVE to wear.  They're so cute!  They're sailor uniforms! <3 I love them, but unfortunately I don't have one T-T I wish I did....oh well....:P

And the rate at which a class goes can be very very fast.  In my host sisters math class about 2 weeks ago we were studying things I learned two years ago and this week we learned about something that I had just finished learning before I left to come to Japan.  0_0 yeah I know.  I would be dead if I was them! xD

Home life
When one leaves the house they say "itekimasu" which means; I'm leaving.  The people who are still in the house reply "iterashi" which means; okay bye bye.  When someone comes back home they say "tadaima" which means; I'm home.  The people who are already in the house reply "okaire" which means; welcome back.  :] 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


so one of the days between my last post and now I made chinsukou with the south eugene students and people.  It was a lot of fun!  My life was complete! 

Friday was a good day in the morning but in the afternoon we were off to Iriomote island!  Along with the south eugene students and the host brothers and sisters we were off on an adventure.  We drove to the port and went on a boat to Iriomote.  It took about 40 minutes.  We got to iriomote and we had to walk 30 minutes to our "house".  It was not fun.  We got there and got introduced and all and then had time to settle in.  We had free time until dinner. We had dinner then had more free time until our night walk. That was not fun...people kept popping out of nowhere...0_0. e-gad!  After our night walk we did fire crackers which were very fun!  Now, the curfew was supposed to be at 10:30pm but most people stayed up until 3:00am.  Ashley and I vowed to have an all-nighter but alas we failed and went to bed at 4:30 am.  We were close.  After about 2 hour of sleep we got up had breakfast (Which as a normal japanese breakfast which I'm not used to...) we had time to pack and then we walked back to port and went on a boat tour of mangrove trees.  It was cool..I was a zombie though so I didn't really take it all in...>_<  After the boat tour we got back on another ferry back to  Ishigaki.  Later that day I really don't remember anything..I was so tired.  I know I slept a lot.

Sunday got up and relaxed, had the morning to myself.  Yumi and Yuto had a soft tennis tournament.  They beasted!  Aimi had a test and Okasan was cheering Yumi and Yuto on meanwhile my otosan was at work. At arouind noon Ashley and I went shopping and it was awesome!  We got cute clothes, I got my very first obento! <3  We did purikura and got music notebooks.  Then after that we went to karaoke. It was Aimi, Maki, Ashley, Charise, Charise's host sister, Matsuyo, and me.  It was so much fun! Then after that Ashley and I went to the Beer Festival.  It was very good, but very crowded.  WE watched some hanabe but alas it wasn't that grea. :(  After I got home I went to sleep.

Today (monday) was the last day for the South Eugene High School kids. We wished them goodbye towards the end of the day.  After school Ashley came over to watch the very last (normal) episode of NOdame Cantabile.  It's amazing! <3333 Then after that I just relaxed with my family.  I put on a fashion show of what I bought the other day.  :]  Now it's 11:49 and I should go to bed.  Good night! <3

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So right now it's tuesday and I was with Yumi's class this morning. nothing special haha :] but there was a guy blasting his trumpet ino our room, so that was pretty funny! lol Well I'll go now and post later!  I can't believe only about a week left! :'(  It's so sad! I don't want to go home!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life in Ishigaki

‎Tuesday, ‎July ‎06, ‎2010

Saturday morning it was just free time so I hung around and watched more Nodame  Cantabile episodes! <3  I LOVE it.  <3  Then in the afternoon I was supposed to go with Yumi and her friend Sakiko shopping but unfortunately Sakiko couldn't go :[  So it was just me and Yumi.   We were driven by our okasan to McDonalds and our okasan and Aimi dropped Yumi and me off for lunch at Mc.  (That's what they call McDondalds)  We ate lunch and it was really good!  Then after that Yumi and I walked to Game Land to play air hockey and do Purikura!  IT was so much fun! :D  After that we walked to a store called Shimamura.  I bought some nice things there! :D  I got a cute pool towel, which are different here than they are in the U.S.. It's prety amazing!  I got a cute little bag to go along with my Yukata and I got a sitting mat that has Totoro on it!  ^-^  After shopping we went to get icecream!  It was scrumptious!  After that we went to the bookstore and looked through books.  Lastly we headed to this cute little resturaunt where we met up with Aimi and our okasan.  I got this yummy thing of fruits on top of cream.  I don't remember what it was called haha!  We laughed alot! :D

We got back in the car and drove places and and then rested at home.  UNTIL I went to a festival.  It was so cute! :D I loved it! I met up with Ashley and Shiho and Maki and Ashley's okasan and otosan. :]  I saw my sensei (Yumi's Japanese teaher) and I held his daughter.  KAWAII! :D  haha!  It was a lot of fun!  I got shaved ice! 0_0 After that Ashley's otosan drove me home and I got home and relaxed. Then went to bed.

Sunday morning I woke up and made myself breakfast and relaxed.  After a while Aimi, Yumi and I went to go bowling with Yumi's friend Kanako and at the bowling alley we met up with Ashley, Shiho, Maki, and Ashley's okasan.  We bowled and it was a lot of fun (minus the fact that our lane was having problems and the poor lady had to fix it about 5 times xD)  After bowling we went to the arcade which was in the same building, right when you walk into the building you had to go through the arcade to get to the bowling, so we went looking at the arcade games.  I found the UFO catcher and Ashley spotted a Nodame Cantabile plushie key chain thing.  So I HAD to get her.  So i tried and tried and FINALLY I got her! :D (She's sitting on my bedside table right now ^-^)  After that Yumi, Aimi, Kanako, and I  went to A&W and ate lunch.  It was very yummy! We dropped Kanako off and then drove home.  There was time to relax before Aimi and I went to the beach with the rest of her classmates.  It was so much fun!  Ashley, Maki, and Shiho went too! :D It was so much fun!  The girls were loving the idea of sitting on a big raft thing and trying not to make it dip on them thus throwing them into the water.  It was a lot of fun!  I tried scanchronized swimming with two girls HAHA It was histarical! :D Aimi and I had to leave earlier than planned because we had dinner with the South Eugene chaparones, Barbara and David. It was nice to be able to hear English :] Aimi performed a dance she knew from a play she was in.  (She was the lead girl 0_0.  She's BUFF)   After they left Aimi, Yumi, and I cleaned up.  Bonding time :]  Then we went to bed. 

Monday was good.  I hadn't been in school for awhile so it was kind of weird.  I went to Aimi's class but Ashley was absent because she wasn't feeling well.  BUT I made new friends! They're all so nice here!  Yui, Nagisa, and the others! :D  haha!  I was with Aimi's class for 1st to 4th period.  After lunch I went with Yumi's class.  I saw Kanako, Chikako, Shirori, Tomoe. :D  It was great! :D I missed them!  Especially Shiori because I hadn't seen her in a long time. After school I went home and lounged around until we had to go to Club Med to celebrate my otosan's birthday! :D 50! whoot!  haha! :D It was: Otosan, Okasan, Barbara, David, Aimi, Maki, Yumi, Yuto, Ashlet and me! It was "VIking" style which is basically buffet style.  It was really good! :D After eating we went to go see a fashion show that Club Med had.  It was awesome! Ther was this ADORABLE little boy that Ashley and I obsessed over the entire time. haha!  After that we went home and relaxed & went to bed.  (I watched more Nodame >_<) 

Today I woke up and went to school . I went with Yumi today and it was fun!  After lunch I went to Aimi's class and talked to Ashley.  :D  Then I went to Yumi's class for LHR. (6th period)  It was fun!  :D  Then I went home with Aimi and I watched the last episode of Nodame the drama and I cried. Yup.  That's right.  I'm a wimp. hehe.  Then I relaxed and around 7:45 I went with Aimi to her piano lesson.  It was fun!  I enjoyed it.  Aimi is really good at the piano! ^-^  haha!  I played one peice for her piano teacher WHICH I butchered haha! BUT I redeemed myself through singing! So now I"m going to be singing at this concert thingy.  I don't know when but I will be singing. :]  Yay! haha!  So now it's 10:54 at night and I should be going to bed soon!  Well oyasuminasai! I"ll try to post pictures soon and blog about daily life here in Ishigaki & Japan in general! :D  Peace out! ^-^

Friday, July 2, 2010

Frolicing on an Island of Paradise :]

So Tuesday was my last day of school for a while because the students had exams.  So I enjoyed my time there.  Many people's classes were basically just to study so Ashley and I chilled.  I was with Aimi's class in the A.M. & in the P.M. I went with Yumi's class.  It was really funny because in Yumi's math class the kids around us heard music and were trying to figure out where it was so they were digging around in people's bags and desks trying to find out the source.  Then one of them pointed to someone who was also looking and he looked in his pocket and it was HIS cellphone which was making the music. LOL It was so funny, meanwhile the teacher was like 0_0.  haha. He didn't seem amused xD!  When I went back to Yumi's class I talked to Kanako, Chikako, Shiori, Tomoi, & others and then I talked to ther guy from South Eugene named Jaydon. He was really nice! Yumi gave me chinsukou! I as so happy! :D I had to say goodbye to them because I wouldn't be seeing them for awhile. Tuesday I stayed up until about 2 a.m. because I was watching the Japanese soccer team with my otosan.  They lost. I stayed up until 2 a.m. to watch them lose by ONE kick thingy to Paraguay. UGH! T-T I felt so bad for them.  They were all crying. So I cried too.

Wednesday, the South Eugene kids, Ashley, and I went to the Mayor's office and talked to him. (We later found out we were on T.V.)  After that we went on a bus tour around Ishigaki.  We went to a Chinese Tomb, Black Sweet shop thing, Kabira Bay, and to a beach where we swam.  I swam with a bunch of cute little fishies!  except I accidentally kicked one xD...poor fish!  It was really nice though! but after swimming we had to change back into our clothes and the changing rooms were wooden and they usually had locks inside but the one I went in had one on the outside instead and when I closed the door the lock outside I was locked in....haha.  I was like "help, I'm locked in, someone help" as I was like banging on the door...the poor random japanese people who probably thought I was a maniac! HAHA well after about 5 minutes of being a maniac some random man accidentally hit the lock on my door and I was free.  I thanked him ALOT but he was really confused LOL.  Oh! and that same day I got back on the bus and sat down and heard a loud POP and I looked down and my sunglasses were broken. T-T  I was in mourn over my now I need to get more haha xD But that day was nice but long and I was exhausted. LOL

Thursday I hung out with Ashley and I was introduced to this AMAZING song from Full Metal Alchemist!  It's called Brat'ja and it's in Russian and it's beautiful!  I love it so much!  I've been practicing it on my piano and I've almost gotten it down! YES! :D haha!  Along with that Ashley and I went shopping and went a little obsessive with manga haha xD  We each bought the rest of our manga series, which we had purchased the 1st book a week ago, so 5 books for ashley and 3 books for me. LOL  They're awesome! After that we went for the school picture! It was fun but hot!  After that I went back to Ashley's house and practiced more piano and watched more Nodame Cantabile! <3 GAYBO! <3

Friday we went with the South Eugene high school kids biking around the island to the fishing port and the Peace Museum. Ashley rode in a car because she didn't think she could bike that much.  I was stuck all by myself haha xD The fishing port was disgusting.  I was like x_x.  All the dead carcasses of the poor fish, who probably had families who they were just going to feed when they got cought and slaughtered. T-T It made me sad.  The Peace Museum was also sad.  All the pictures of those who had died in the war. T-T Ugh. Lets say the theme of that day was "Death". Not my favorite theme. haha.

Now it's saturday and I should probably get breakfast because I'm VERY hungry. haha.  They have cupstacking here? who knew haha.  So I'm probably going to ask my okasan about it because I spot 3 cups on our table. 0_0 Well I hope to post again soon!  :D