Had a nice quiet weekend just there. On Saturday, Joe and I went to meet some friends for a BBQ beside the picturesque Anabuki River. Unfortunatley, given the good weather, we weren't the only ones who had the idea, and we arrived to find the river and surrounding area swarming with Japanese families out enjoying the last few days of summer. Oh well, laughs were had, so that's all that matters. :)
Joe and I didn't stay long, however, as we were due at the last orientation event for the new ALTs: the Kamiayama party. Kamiyama (literally 'God's Mountain') is a beautiful little town nestled deep in the mountains at the very heart of the prefecture. It has a very internationally-minded, arty community, that each year, has a homestay event for the new JETs (whereby they go and live with one of the community's families for a couple of days). The party is sort of the highlight of the weekend, with live music and dance performances, and a lot of mingling and INTERNATIONALISATION!!! Joe and I, while we didn't do the homestay, decided to go to the party as it's normally a good time.
We drove up a crazy road from Anabuki, via a couple of very high mountain passes, and a few tiny villages. We arrived about an hour after the party started and proceeded to chat to the new ALTs (most of whom I met in Tokyo but didn't really get a chance to get to know), and some of the familiar faces of Kamiyama. I met a girl who, I believe, is deaf and (for want of a better word) dumb. She was very nice, really friendy, and we ended up swapping email addresses. I know a very little of Japanese sign language, so maybe we'll muddle through somehow!
The new JETs seem like very lovely people for the most part. I'm not sure how well I'll get to know them, but I hope I do.
Joe and I drove back to mine, watched 'Team America' (watch it!!) and then went to sleep.
Up early the next day, as I thought I was playing rugby. However, as I neared the city, the heavens opened, and a phone call to Dave confirmed that the planned afternoon of playing touch, followed by a BBQ, had indeed been called off. What a shame! Especially since the city is such a long way away! I did some shopping, then hopped the next train home.
Last hurdle of the weekend: doing battle with a mammoth spider. Don't know how it got in. Shudder. I killed it but wished I hadn't. But this thing was way too big for the whole 'glass and card' routine. The rest of the night, I kept on imagining I could see things scuttle across my floors and walls.
Back at school today. The term starts next Thursday. Looking forward to it. I don't like having my days so unstructured. It makes me very unproductive. Also looking forward to some colder weather. Heat is exhausting!