Addicted to Busy

It is now the fifth day of my official Summer Vacation!  I apologize for not posting anything in so long, but the last week or so of my intensive language course was very busy, causing me to take a few days to sit around in my pajamas and read.  Constantly being busy and then constantly relaxing left no time to blog, but now that I’m back I have so much to share.  I will be getting back into a busy life again here soon, because being busy in Japan is so fun and so easy.
So, before I talk about the past few weeks, I need to talk about this upcoming week.  I was supposed to be heading out this Friday to the Miyagi Prefecture (up north where the March 11th earthquake and Tsunami occurred) to volunteer with the Peace Boat Emergency Relief Operation.  However, the day of the orientation went very wrong.  The day that we all had to move out of Ginkgo House was the same day as the mandatory orientation.  We had to be out of Ginkgo House by noon, but I was one of the people who was going to be moving into Dialogue House (dorm tour coming soon!) instead of going back to America or traveling elsewhere, and we were not allowed to move into Dialogue House until 11:00.  This gave me (and Kim, who I was going to volunteer with) only one hour to completely move from one building to the next.  We managed to finish everything by about 12:30, and we headed out.  We had to be at the orientation by 2:00; it was a failure waiting to happen.  The bus took forever to get to campus, and then we had to take two trains into unknown territory, and finally walk for 10 minutes to arrive at our destination.  We got lost, of course, and this day had to be 34°C with 60% humidity.  In the end, we were late for the orientation and were told that we were not allowed to volunteer without attending the entire orientation.  We were told that we could come back for the next orientation session and be dispatched the following week, however, we had specifically chosen this week because it was the only week that would fit into our vacation time.

I will refrain from explaining my thoughts and feelings at this point.

But Kim and I ended up spending some time exploring the area, where we found a cute park and a nice shopping mall, and ate delicious beef bowls, so despite anything I had been feeling earlier, it was an enjoyable day.

We saw an elephant slide at a park.  It cheered me up.

I thought this sign was amusing in its level of severity.

Because all of this happened, Kim and I decided to join another student, Erin, on a trip to Kyoto and Osaka during the week that we would have been volunteering.  It will be a little bit pricey, but I am very excited to get to explore a whole different side of Japan.  I can’t yet say what will be in store for me there, but I will be taking many pictures and videos, and will try to post whenever I can.  We will be traveling from August 20th until August 29th, and I won’t be bringing my laptop, but it will be an amazing adventure (as every day seems to be here).