This week Brad and I went to visit a shrine in Ueda and we were lucky enough to see our first Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) of the season. It was such a lovely surprise as I wasn’t expecting them till the end of the month at least.
So when I got my new camera, a Canon s95, I decided to set myself a little challenge….To take a photo for each colour of the rainbow Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. I took the photos on a day trip I took to Nagano city.
I would like to say that where I am living I am perfectly happy and safe. I received a very special visitor yesterday…Brad! It has been so wonderful having him here to share the experiences I have been having.
After long and thoughtful consideration I have decided to remain in Japan, and not go home. I know this is very upsetting to some people but I promise you that I am safe. I am not silly and if I wasn’t safe I would come home, but honestly where I am things are fine.
I know that people in Australia and other countries are getting very mixed messages in the media about what is happening with the nuclear power plants in Fukushima and it might sound very scary but from in Japan, things aren’t that bad. I have been reading as many reliable sources of information on the topic and they all have a more positive outlook. Here are some of the things I have read…
My company, Peppy Kids Club, has cancelled all classes in the North East of Japan until the end of the month. The new school year starts in April. The reasons behind this were for parents to have peace of mind about dropping their child at a location with only one adult and there is a shortage of gas/petrol in Japan and the company wants to make things as easy as possible for parents. I have two options, work office days (5.5 hours at a close by school of my choice) or take unpaid holidays. My performance supervisor is flexible, allowing me to choose whatever I like. With Brad here, I will be doing a bit of both (still need to pay the rent, etc.). So I will get to spend more time with Brad than originally thought…there is at least one upside to the situation.
Will keep you all updated with how things are going, and I will post some new photos soon (just to prove things are all ok xoxo)
Things are still fine in Ueda, however I have felt a number of small and large aftershocks since the big Earthquake on Friday. The magnitude of the first earthquake has now been upgraded to a 9.0 (source) and only 4 other Earthquakes in the world have recorded 9.0 or over.
At 4am on Saturday morning, I got woken up by what I thought was a large aftershock, it ended up being a second earthquake of 6.6 in the Niigata Prefecture, which is one away from where I live. This earthquake caused an avalanche. Cracks in the road appeared in Sakae, which is about 20 minutes by train away from me.
Because of this earthquake, my classes were cancelled for the day, but I still had to go to work at a closer school! I have heard that all Peppy Kids Club Native Teachers (people like me) have been accounted for. And thank goodness my friend we hadn’t heard from was fine, he just had no communications.
Today (Sunday) I experienced yet another small Earthquake…around 3.0…of which the epicentre was in the Nagano Prefecture (where I live). But it’s effects were really only quite small compared to the first.
Occasionally I feel like I am moving ever so slightly…(like the feeling you have when you get off a boat, that you are still on it, you know what I mean?) At first I thought it was my imagination but now I am quite sure it is very minor tremors. To prove I am not going crazy I have set up a handy dandy earthquake detector….a glass of water!
The Japanese people around me appear very calm and not very worried, I think it just must be in their nature. Then again, we are quite far from the tsunami affected areas…about 300km (which in comparison I think it’s the same as from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance). The latest concerns with the Nuclear Power plants are the next things to worry about and I’m keeping an eye on the internet news for updates.
I heard today that the company that supplies the power in Nagano, Chubu Energy, might be diverting the power to affected areas so I am to prepare for deliberate black outs. I’m off now to try and find a torch….
Hi everyone. I just wanted to send out a message saying that I am ok after today’s massive Earthquake in Japan. I live about 300km from the badly affected Sendai, but I most definitely still felt it. It. was. scary. I was in my apartment (4th floor) so things were pretty crazy. It was horrible feeling so helpless and having no idea what was going to happen (I’ve never been in an earthquake before). I only experienced 2 aftershocks…a girl I know who lives closer experienced 15!
At first I felt dizzy, like I was going to faint…then I realised it wasn’t my head that was spinning, it was everything! It wasn’t like anything in the movies!…Everything was wobbling around in circles. I spoke to a Japanese friend and she said that earthquakes can have 3 different ‘feelings’….1. Like everything is wobbling around in circles. 2. Everything is going up and down. and 3. Everything zig-zigs back and forth sideways. Today I experienced the first.
I was so very lucky to have Skype open at the time to Brad. We weren’t actually talking to each other, the video chat was just open on the computer and were both doing stuff around our houses. When it started I was like ‘Brad, BRAD!!!’ and he got to the computer screen pretty quick. I am so thankful that I wasn’t ‘alone’ when it happened, it would have been even more frightening if I was.
There is no damage to anything where I live, but I’m watching the horrible devastation on the internet news 😦 I have heard from all my friends in my training group, except one who lives close to Tokyo 😦 The power and communications might still be out so I’m hoping that’s why.
There were 18 people in total who started their training with Peppy Kids Club in January. We did the first few days of training together and then split up, 7 of us went to Takasaki, and the other 11 stayed in Nagoya.
We were so lucky, in Takasaki we got to stay in a hotel for nearly 2 weeks. This meant our rooms got serviced and I had a regular sized towel to use (that’s another story 😛 ).
Each day we would go to training as a group in Isesaki, or off to individual schools to observe a lesson. Catching the trains was so daunting because it was made so clear to us if you are late you get in BIG trouble. Being ‘late’ meant not being at the school 1 hour before the first lesson starts (that still applies to me now). Some schools to 2 1/2 hours to get to…one way!
We had a really great group of people to train with. There were 2 Australians, 4 Canadians and 1 guy from England.
Nam, Peter, Zach, Adam, Paul, Me, Hamdiya & Yukiko (Teacher)
Photo taken by Nam
Training lasted 2 weeks, and it was VERY intense. All the forums and chats on the internet warned of that, but you don’t know how intense until you get there. It was VERY long days, and you got sooo tired. But we all knew it would be over in 2 weeks.
Our last day together was very sad, because we had become such good friends and we knew that we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a long time 😦 Hopefully soon we will all be meeting up in Tokyo! That will be exciting 🙂