Developments

Actually, a lot’s happened over the past week, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write about it (I’ve been too busy geeking out over Revenge of the Sith–OH MY GOD. Three viewings down, and I can’t wait to see it again!)…even now, I have to run, but I’ll just summarize:

  • several days after getting the e-mail, I got the Big Huge JET Packet in the mail. It came with a full-color foldout map of Japan, so I was able to really easily identify Tokushima-ken there. It also came with the visa application form (due in June–I actually can bring it to the Atlanta JET orientation they’re holding on June 25th), a “Japanese for JETs” textbook (I really need a refresher course, so this’ll be great), and a JET Program handbook. I read through most of it the day it arrived–it’s full of a lot of really, really useful information.
  • I got e-mails from my predecessor (Lindsay from Portland) and my contact at the Miyoshi-gun Tokushima-ken Board of Education overnight. I’m sending a quick one off to the BOE contact, and will definitely be sending Lindsay a much longer one pretty soon.

Oh, and I’ve also gotten some pretty heartening news lately–there are more JETs in the area than I thought (9 in Miyoshi-gun alone; Miyoshi-gun is made up of 6 or 7 towns, one of which is Ikeda-cho), and they’re a pretty tightly-knit community. Also, a new supermarket opened up in Ikeda, the largest in the area, and we can get flour tortillas there–so that’s a huge relief, because vegetarian food won’t be hard to come by. I also came across a couple of communities for Tokushima JETers–a Yahoo! group that I’m lurking on, because it’s mainly official business, and a messageboard, where I’m still waiting for my membership to be confirmed before I can even read the posts.

Everything’s moving quickly now. Monday marked the 2-month point until I leave, and I also got an e-mail from my manager asking whether I’d started thinking about my final day yet (not that they want me to go–and the other has already said that I’m welcome to join them again if they have an opening if I’m looking for employment when I get back–but they need a few weeks to hire somebody new)…and I have; I’m going to get back to them tomorrow or Friday about it. I wanted to give myself 4 weeks off, so I could use one week to travel and see people, but my parents aren’t fond of that idea, since I can stay and earn more money instead–so I’ll give myself 3 weeks off. That should be more than enough time, I hope…and maybe I can still make a few quick trips to visit relatives. (Like my grandmother…she’s definitely in her twilight years, and while there’s a strong chance I’ll get to see her in India at the end of the year, if I can get time off to go (I have two relatives who are getting married in the same week), I’d just love to spend some time with her beforehand.)

And now I have to run. More on the handbook and the e-mails later.

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