The recap, at long last

I should have known I’d have nothing to worry about–the India lesson went off without a hitch. I psyched the kids up by having one person from each team race up to tag the place I named (they nearly ripped the map off the board, they were so into it–I had to ask them to slow down because that map has to make it through five more classes!), and then talked about India by asking them, “What’s Japanese ___ like?” and having them respond, and then telling them the Indian equivalent. They also loved the smattering of Tamil and Hindi words I taught them, and really giggled over a few of them, because they had close Japanese equivalents that gave the words interesting meanings.

It also helps that my two Thursday classes (only one today, though–yay for easing me back into the class routine) are particularly genki and with it and bright. Thursday and Monday are my best kids, I think. Wednesday would be good, but the class is so huge (29 kids); Friday’s the quiet 13-girls-and-3-boys class; Tuesday’s my double-length class of doom.

I also got tons of compliments on my (kind of rumpled) salwar (the new green one, Mom). It wasn’t that great at keeping out the cold, but at least it looked good! I have 3 here with me, and I’ll be alternating them through Wednesday, when I should be done with all my lessons. (Oh–except for the Thursday school that doesn’t start for another 2 weeks. Whoops!)

Anyway, on with the recap now…though you know, it’s really not that climactic. I met my family at Kansai Airport on the 24th, we headed to our hotel (in Izumisano, much closer to the airport than to Osaka), spent a couple of days wandering around and saw Osaka-jo, came back to Ikeda and unwound, went to Kyoto for the new year (absolutely gorgeous–totally my kind of city, if not for having major problems finding anything vegetarian besides McDonald’s, where we ate 3 meals). We didn’t actually celebrate the new year, though; we just hung out in the hotel. And then we came back to Ikeda, where my parents totally redeemed my reputation in the eyes of Gasping Woman at the restaurant across the street, fell in love with the ¥100 store, bought me stuff for my kitchen, reorganized my apartment, and went to my Friday eikaiwa classes.

And then it snowed Friday night and we all sort of panicked about whether the trains and buses would run, because they were flying back home the next day. So we woke up at freaking 4:30 AM to catch an early train into Tokushima, and they caught an earlier bus to the airport, in case the bus was at all delayed.

I did cry when they left–it really was nice to have them here for a while. And I felt pretty homesick for the rest of the weekend. I’m okay, though–it’s just tough, knowing that every single one of my close friends was back in Atlanta for the holidays and I was the only one who couldn’t be there. It’s also tough knowing that they can get together a lot more than I’ll get to see them. If I recontract, I’ll go home next December.

And to be honest, that’s all I can really think of. See? Anticlimactic update, but at least it’s done. I’m off to go make dinner and (whoops) change out of the salwar. Maybe I’ll make french toast, since I got my Secret Santa gift (you rock, Stephanie! Thank you so much!), inside which was a can of fresh Quebec maple syrup. Rock on!

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