Trying to recap

Really tired, but I’ve been trying to recap the last few weeks and keep getting interrupted, so maybe I’ll just make this short for now and will elaborate on important things later.

Met up with 6 Atlanta-area JETs last Saturday–it’s cool to know that I’ll already know a few at the upcoming orientation on the 25th. And most of us were there for over 3 hours, so that’s also a good sign. We’re all over the country, and so far my predecessor has given me tons more information than any of theirs have.

I got my contract (really similar to the one in the Big Blue Handbook–it also finalized my salary and stated other terms; what I really like about the JET contract is that it’s really accommodating towards women, and even allows for menstrual leave for women with really painful/uncomfortable cycles) and some other info in the mail from the Ikeda Board of Education–they also included a couple of maps of the city, a few of Lindsay’s school schedules, and general information about Tokushima and Ikeda. Oh, and a run-down of the apartment…it’s furnished, rent’s ~¥40,000 a month (so around $400, but it depends on the size of the room), and I get 2 futons, a washing machine, 2-range stove, oven, kotatsu, toaster, TV, VCR, microwave, electric heater, air conditioner, and a fridge.

I also realized that if I want to go see my relatives’ weddings in India in December, I need a visa to get in…the last time I went to India, I was on an Indian passport.

We did a ton of shopping this weekend–toiletries and some clothes, mainly. Our big debate now is whether to ship stuff over in advance, and if so, what to ship…a moderately-sized box via UPS is something like $250 to ship, which is a lot more than I expected it to be. I guess I’d mainly be shipping a few plates, books, some of my toiletries that I won’t immediately need, winter clothes and jacket, and so on.

I’ve also been saying more goodbyes–the biggest one thus far was saying bye to Louise a couple of weeks ago, because she’s now up in New York for the next 1-2 years. I’m getting back in touch with people I haven’t talked to in a while, especially friends from high school and even before that I’ve fallen out of touch with, so I’m trying to sort of book my social schedule up so I can see as many people as I can.

It’s just under 6 weeks until departure now. I have under 3 weeks at this job, and after that’s through, I’ll have 3 solid weeks in which to do nothing but pack. And panic. It’s all beginning to register, and I really am wondering how well I’ll be able to handle this.

(wow, that wasn’t too long after all…I feel like there’s more, but I can’t think of anything.)

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