Saturday, July 19, 2014

Final Ferry Blog

*This should have published last night, but the internet power wasn't strong enough

I'm on my final ferry ride. I left Rebun an hour and a half ago. Here's where I'm standing to write this blog. 
That's Wakkanai behind me. It won't be long before we arrive, just about another 30 minutes. I don't think I'm ready, but whether I'm ready or not, it's coming. 

Getting on the ferry:

Leaving Rebun
Rebun receding into the distance. 
Rishiri wearing a cloud hat:
Almost out of sight:
The lovely evening sky: 
Another evening sky view (do you see a sad face?):

Friday, July 18, 2014

The end of an era

A thousand farewell cards have been handed out. All my schools have been visited. A new job has been found. Many tears have been shed.

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The beginning and the end.

In some ways, today was not as difficult as I had feared, and in other ways, it was worse. I’ve been crazily busy for days weeks now, and I was running on adrenaline for most of the day. I forgot to eat breakfast, and then I forgot to eat lunch.

But I had a great day of classes and chatting with students afterwards. I almost lost it when I had to give a goodbye speech to all 57 teachers in the morning meeting. But I didn’t really lose it in public until our goodbye party, when the teachers gave me a gift. I opened up the bag and pulled out a large board covered in messages from teachers and students.

Can you get dehydrated from tears? Smile

Well, if there had to be a last day of school, this was a pretty good one.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Goodbye, Rebun

Woke up to a foggy morning
I will miss this fish!
Saying goodbye to Pension Uni was hard. I have enjoyed that place and the kindness of the Furusawas. Sniff. 

Today, a teacher brought fried octopus because she knew I really liked it! 
Oh, I can't write any more! It was so bittersweet. I'll write more later. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What a ride this has been!

And I mean all 5 years. 

Here we have a regular old commuter with her coffee, off for a day of work. 
Boy, it was a gorgeous day for a ferry commute. 
I had fun sending a million pictures, videos, and messages home. 

The temperature was perfect. It was also quite mild at school. Being seaside is nice!
After school, the students prepared for their school festival. 

This evening, the teachers had a farewell party (soubetsukai) for me at the yakiniku restaurant on the island. 
It was really a lovely day, and a great final evening on Rebun. And guess what? I think I might be in the room where I started at Pension Uni. It's the loft room with UFOs everywhere and glow-in-the-dark dolphins on the wall. Boy, did that ever surprise me the first time I turned off the lights!

Final ferry commute

In a few minutes, I will leave my house for my final traveling school visit. I will head out to Rebun Island this morning. That's just so hard to believe!
Rebun, lovely Rebun. 
I'm going to miss you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


So, Monday was a very random day. And that's saying something! First was a regular office day. But after work, I went with a family of friends down to the port. 
The ginormous ship Asuka II was making a short stop in Wakkanai. They came by last year as well. This year, a friend's dance group danced for the ship. Well, for the people on the ship. Haha. The cruise people seemed to really enjoy the performance. They called for an encore, which was performed as the huge ship slowly began driving away. 
I think this picture has dancers. I'm not really sure, because I'm standing in bright sun and strong wind and wearing sunglasses. 

As the boat pulled away, everyone waved. 
Bye, big boat!

After the boat left, we went across town to the archery range. It only costs ¥130 (a little over a dollar) to do archery for 2 hours. A man from the city hall came and taught us about archery, and then he released us into the wild. 
Let's shoot stuff!

I'm generally not bad at shooting, so I thought archery would be a breeze. 


I (and others!) shot the back wall, shot other people's targets, and all kind so stuff. One person even shot a yellow guide flag. 

If you look closely at an arrow at the top, you can see that someone else shot my target, too!

It was a fun evening!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Today was a pleasant day. Went to the high school festival in town. 
I had a good time hanging out and chatting with students. One of the classrooms had a life-sized game of life. We got to go through with weapons. I'm not sure why on that part! But it was a fun game!
This afternoon, I went for a short walk down to the sea. 
The sky was pretty, and Russia was clearly visible.