Friday, March 25, 2005

Camp Fukuoka: Day 1

Camp is so cool! I think I have said it many times before, but AFS camps are so much fun!!

We arrived last night at Fukuoka airport to be greeted by our cool, hip, young (and might I add very cute!!) female leaders (the males showed up 5 minutes later, they were way cool too!)
We then loaded our bags into trucks outside the airport (note: weather= 3 degree's celcius)
and were taken upstairs to a diner in the airport and treated to a fantastic dinner, which I ended up having with the Director of AFS Fukuoka (hehe hanging with the big wigs!) and caroline (ca-chan). Once we were full we were packed into a bus and taken to a camp on the outskirts of Fukuoka city.

The leaders split us into our groups and introduced each groups leaders (my groups leaders were Kana-chan and Toshimatsu A.K.A GTT- Great Teacher Toshi) Later on we were shown to the Japanese Bathroom (onsen) where we were greeted with the site of a room full of naked japanese teenage boys (note: this grossed some of the other guys out, namely the exchange student from New Zealand who refused to bathe the whole camp!!!) Let me take a moment to talk about Onsen.
Imagine a room full of your Gender, showering, bathing and running around naked...............
actually don't imagine that it sounds rather scary, when in reality it isn't. It's not like you are perving on everyone in the room. Basic rule for onsen bathing: keep your eyes at eye level!!! lol

Had a great relaxing bath and then hit the sack (went to bed). This morning I was told I slept through a minor earthquake (an aftershock of a massive earthquake 5 days ago)

We were woken up at 6:30am today, and outside by 7am for a flag raising ceremony with the Japanese school that was staying on the camp with us. Hehe Japanese girls are s funny, I have been having numerous experiences where I walk by a group of them and they sneek glances at you and giggle with each other lol. It even happened in front of GTT (Great Teacher Toshi) last night and he was like "yeah man your in" lol ROFL....... nah we both just thought it was really funny.

Food has been excellent! It seems the Japanese strive for excellence in all that they do (including camp food!!) they beat Australian camps by a long way.

Anyway must dash classes to attend,


Dinner at the airport

Ca-chan (caroline)

Up bright and early for flag raising

female leaders

morning view of Fukuoka

Thursday, March 24, 2005

30,000 feet up in the air

Well here I am 30,000 feet in the air above Osaka putting pen to paper (which has been translated into finger to keyboard lol). I can truly say I have accomplished my dream of coming to Japan so now I guess the dream becomes one of self discovery, adventure and outwards understanding of those around me.

It still isn't setting in, the fact that I'm no longer in Australia, but in not only an entirely different country, but an entirely different culture that functions in a totally opposite way to Australia. Part of the realisation not setting in would have to do with the fact I have caroline (my best friend) and my other friend Amanda with me for most of the trip so far (Amanda went her seperate way at Narita, but Caroline will be on camp with me in Fukuoka) and also because all the exchange students speak a large amount of english (as do the AFS staff we have met so far)

I've been pretty happy with the way I have been able to handle myself as a first time international traveller. I've managed to keep myself well presented and not looking like I just pumped myself full of heroine before I entered customs (this I am most impressed with) and I kept my long sleeve business shirt free of wrinkles, bad odours and spotless over 2 flights totalling 12 hours (15 if you include airports and transfers)

I've been making lots of really cool new friends. At the moment the coolest is probably a girl called Valentina (what a cool name!) from South America, followed by an American called Alex and a European called Bjorn.

It was hell killing 6 hours standing in one place in Narita airport!!!!! Though it was really funny when I went to the bathroom to change my shirt, I paused for a second "hang on, I'm in a bathroom stall in Japan applying deodarant and changing my shirt......... Nah still feels like I'm in Sydney lol"

Some Japanese reactions to seeing such a huge group of white teenagers have been unbelievable. I had 3 little boys staring at me open mouthed for about 2 minutes this afternoon, it was hilarious.

Anyway homesickness is still yet to strike (will it strike? I am having to much fun!) and if it does I'm sure you will hear about it.

More stories to come,

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A day of reckoning

Finally, the day of reckoning is upon me. The weather is dreadful, huge storms and dreary rain, maybe to help fit the mood for my mothers feelings about me leaving. I leave for Japan in less than 12 hours and I will say this, THE DAY OF RECKONING HAS NOTHING ON ME CAUSE I AM WAY TOO EXCITED!!!!! LOL

anyway I will update from Japan as soon as possible!

later guys,

Sunday, March 13, 2005

10 days

And so the final countdown begins. 10 days until I leave for japan. The next two weeks are going to be party, party, party!!! No time for reflection just time to say goodbye and get last minute shopping in.

The next year will be challenging, fun and new. I don't know what is going to happen, only that lots is going to happen (hehe hopefully lots of good stuff). I will provide as many stories as I can and hopefully they will be interesting. Now I am just getting really excited and amped up about everything.

Until 10 days my friends,