(Written on August 08 )

Spent four hours at the beach yesterday-and I did not wear sunscreen.  The result?  A mild burn (which doesn’t hurt at all, and I don’t think it will peel).  I must buy sunscreen.  (Note from Aug 16: Did not even peel.  Am currently as dark as Japanese people.)

There were tons of tourists at the beach, even two gaijin that we didn’t recognize.  The dragonflies (tonbo?) were also very active; when I was resting, one of them started buzzing around my face and eventually sat itself down on a pinecone and stared at me and I stared at it and we stared at each other.  Then it flew away.

Still can’t quite get around how gorgeous the beaches are and how they’re paying me to live here.  The jellyfish, however, are a little disconcerting.  I keep accidentally brushing them while swimming, though I am no longer as paranoid about getting stung.  Once they get big, however, I might have some problems (and by some I mean many, as there are thousands of jellyfish).

I’ve also been going to “work” this week.  Essentially, I have to show up in the staff room for the first four hours of the day and look like I’m working.  I’m taking the time to study Japanese, but it’s rather strange.  The actual teachers use the summer to create the next term’s curriculum and coach the clubs.


My Desk.  Not much going on.

My Desk. Not much going on.


The staff room.  I was the only one there because I'm the only one who does not coach a sport.

The staff room. I was the only one there because I am the only one who does not coach a sport.

In Japan, students still attend “school” during the summer.  On Iki, they’re very serious about club/sport activities, so in the morning for a half-hour or more, they run around the track.  Then they practice their sport for about three hours.  Then they can go home.  It’s really majime-yo, as I might say (serious!), but I’ve also been known to say tsuyoi-yo (so strong!).  However, because they’re so serious about it, a lot of the kids suffer from heat stroke and the teachers just ganbatte/ganbarimasu (keep trying) them through it.  It’s intense to watch, but an interesting part of Japanese culture. 

Just finished editing my second novel.  155 pages/81,000 words all through their first round of editing.  I guess that means I should start putting together a synopsis and query letter, huh?  Damnit… I feel like that’s the hardest part.  Certainly doesn’t take as long as writing the book, but it sure does grate my patience…