Usually my time spent on Iki is pretty empty. Not that much to do on an island where everything closes at 9pm (that’s also when the street lights shut off). I do a lot of reading. A solid amount of writing (when my muse cooperates). I go to Fan Dancing, Flamenco, and Taiko practice (when Taiko is happening). Sometimes I have school activities or parties. And then on Friday the ALTs meet for curry. I’d say overall it’s very satisfying, but there’s often plenty of time for me to sit and twiddle my thumbs.
Not so much this week.
Before I left Iki for Korea, I wrote an article for the Iki newspaper about charity: water. (I’m trying to get Iki people to donate so we can fund the digging of a well.) Since I got back I’ve been trying to get the article even more into the spotlight. This is harder than it sounds.
- TRANSLATING!! It takes a ridiculous amount of time. I spend hours just figuring out a page, then I have to ask someone to fix it, then I fix it, then I ask them to check it again, and then I fix it again.
- Fliers, cards, posters, etc. All have to be pulled together.
- One of my teachers wants me to give a speech in front of the school. That must be written.
- I want to go to the other schools on Iki to talk to the teachers there. That means I have to write another speech. (My Japanese on the cuff is understandable, but very clumsy.)
It’s slow going. I’ve gotten two donations so far (but that’s better than none!). One of my principals agreed to do the “All You Can Drink: Water” pledge–each time he goes on a drinking party, he’s donating 2000 yen. I just have to get it out there and try to get past the language barrier. It takes time.
THEN I have lesson planning. Not just regular lesson plans, either. I need to prepare for Halloween, which involves cooking food at very high temperatures with hormonal teenagers. That’s dangerous. More time. More translating. More hoops to jump through.
I’m planning a trip to Yakushima (a gorgeous island that was the inspiration for Princess Mononoke). I really need to start making reservations for it.
I’m planning a GIGANTIC Thanksgiving dinner to thank the myriad of Japanese people on Iki who have helped me over the last year. I’m guessing there’ll be at least 20 guests. That means I need to
- Order food (including, probably, two turkeys)
- Make invitations (which also requires me going back and forth with the other ALTs to be certain the days are okay)
- Find a venue (my house is not big enough for that many people
- Figure out logistics of food making (my fridge is not large enough to hold a turkey, nor is my oven big enough to cook one)
- Make sure I don’t forget anyone.
And I need to make copies and keep my life going in other areas. I can’t believe I’m so busy. Today I didn’t stop moving and just sit until about 8:30pm. At which point I watched Glee. Best new show on TV! It’s so good. Go watch it. Full of funny.
Then here are the other things I need to do (when I can fit them in):
- Practice for the Flamenco show — It’s October 18th and that’s coming up fast. Just two more Tuesdays of practice, then the night-before practice. And I’m still confused on parts of the routine.
- VISIT THE FREAKING POST OFFICE. I have two letters that I really need to send.
- Eat lunch with Etsuko.
- Write. I really want to work on the WIP.
- Study Chinese.
- Study Japanese.
- Study for the Foreign Service Exam. (This involves buying several books off Amazon, working through them, then writing summaries of them for review later when I take the test in June.)
- Plan some sort of big informational meeting about charity: water. I’ve got some half-formed ideas in my mind.
- Buy my plane tickets back to the states for Sarah’s wedding. (I should have done it this last week–RT to Seattle was at a low of $819!!! With Taxes!!! And now it’s $1009! AGH! Oh well. I just have to cross my fingers that it goes back under $900 before December.)
- Relax. (Okay, I do this already. I need breaks!)
Hahahaha… Good times.