Category Archives: Josie’s Room

School Trip!!!

Last time I wrote, I said something about going on my school trip and  two months have already passed. Wow, I am really bad at this blog thing!!

But okay, so , all the third graders(9th in U.S.) got to go on a school trip to kyoto and nara, two very old cities in japan for three days. On the first day, I woke up at five in the morning to get on the six o’clock train. Then, with my friends, we went to the shin-yokohama station, which took forty minutes. We then met outside of the station where the principle and a few other teachers were waiting. We were told to arrive before seven, so it was fun watching my classmates coming in droves every fine minutes. Then, as a school, we all rode on a bullet train. It is very fast. We had two hours, and we were allowed to bring snacks.   It was a really fun because we had just started the school year a month before so I got to meet some girls from my class, who turned out to be my friends-to-be this year, so that was cool. Because I had travelled on this train before, I knew we would pass Mt. Fuji, so we got to see it. Then around ten, we all rushed out of the train, and spent our first day visiting old temples in nara. Each class(there were seven) and the home room teachers were put on huge buses that hold at least fifty people (my class has fourty seven students plus two teachers) and we were zoomed around to three temples and spent about an hour to two hours at each.

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We also saw a giant budda, and played with deer at the deer park. Then at four thirty we finally went to our hotel, ate dinner, took showers, went to meetings, and watched tv until curfew at ten thirty. But, we all know that when a class gets split into little groups of about seven to eight, and gets their own room(boys and girls each split into two groups) you don’t actually “sleep” until, like, two. But the freaky thing was, the teachers were patrolling that halls!!!!!! and we had to keep our doors open, and they heard every little noise!!! So we made it to twelve, until my teacher poked her head in and told us to be quiet and that was my first day.

 

The second day was my favorite. The class had little groups from seven to eight(like before), but this group was boys and girls mixed. Basically, as a group we went to all the places we had planned to go to.

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We first went to Fushimi Inari Taishya (shrine) which was beautiful. The shrine was on a mountain, and was basically surrounded with a forest, and with the famous bright red torii gates contrasting against the green, it was just gorgeous. The air was so fresh, and I loved it.  After that we went to Kitano Tenmangu (Shrine). This one I don’t remember much, except maybe that was the first time iI saw my friends pray at the shrine and wash their hands in the purified water, or something like that. I just remember kinda watching themfrom a few feet back.

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After that we went to Arashi Yama, with the bamboo forests and Kyoto Tower  and Toji temple and kinkakuji, the golden pavilion.  I don’t know which one was my favorite, kinkakuji or fushimi inari. I honestly don’t remember the last day, except feeling so tired and counting the hours to coming home. But then, with all the travels I’ve been on, I always think coming home is the best part.

It was a great time and a great experience.  Now I am back to regular classes which means study study study.

 

 

New Routines

So far this year, school has been surprisingly great, much better than I thought it would be two weeks ago.   Although my first day this year was weird and uncomfortable, I now know all the faces of my classmates, and I have many new friends.  I’m also getting to know my teachers, lessons and new school schedules.  My daily routines are much easier.

My class in school is pretty international, which is fun.  Besides me, an American, there’s a boy in my class who’s Chinese, and another who says he has lived in Chicago and Brazil.  Also, my friend Lisa, from last year, is going to go to Canada as a high school exchange student in June for three years. What a great opportunity!  And guess what?  Her host family has a pet pig!!!    I will miss her.

Already, we have been busy.   In May, all the third year students are going on a trip to Kyoto and Nara.  We will be there for three days and two nights.  Each class will separate into groups with seven to eight people, and each group gets to pick where to go.  Everyone’s pretty excited, and it’s a great way to get to know the people in your class a little.  At night in Kyoto, the whole school will stay in a huge ryokan (a Japanese style inn) which all the teachers are saying is beautiful.  And from what I hear, my dad is going to be jealous when he sees what I will be eating for dinner!!

Yep, school is different, and I am still getting used to it.  But I LOVE IT!!!  This is going to be a great year.

The Start of the New School Year

Today I had my first day of 9th grade…which is the third year of Jr High school in Japan.

There are seven classes of kids in my grade, and each year they scramble them up, creating new classes.  If you are lucky, you will have old friends in your new class in addition to all the new students you don’t know yet.  In my new class there are about six kids from my old class and I am glad to say at least two of them are friends, sort of.  At least I know their names and faces.  My homeroom teacher is an English teacher, so already my last year of junior high has brightened up a little.  Still, I have to say that my first day of school wasn’t quite what I expected.

I arrived at school early, and already there were kids waiting. Then, at precisely eight twenty, we were given papers which told us what class we were in and who was our teacher.  I somehow managed to reach my new classroom, which felt too clean and shiny, and basically stayed at my desk until I found someone who I actually knew.  We talked, and then, when all the kids had arrived, we had a little introduction with our teacher.  Then the whole school headed to the auditorium.  There, we listened to the principle and all the teachers give little speeches.  It took two hours. After that, we returned to our classes, turned in our homework, got some papers to take home to our parents, and school was finished for the day.  Everyone left at ten twenty in the morning. No classes, no lunch, and not much time to meet the people in your class.  So, I really don’t know how I feel about today. I hope that tomorrow will be a little better.

My Day to Day Life in Japan

Today, it rained…and rained…and rained…and rained!!! The back yard (if you even call it that) was covered by about two inches of water, but it’s slowly disappearing.  A tropical storm just came by and dumped a bunch of rain on us.IMG_0253  Because of that, my school, Tsukimino Junior High School, canceled classes this morning! YEAH!!  But sadly, Josiah’s school, Chuo Rinkan Elementary School, was only delayed by two hours..hee hee hee..

It has been a while since I last wrote, but we have been super busy.  Josiah and I have started school; here’s our morning schedule. Somewhere between 5:00 and 5:30, Papa wakes up. Mama’s alarm goes off at 5:00 so she gets up around then too.  I wake up around 5:30.  Then after that,  I either get up and take a shower, or go back to sleep and wake up at 6:00 until my mom comes in.  After my shower, I get into my P.E. uniform:  royal blue shorts (half way up the knee) and a white T-shirt and knee high navy socks.  Then comes the normal stuff like eating breakfast, brushing my teeth, making my bed (maybe), packing my bag (if I hadn’t done in the night before)…All of this happens by 7:00.  After that. I either read, or play with the bunny (Did you know we got a bunny?)

Our new bunny!

Our new bunny!

Then around seven thirty, we wake Julia, do our morning prayer, and Josiah’s off to school at 7:45. After he leaves, I put my uniform on over my P.E. clothes (strange i know, but it saves time at school and all the girls do it) and  I usually leave somewhere between that and 8:00.

Isn't he Cute!

Isn’t he Cute!

Besides school, I have Kumon every Tuesday and Friday evening.  Kumon is basically an after school tutorial.  I am catching up with my Japanese writing and Josiah is studying math.  Sometimes when I am there, I sit next to a boy who is probably in second grade. He just loves to talk…and talk…and talk…and talk.  He is very cute.  Other times, I sit near a little girl…maybe first or second grade and she’s super shy, but we often smile at each other when the teacher is telling the boy to be quiet.  It’s hard work, but lots of fun.  And yes, my Japanese writing is improving!

I made the decision to go to school at Tsukimino instead of homeschool and I am glad I did.  I have already made several new friends and my Japanese is improving.  But, as I said before, I am very busy with school work, homework and study.IMG_0153  Because of that, I am often very tired, especially since I have been fighting  an awful cold.  At first, it was just these loud, powerful coughs, and then just when I thought it was starting to go away, I caught a cold on top of that!!!  So tomorrow morning I go to the doctor and get a checkup and probably an X-ray, so that is something you can pray for.  Living in Japan is full of surprises and challenges.  God helps me everyday.  Slowly, I am getting used to Japan and its’ diverse culture. Before I arrived, I thought I knew pretty much everything about Japan…WRONG!!! But, I am learning and improving, not by my own strength, but Gods!!!

What happened here (so far…)

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are in Japan!  We have already been here for one month, and I have had lots of Japanese foods like ramen, soba, udon, and katsu bento and it was so good!  I especially liked the ramen, and Papa and I found a really good ramen shop. Mmmmmmmmmm…..

Ever since we got here, and especially the first two weeks we were here, we have been cleaning…UGH!!!!!  We are living at my grandparent’s second house, the one they aren’t living in, and it has been used mostly for storage.  My mother can’t stand messy houses with lots of stuff so she has been cleaning a lot.  Personally, I feel at home in messy houses (*^o^*).

Besides just getting moved in, from the second day were were here,  we have been thinking of schooling.  UGH!!!  But, for some reason, it has been VERY hard to find one for me.  For many weeks, we have been looking at and visiting many schools. It has been confusing and maybe a little stressful, because doors would creak open, and then some would just slam shut, and others would slowly open up, and then close back on us again! Even one of slammed doors opened up again!  But we are towards the end, and the one door that is still swung open is home schooling..and going to Kumon twice a week.  I am glad that’s over with.

Here’s something happier to read; If you know my family, then you will know that we have had a few rabbits in the past and we have really enjoyed having them. During all of our travels, Papa and Mama have promised us (Josiah, Julia and I) that we would get a pet (a REAL one) once we REALLY settled down. We have been taking about it, and a rabbit seems like a good choice because the yards are small here, and one rabbit does not need a huge space. After talking a bit, Papa and Mama said that if we are going to stay here for a while, we will get a rabbit (hallelujah!), but we will get the cheapest one (dang it!).

One day, Papa had just come back from his walks, and he said he found a hardware-like store that had pet store in it, and in the pet store were a few rabbits.   A few days later, we went there to see the three rabbits.  The cheapest one was about sixty dollars.  It is still a baby, and it is reddish brown, white, and I think black, but it could have been dark brown. The sign said that it was very shy, and will probably grow to be about three quarters of a foot long or maybe a little bit smaller.  We aren’t sure yet, but if we are going to stay here for a long while, then maybe, just maybe, we could get the rabbit on Julia’s birthday…

  And that’s all the time we have for today! Remember, God made you special, and he loves you very much! G’bye!

 

Last Days Frenzy

Today has been a busy day.  I cleaned my room and packed and was finally reading a book and resting when my mom told me that we were leaving for Japan in three days…THREE DAYS!!!  I haven’t even recovered from our San Francisco trip yesterday when we picked up my mom’s visa for going to Japan.  We had already been there three times, and I was tired. Yesterday, I was happy to leave the cold, gray city (with the exception of a pretty little park), but we returned to hot and dry Citrus Heights!!!   The sun has taken all the energy from me, and I am getting sleepier every minute. I went to get some cooler clothes upstairs, but I found that I don’t have any shorts to wear (because everything is packed), so I am trying to survive with jeans (long) and a tank top.  I wish I were Elsa, and that I could make it cold here in California. But even with the heat, I like my room.  It’s pretty with the sunshine bouncing off our tangerine walls, but I wish it were raining.  And now I am going to Japan.  I will miss my Tangerine room.

It is not fun to say goodbye.  But on the other side, it will be fun to say hello to my grandparents in Japan and eat all my favorite Japanese foods.  Three more days….

Hello! I’m Josie

 Hi! My name is Josie.  I am a seventh grader who loves Caramel Frappuccinos from Starbucks and bunnies and griffins.

 I was born in Portland, Oregon, and lived there with my parents and younger brother until I was five and a half.  Then we went to Okinawa, Japan, and we lived there for three and a half years. (I was there from first grade to third grade.)  

I personally think that we were sent there to get to know Okinawa, which is my idea of a vacation.   Okinawa has bright blue skies with a few tiny stretches of white, cotton candy clouds that glide over the tiny tropical island filled with palm trees, bright green plants, fiery bright flowers of all colors, and white sand surrounded by an everlasting wall of turquoise water.   My little sister was even born there…LUCKY!!! 

 After living there three years, we moved back to America, thinking that it was just a temporary thing, but God said “NO!!!”.   We stayed in Oregon for a year, where Josiah (my brother) and I  went to a public school in Portland.  I was in fourth grade, and  it was then that I “re-learned” English.

 When the year passed, we thought we would move back to Okinawa…WRONG!!! Instead, God sent us, of all the places in the world, to KANSAS CITY!!!  We stayed there for about three years, and I really enjoyed it.  My first year there was the weirdest year of my life.  I mean, can you imagine a class with six crazy boys, and three girls, who are all kind of quiet?  It was an interesting year, but I loved it.   My second year was not quite so crazy, but boys just can’t seem to control themselves, can they?  But I like classes with crazy boys, and it was never boring. I realized then that I have a talent for writing short stories and poems and I also have the talent of going extremely crazy at Starbucks. Good times… I made really good friends.  It was a really nice time there and now we are going back to Okinawa.

 People often ask how I feel about this, and, seriously, I feel good. I mean, when God tells you to “go,” you just go, right?  I know he’s got everything ready for us, and all he wants us to do is just “go.”