Friday, March 25, 2011

Update from Aussie

We have made it safely to Australia and are currently in Noosa. Apart from a few minor incidents (leaving kids on buses, almost getting kicked out of zoos etc....) everything is going well and I am getting some nice quiet evening times to relax away from the 40 kids who are with us. Unfortunately that all changes when we head away on Sunday to an outdoor education facility where it will be sleepless nights patrolling again!
I can't get any photos uploaded on this computer, but there is a brief blog written by the English school the children are being hosted by which "features" Emily in one of the entries and some photos of the kids kayaking etc. The address is if anyone wants to take a look.
Right... time to make breakfast and lunch and head out again into the heat..... I hope all those back in Japan are okay - the reports here are not so wonderful and it would be great to think that they are blowing it out of proportion again.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Finishing up for the "year"

Reports from northern Japan still keep us glued to the TV. It is hard to know how to help - the main problem being that there are a lot of supplies which have been donated etc., but which are impossible to get delivered to the affected areas due to lack of access, the major problem being lack of fuel. We have opted to send money rather than goods in the hope that they will be able to use it to buy supplies a little closer to the area and therefore save precious fuel that would be necessary to send it from here.
While the devastation continues up north, life here in the south continues as "normal". I had my final classes for the school year today - it has been a week of farewells, some sad and others not so sad! I have had a real mixed bag of kindergarten and school classes, but in general have enjoyed the year. I find it difficult to celebrate the end of the year as in general the next year starts one week later... no long holidays here in between the school years. In fact my kindergarten classes finish this week and in theory start again next week... only we won't be here so I get a respite till the first week of April.
We head to Australia on Sunday for 2 weeks. 2 weeks holiday in the sun sounds wonderful right now. The only catch is that I am accompanied by 40 students - ranging from 10 to 18 years old. I am not the "person in charge" so in theory have very little responsibility, but from experience I know that it is not going to be a very relaxing 2 weeks. My children are looking forward to it so much and are excited about missing a week of school - they even finished almost all their spring holidays homework (don't get me started on that) tonight in preparation. They packed their bags last week and have been counting down the sleeps.
Me... I realised I had a flat tyre today after I got home from a kindergarten graduation ceremony and had 1 hour to try and fix it and make dinner before getting to my afternoon classes. The tyre was impossible to change as all new cars these days don't seem to come with spare tyres. So I had to race off on my bike to find where my father-in-law was in the mountains and ask if I could borrow his car. I managed to get the tyre off and to the mechanics before my class, finish my class, pick up the kids, finish making dinner, help put the tyre back on and even managed a cup of coffee before the kids went to bed. So, I have not even thought about packing for Australia.... perhaps tomorrow will bring more luck!
Biggest entertainment for today was watching a little boy at the graduation ceremony who was determined to sleep through the whole thing. I kept laughing as the teacher would prod him every now or catch him as he was about to fall off his chair!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


This blog seems to be turning into reports and reassurances about disasters..... As you are all aware there has been an absolutely terrible earthquake here in Japan. The images on TV just get worse and worse and the loss of life and destruction caused by the earthquake and the tsunami which followed is incomprehensible. We are in a completely different area from where the earthquake hit and although trains were stopped in fear of tsunami waves we have really not been affected at all. It all seems very unreal and I sit here wondering what I can do to actually help in some way.
If anyone is in an affected area and needs a break for a while we have a cottage which is empty and although we will be in Australia for a couple of weeks anyone is more than welcome to use it.... the garden has plenty of veges and the chickens are still laying eggs. If anyone else has any ideas about how we could help out please let me know.
I really hope that there are a few miracles over the next few days, but things are looking pretty grim right now.