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This blog documents my experiences in preparing for and traveling in Japan.

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Snow White

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on April 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (347)

It's funny; as we've progressed through spring, I've noticed some interesting fashion trends; the dark sun visors, the 'motor cycle helmets' (extreme sun visors), plastic bike mitts, gloves, and long sleeves, and even turtle-necks. What's wrong with this picture that's in your mind right now? If you were looking at a picture of people out and about in the park and couldn't feel the temperature, you would think it was still twenty degrees here (that's fareighnheight by the way)! And it's ...

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What I've been up to (last month)

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on April 3, 2012 at 3:00 AM Comments comments (3)

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. And to think I've been on Spring Break this whole time.8) Well, I guess I'd better write a quick update of the recent goings on here. First of all my house mate, Mary-Beth, reunited with her mom for a couple of weeks in Japan. Her mom came to japan to see her, of course, but to also explore the place that her daughter has been living in for the past 9 months. I tagged along with them on a couple of outings -- one of which was Tok...

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The Onsen

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on March 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the best things in Japan is the Onsen. Now, if you don't know what an Onsen is, you will either be suprised or terribly shocked. An Onsen is a public bath house, which uses natural hot springs to fill the pools. They are the best comforts during the freezing cold months!

Each Onsen is unique because of all the different types of baths/pools. The first time I experienced an onsen was during our snowboarding trips in Nojiri were the snow piles up to your cabin's second f...

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Sing-Song Machinery

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 23, 2012 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

One of the first things I noticed when I came here was how much everyone sings. EVERYONE. The students sing in the halls and during art class and the teachers can be heard in the teacher's office. I had no idea how much music and song was a part of this culture. Even the machinery plays a tune! The funny thing is that no one really dances. Yes, we do have a lady who comes in once a week to give ballet lessons, but dancing in general isn't nearly as much a part of this cult...

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My 'Thing'

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 16, 2012 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (1)

During the last two weeks, I started teaching the literature/language arts class. I'm still teaching the same English classes as before only now on a slightly altered schedule. In literature class my job is to keep everyone on the Sonlight schedule in the Bible and literature sections. Right now we are reading Going Solo by Roald Dahl. It's a good book and I can really relate to the main character. Have any of you Sonlight kids read it, yet? ;)

Aside from reading the books and ...

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Generosity on a Stick Anyone?

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 6, 2012 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Aside from being trusting, Japan is already known for its generosity. (There is indeed an atmosphere of giving with expecting in return among many people, which should not be ignored as a flaw in this virtue.) A man who owns a meat stand right outside the grocery store that I stopped at with a friend who told me that this salesman normally will give him extra food simply because he's a loyal customer (and a nice person). I didn't buy anything at the stand because I didn't have any money ...

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Don't You Count Your Change?

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 6, 2012 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Ok, so, yesterday I went shopping at the mall across the street with a couple of friends. We stopped by an icecream place which is set up inside the grocery store with a small sales window for the pedestrians. I ordered a custard and pineapple twist. The vendors here don't require payment prior to handing over their merchandise. He didn't even so much as glance at the money that I handed him. My friends and I agreed that he was a bit odd. Evenso, this country is very trusting.

Snowboarding in Japan!

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 5, 2012 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Hey all! I recently got back from Nojiri which can be best described as a winter wonderland. I've never seen so much snow in my life! I loved the rush of  sliding down the slopes and the adrenaline from wiping out. Haha. We spent three days up there in a cabin that was built back in the early 1900's which was pretty cool. 8) 

Hey guys! Unfortunately I had some technical difficulties trying to attach the video to the video section so I decided to give up and...

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New Year GOALS

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday morning the Iverson family, which now includes Mary Beth (my housemate) and I, sat at the kitchen table to discuss our new years resolutions. I personally don't believe in making resolutions especially for the new year because it seems so fickle and idealistic. Instead of resolutions I believe in goals. Now, I know that you may be thinking that they are one and the same, but they're as different as can be.

Every January millions of resolutions are made ...

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The Living Nativity

Posted by Kathryn Marshall on January 1, 2012 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey everyone! Since it has been a while since I last posted an entry, I have a lot to catch you up on, so I will start with the journey to Ishinomaki in Tohoku -- this is where the worst of the earthquake and tsunami hit back on March 11th. To the Japanese this date is as imfamous as September 11th.  

We left on the 23rd of December. Many team families and individuals adding up to approximately seventy people packed into a bus in the evening so that we could arrive in Tohoku b...

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