Today I received my contract from the Awaji City Board of Education (MAP). It arrived exactly one month after my email from the Japanese Consulate informing me of my placement. The package contained my Notice of Appointment, Terms and Conditions, and the Statement of Agreement. I could not have been more excited to tear open the envelope. The information provided inside helped convince me that I will actually be in Japan in just over one month, and that this isn’t just some dream I have been having. However, I still feel like departure is a long ways away. I am grateful to spend time with my family and friends while I’m home, but I am also a little anxious to be in Japan. I mean, this is something that I have been preparing for since October…Can it just be July 28th already?
A part of me wants to know everything about my placement. Like: what my apartment looks like, what the schools will be like, where the best restaurants are, etc. On the other hand, I also want to be surprised. Fortunately, my predecessor contacted me through Facebook and gave me the lowdown on Awaji.
Turns out I will teach at two middle schools; one a five minute walk from home, and the other a fifteen minute bus ride. My commute sounds really convenient, especially considering it takes an hour and ten minutes to get into work right now. Additionally, it’s only a fifteen minute walk to the swimming beach. But I will be able to see the ocean from my window! Another plus is the apartment will be fully furnished when I arrive. Well, at least it will be to Japanese standards, meaning no western bed. I will miss my bed here at home. But hey, “When in Japan…sleep on the floor”
Overall, I am psyched about my housing situation. I look forward to being in the countryside where I can learn and practice my Japanese. However, I am not isolated. I am fortunate enough to be forty minutes from Kobe, an hour and twenty minutes from Osaka, and an hour and forty-five minutes from Kyoto (my favorite city). A big thanks to my predecessor, Lana, for answering all my questions.