Tuesday, March 25, 2008

first day of spring vacation.
overslept. sat alarm for 8am, shut down snooze and fell back asleep. woke with a start at ten to nine. the dream was vivid and not at all pleasant. in the dream i was back home and for some reason again working at Hama. it was my first night back and there was only a high school girl there setting up. i was asking where things were, because there were all sorts of new cupboards and closets and i couldn't find an apron, and the whole time i was thinking of what i would answer to other staff, who were all young teenagers and unknown to me, when they asked me about.. well...me.
i was thinking i can say that i used to work here and that i'm only back here because i need time to figure out what to do after my years in japan. at around then i woke up. and it was not a pleasant awakening and i what i immediately realized was that the place were i was starting my night's work was not actually Hama but the backroom of Audubon bookstore's coffee shop (this won't make sense to most readers.. sorry). it was strange. i knew i was at Hama but the place was just an updated version of the front and back of the cafe. i don't know what any of it means, but i was not pleased that in the dream i felt like i needed to explain myself. and i also thought that there's no way i was gonna go back and work at Hama as an intermediate job between this and whatever's next. and all i wanted to do was go back to sleep but had to come to school.

got to school at 9:30am. half the teachers are here. the kids are outside practicing their club sports. several newly minted second graders are inside swinging brooms about and generally pretending to be doing cleaning of some sort. i eat breakfast in the kitchen room and solve a sudoku puzzle to wake myself up. wakefulness does not come. i grab the book i'm meant to be translating, the DS, notebook and pen and walk up to 2nd floor and head for the library for a change of scenery. on the way i stop at the 2nd floor window and watch the tennis girls (and boy) practice down below. they notice me and shout "hellos" while dodging and smacking balls. I watch for a few minutes while behind me in the music room three 2nd grade girls are "practicing" their horn instruments. two trumpets and a trombone, all spewing out unconnected, seemingly out of tune notes. the sound of bouncing balls, the bellows of trombones, the shouts of "onegaishimasu" from below every time a ball is to be served... all mix together and i stand transfixed. spring vacation. must do something.

in the library i open up the shutters and windows to let in the sunny air. with purpose i choose one of the center tables and start on the translation. i'm working on an Okinawan folk tale for the english story contest. this year i'm having the two story kids choose the stories they'd like to tell. one picked a story the english translation of which i already have. the second student has given me a good reason to do some japanese studying by choosing one which hasn't been translated yet. so here i am, with a DS, scribbling down sentences that later i'll have to rewrite into a nice sounding story. the folk tale itself is actually interesteing and i understand the general gist of it, but translating it sentence by sentence is a challenging process, especially on a morning when i'm not awake. i'm nearly finished, with only a couple of pages to go.

had a couscous salad for lunch that i made myself. super easy to make and delish. all you need is some plain couscous, tomatoes and cucumbers cut up into small squares, raisins or craisins or both and pupkin seeds, all mixed up with a bit of olive oil, pepper and salt, and ta da! a lovely, light salad, perfect for a sunny spring day.

after lunch, i chatted with a couple young lady teachers about this and that, started on the Tuesday crossword (NY Times, in case you asked), and then decided to write this blog. about the first day of spring vacation when only half the teachers are here, kids have gone off home, and i'm debating taking off an hour early for a quick nap.

tomorrow a whole new fun adventure will begin with the arrival of Anna and Brad on the island. Can't wait! We're gonna go to some places i haven't been to yet and some places they'll enjoy that deal with pottery. I've put off the Tsuboya Pottery Museum just for Anna's visit and will now have two experts to explain things to me and give me a new understanding of pottery in Okinawa. Am really looking forward to hearing about their week long stay on mainland as well.
A few things i already have planned and they include a PTA party for leaving teachers, a lunch with English club students, a pot luck dinner with adult conversation class, a night out to izakaya and karaoke, visits to cafe/galleries in the north, just to get us started, with general Okinawa exploration sprinkled in between. should be good times. so stay tuned for photos and a follow up blog.


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