Terry is still having wifi problems – in the meantime, here is another email from him. Sounds like he is keeping busy and enjoying himself.
In anticipation of a typhoon arriving either later today or Sunday the rains are monsoon-like and the humidity is extremely high. I’m writing this from the mountainside perch of the Niimi Museum. It has been a frustrating afternoon. Although I can receive (and with luck send) emails from the lounge, every time I attempt to log on to the SSCA (or any other) website, I get asked for a password to the “fon Wi-Fi Network”. As I don’t have a password I cannot log on. As I said it has been a frustrating afternoon. The cafe is about half way between here and my apartment so I’ll try there on the way home.
Despite the difficulties getting connected to the internet (possibly 2 more weeks yet), things are going well. I have spent a full day at each of the schools I’ll be teaching at. I spent yesterday marking papers and the previous day at Niimi Daichee School with a 3 year veteran ALT named Andrew (from Ontario) who kindly showed me “the ropes” and conducted the full tour. I introduced myself and chatted a bit to an auditorium of attentive students who graciously applauded with near enthusiasm. I’m expected to give a powerpoint presentation about myself, Sidney and the SSCA in about 10 days so I do hope the internet connection doesn’t take too long.
On a positive note, Naomi took me to a sumptuous banquet welcoming me to Niimi on Thursday evening. I was dumbfounded and humbled that they would go to so much effort. It was undoubtedly one of the best meals I have ever had. Your friend Yoshihiro Niinaka (President: Niimi Chamber of Commerce), was quite insistant that I say hello to his good friend “Bobo-san”. Actually you have probably met at least half the people in attendance, all of whom were unfailingly gracious and kind – and quick to pour the beer and sake I might add. Yhe transition from formal to very easy-going and loquacious was quite abrupt. Beer came in: fun started! Fortunately it did not go late; on a “school-night I was home and in bed by 9:30! I have photographed a copy of the program for the evening (with Canadian and Japanese flags), and will email it to you at my first opportunity.
As you know Niimi is stunningly beautiful. As I approached the museum this afternoon the overwhelming cachaphony of bird songs reminded me of those old hollywood movies set in the jungle. The forest is impenetrably thick and is apparently populated with wild boars. Water flows and “babbles” throughout the town where it has been diverted from the river.
The humidity can take some getting used to. It was sauna-like when I arrived and the temperature was 94F. I was taking as many as 3 quick showers a day and frequently changing clothing. With luck these torrential rains will cool things down a bit and, in any case autumnal weather is just around the corner. Probably the first time in my life I have looked forward to the fall season!
Hoping this email gets through Bob and very much looking forward to writing at much greater length in the near future. Please say hi to the SSCA members and Patricia; I hope she enjoyed the book by Murakami.
Ta for now Bob,