Given that sister cities promote international understanding and good will, it seems appropriate that my first blog posting on the Sidney Sister Cities Association website should be on Canada Day.
I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent Sidney as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), in Sidney’s sister city of Niimi Japan commencing in mid August. Except to say that I have just picked up my entry visa into Japan from the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver, thus completing the final step in a rather long process, I mention this only because I wanted to be certain that everything was resolved regarding the job before I posted anything at all. The past couple of weeks though, have been eventful. Our contact at the Niimi Board of Education, Ms. Naomi Sugi seems to anticipate whatever concerns I might have with regard to moving to Japan. When I laid awake one evening wondering how I’d get from the airport to Niimi, I awoke the following morning to find an itinerary and a note saying she would meet me at the airport. Similarly, no sooner had I given thought about my accommodations in Niimi when Ms. Sugi sent an email with photos of the apartment she had chosen for me. Apart from the fact that I have yet to rent my condo (uh-oh!), with every passing day it gets easier. The flight is arranged, my accommodations are also arranged and I look forward to the mid-August departure.
With regard to the blog I expect it will get easier as I become more accustomed to writing it. I expect I will be writing about:
The process of teaching Japanese students English-speaking skills.
Acclimating and adjusting to living in an unfamiliar foreign culture. I’m hoping this will be casual and fun.
Keeping the Sidney Sister Cities Association informed about my progress. They have all been consistently supportive and I would be remiss if I did not thank them all. Thank you Bob, Lesley and Patricia in particular.
Should anyone have questions with regard to the Sidney Sister Cities Association or the ALT program, please do not hesitate to email.