Long time no see! Me posting on my blog for the first time in a while can only mean one thing: I’m going back to Japan! And as always, I’m excited about it. To be honest, though, it was quite unexpected. Due to life circumstances, I thought I would be in the US for another year or two until I could go back to Japan, but through what totally felt like divine intervention, a door opened for a perfect opportunity for me to go back to Japan.
That open door is a chance to work at a Japanese private Christian high school, this time not as an assistant, but as a teacher! Like, the main teacher! As in, I get my own classes! Or at least, so I’m led to believe. But given that I share the faith of the school, and that I will for the first time really have the freedom to teach my own classes, I’m totally looking forward to it!
This school is also in a part of Japan I have never been to before. It will be far away from the places I have been, which will make it hard to visit them, which saddens me a little bit; but it will mean new adventures, new friends, and a fresh start. I feel like in my previous times in Tokyo and in Mie, because they were my first times living in Japan, I made lots of cultural blunders and just, well, normal blunders, I guess. I learned a lot through the whole process, but all that learning from mistakes doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Some people remember those mistakes more than you want them to. And some of those mistakes affect your friendships more than you want them to. I love all the friends I made in Tokyo and Mie, and will definitely go back to those places–and I don’t know how long this chapter in Aomori will be. But either way, I can’t deny that I’m excited to see just what 2018 Stephen will be able to do. Because I know I’m totally different than 2015 Stephen. Thanks to God, truly, I am more sure of his love than ever before, more certain of who I am than ever before, more filled with hope and freedom than ever before, and, even though there’s still a lot I don’t know, I think I can say that, minus one year’s worth of rust, I know Japanese language and culture better than I ever have. I’m ready. It’s gonna be a great adventure!
Enough about me, though! I want to share a little bit about where I’m actually going! The school is in Aomori!!! Translated literally, it means “Blue Forest.” Here it is on the map.
It is the second northernmost prefecture in Japan. It is known for growing apples, and apparently snow. Lots of snow. Like, I kid you not, I found multiple articles saying how Aomori City literally is the highest snowfall place in the world!!! In the whole world! If you don’t believe, click here. https://www.trespass.com/blog/top-10-snowiest-cities-on-earth. 669 cm yearly average! Wow!!!
I like the cold. But, as a friend I have who’s living there told me, “You’re about to learn a whole new meaning for the word, cold!”
Anyway, if preparations and visa stuff go well, then I expect to be arriving in this amazing corner of Japan on August 20th! Less than two months to get ready! I better get movin’!