March 15, 2011

Quick Update

Posted in Japan, LEX Internship at 6:59 am by catsinboxes

Since the earthquake on the 11th, I’ve been posting regularly on my Lex Intern blog.  I’m sorry for not updating this blog sooner. Please follow this link to my Lex Intern blog to read current posts:

http://lexlrf.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

January 24, 2011

The Week in Review

Posted in Japan, LEX Internship at 11:11 pm by catsinboxes

Looking back over my first week in Japan, there’s quite a lot I could say. On Tuesday and Wednesday I was able to experience normal days of office work. Right now LEX Japan is getting ready to send delegate application forms to the US. My job has been to go through the forms and make sure that delegates have adequate health information. Often there is additional information attached in Japanese. One of the women I work with will translate this for me, and then if necessary, I add this to the form. It’s a fun job, involving a bit of conscise word crunching.

The LEX office

I love the environment in the LEX office, and the best way to describe it is to relate a slight misadventure of mine. On Tuesday morning, I took the subway all by myself. I was okay until I arrived at Shibuya train station. (From Shibuya I walk to the office) Shibuya is a very, very large train station, and I realized that I had no idea which way I should leave (north, south, east, or west). I found a pay phone and called the office. The lady I work with, Hiroko, told me the name of the street I needed to find and advised me to ask one of the station workers. I was a little worried because usually the station workers don’t speak English, but the man I asked did speak English very well. He gave me directions in perfect English; it turned out I was just down the street from where I needed to go, and off I went. When I walked into the office everyone (and there are at least 30 people!) started clapping! It was very funny, and I had to laugh.

After three days of work, I was ready for a fourth, but on Thursday morning matters took a different turn. I woke up sick and with the unhappy knowledge that there was no way I could head into the office. My bug, some kind of cold and fever, continued through Friday and over the weekend, making things pretty low-key!

By Saturday afternoon, I felt well enough to attend my host family’s Hippo Family club meeting. Afterward there was a party at the home of the LEX fellow for an exchange student from Korea. At the end of the party, as I was getting ready to leave, he asked me how long I was staying in Japan. I answered, “8 months”, and then I asked him when he was going back to Korea. He laughed and said, “Next week!” It made me smile; I really am here for a while!

 

My host family's LEX Family Club

I do feel like I’m coming along nicely learning Japanese. I still have a very long way to go, but on Saturday I was finally able to remember several phrases that have been evading me all week. There was quite a sense of achievement!

That’s all for now; come back soon for pictures that I took on a walk around my host family’s neighborhood . . .