Countdown to Japan Adventure

19 May
I still can’t believe it!! In only five weeks, I’m heading to Japan for a homestay with a Japanese family, sightseeing in Tokyo, Toyota CityHiroshima and Kyoto and teaching English to fifth and sixth graders.  It’s part of the International Educators to Japan program, as explained in a previous post.
In preparation for my visit, I’m learning about the Japanese culture and a little of the language. Fortunately, many friends and family have been to Japan and have advice for me.  Here are just a handful of their interesting tips:
  • don’t look people straight in the eye — it’s rude
  • change into a different pair of slippers before entering into someone’s bathroom
  • carry baby wipes or handkerchief for washing hands in public bathrooms
  • have lots of business cards handy and let the other person hand theirs to you first to avoid rudeness
  • bow, only slightly, when meeting someone
In anticipation of my trip, I’ve posted some Japanese pictures on Pinterest of the places I’ll visit.  It all looks so beautiful, but believe it or not, what I look forward to the most is meeting the Japanese people and embracing their culture.  My brother-in-law lives there so I’ll be meeting up with him.  Also, one of my ELL students will be there during my visit and I plan to see him and his family.
I feel so honored to be chosen for this Japanese adventure.  I’m the only one from my entire school district and one of eight participants coming from Metro Detroit.
The countdown begins today! Woohoo!

Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Teaching, travel


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16 responses to “Countdown to Japan Adventure

  1. Michelle Isenhoff

    May 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I was wondering when this was going to go down. Figured it was getting close. How exciting!

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      May 19, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      Yes – it’s happening at last! Perhaps I should take your last ms with me for the long flight! 🙂

  2. Blazing Portals

    May 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I’m very excited for you!! I can’t wait to hear about your trip!

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      May 19, 2012 at 8:28 PM

      Thanks Nance! I plan to blog while I’m there, except maybe during the homestay where I’m not sure if they’ll have internet. Can’t wait!

  3. agirlcalledemily

    May 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Hi there! I look forward to reading about your adventures in Japan! I was there for 3 weeks as a hgh school student, and teaching English there is one of my many goals in life. I will really enjoy hearing about how you find the process, what challenges you come across, and all your amazing experiences there. Best of luck! x

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      May 19, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      Emily – how exciting for you to spend 3 weeks there as a high school student! Have you blogged about that experience? If so, I’d love to read it. Also, thanks for your support – I’ll blog as much as I can while I’m there, including my English lessons and how the kids respond to them.

      • agirlcalledemily

        May 19, 2012 at 9:22 PM

        Unfortunately no, I don’t think I was aware of the existence of blogs then! My first travel blog experience is the once I’m currently keeping, about my year in Europe. When in Japan we were supposed to write a diary, but I kept mine very tame as the teachers wanted to read it, and when I spend a year in South America I also just stuck to a hard copy diary, although I wish now that I had kept a blog instead / too!
        Do you have any previous TESOL training / experience? How did you get involved in teaching in Japan?

      • Maggie Wunderlich

        May 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

        You could still blog about it now – your memories at least. I’d love to read about them. I’ll check out your blog for current travels. I’m an ELL parapro at an elementary school and I learned about the IETJ program at a Japanese Saturday school open house. I blogged about it previously if you want to read that. I love teaching ELL students — it’s so rewarding!

      • agirlcalledemily

        May 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        Maybe I will Write about my time in Japan. If only I had photos on this computer! unfortunately they’re all at home in NZ. My travel blog is not my main blog, but you will find a link to it on the sidebar in my ‘normal’ blog. It’s a little more personal than my normal blog, as it is written primarily for my family and friends.

  4. Alex Diaz-Granados

    May 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Wow! How exciting…you are going to Nippon, the land of the Rising Sun and, as they say over there, the Yamato spirit.

    I didn’t have Internet access back in 1988 when I went to Spain to participate in the College Consortium for International Studies’ Semester in Spain program in Sevilla (Seville). I lived and studied there for three months, and while we were not required to keep a diary (well, some of the other students had to, but my home college did not mandate it), I did write several columns about my experiences abroad for my campus’ student paper. I lost a few of the issues they were published in over the years, but I did copy the “survivors” down and posted them in several online venues. Maybe Emily can copy her diaries (tame as they might be) and post them in a blog now?

  5. Alex Diaz-Granados

    May 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    If anything, Emily might even chuckle over how her world view has changed since she wrote the diary entries!

    • agirlcalledemily

      May 30, 2012 at 5:49 AM

      Hi Alex! I just saw your reply, sorry for the delay! This is a great idea! I would have to locate the diary first, but I’m sure I would find my 15/16 year old self quite amusing. This is something I will have to look into once I get home to NZ!

  6. agirlcalledemily

    May 30, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    Hi Maggie, me again! Just wanted to let you know I’ve been reading through your posts and find your blog lovely, and so wanted to nominate you for the Creative Chaos Award. If you chose to accept, head over here to see what you need to do: I hope you do accept! Enjoy!


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