About Me

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Virginia Beach, VA, United States
This blog (or 日記 if you will) is intended to chronicle my experience in Japan at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan from July to August, 2012. I have always wanted to have a journal, though, so I will try to get into a habit of writing frequently about the things important to me in my life. Besides, I plan on returning to Yamasa to participate in the AIJP after I get out of the Navy! These are the Espelancer Chronicles. Erica is also blogging about the trip, and you should totally check it out. It is The Marvelous Misadventures of Schneewittchen link over on the sidebar.

Monday, July 16, 2012


   Well, I am far too excited to sleep and I have been meaning to write all day, so here we are.  I will be departing from Norfolk International Airport in about 12 hours now, bound for Dallas to spend a night with my family.  The next morning, it is off to Tokyo and then Nagoya for a month of intensive Japanese language studying.

Meet Sugarwater, our new companion on our Japanese adventure.
   I suppose you are wondering what the title of this post has to do about anything, though.  We have an addition to our traveling party -- a gnome named Sugarwater.  Sugarwater will be joining us as we explore Japan over the course of this next month, and you will see him in a variety of photos from time to time.  Why a gnome, you ask?  Well, it involves a tradition known as gnoming, where you steal a gnome before going on a trip and send it off into the world, photographing it at landmarks and famous sites.  I did not steal this gnome, though -- it is for a friend of mine's little girl and was given to me for this purpose.  Everyone knows if I tried to steal a gnome, I would probably end up doing hard time.

   Well, the bulk of today involved packing my bags.  I have a lot of stuff to bring, and I would hate to forget anything.  Every time I go on a trip, I always forget something that would be really convenient to have, such as the time I went underway without my laptop charger -- doh! 

    Since I am going to a language school, I had to make sure I brought all of my study materials with me, as well as my Japanese reading material.  As you can see, I have been preparing for this for quite a while!  Hopefully it pays off, as I would like to do well enough on the placement test to be put in a challenging class.

  Of course, that also means I need to bring all of my Japanese entertainment, as well.  You would be surprised how effective watching movies in Japanese and playing Japanese video games is at making new vocabulary words stick.  Nothing is better than seeing the words you are learning being used in in literature, movies, games, and hopefully in conversation too!

   I have also packed all of the necessities - all of my favorite clothes, enough toiletries and supplies to last the entire month, of course my camera and laptop, and anything else that I felt I could not survive a month without.  Just wait, though, I will probably be writing about forgetting something in a few days, now...

   The next time you hear from me will be tonight from Dallas, the first stop on my journey.  On a side note, doesn't that cloud look a lot like Mickey Mouse to you?  Maybe it's just me, but I saw this driving on the HOV today and randomly felt like I had to take a picture. 



  1. Off to a nice start...i told you i would check out your blog, you picked a perfect time to leave the plant i will tell you that. ni how? is that something in japanese?

  2. Thanks for writing in. Ni Hao is Hello in Chinese. In Japanese it would be こんいちは(Konnichiwa).