This blog turns two today! Woot!
I started this blog exactly two years ago to keep a record of my attempt to work in Japan with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program (JET Program) and once there, my life in Japan. In the first year of this blog, when the name of this blog was Leavin' on a JET Plane, I applied for JET (December 2004), interviewed for JET (February 2005), was wait listed by JET (April 2005), and later denied by JET (October 2005). I still managed to move to Takaoka, Toyama (November 2005), changing the name of this blog to Livin' la Vida Takaoka along the way, only to have my father pass away 10 days later (December 2005), thus instigating my eventual return to Saipan.
So, in the spirit of last year's Happy Birthday!!! post, here are Angelo's reflections on 2006 in one paragraph or less per month:
January: I'm unemployed! I'm in Japan! It's snowing! I get a job teaching English to little kids with Seiha English Acedemy. The Takaoka branch is in the Takaoka SATY, which is seconds away from my front door. I begin work on getting my work visa, but at the same time I submit a proposal for the Public Involvement Coordinator position with RC&D in Saipan.
February: I love Japan! It's still snowing! Since I'm not working I explore as much of Hokuriku as I can...then I find out that I got the job in Saipan.
March: I still love Japan! The snow is melting! Sakura are starting to bud! Emily and I make the decision to move to Saipan at the end of the month. Her mother, grandmother, and grandfather visit. I play tour guide Ken for 10 days. We spend 24 hours in Nagoya before shipping off to Saipan.
April: Saipan! I don't start my Coral Reef program until April 24, so April is fun...except we're broke. Most of the month is spent getting our feet wet: finding an apartment, getting a phone, internet, figuring out where the bars and stores are, etc. (CUC charged us a $300+ deposit...highway robbery!)
May: I'm saving the coral reefs! I meet Cinta. I buy a Jeep, start playing soccer on Thursday afternoons, and learn how to SCUBA. Mochi moves in and we meet AGO Joe :)
June: I attend my first Beautify CNMI! meeting. I meet Marites and MOVER. We plant some trees. Emily and I spend a weekend in Guam so that she can take the Praxis. I start leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend.
July: Diana moves to Saipan! We start planting trees up at the Laulau Revegetation Project. Ken makes me the "Acting" Restoration Chair while he is in the US. I continue leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend.
August: Emily starts teaching at MHS. Josh, Dave, Adam, and Laura visit us from Takaoka. Lots and lots of diving. I continue leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend. AGO Joe goes back to law school :(
September: Busy planting trees and counting fish. I am elected to the MINA board. I continue leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend.
October: I turn 28! I become the Restoration Committee Chair! 1020 on frickin' 10/20! I help coordinate 3,380 volunteers to participate in an island wide cleanup. I visit Tinian. I resign from the MINA board...to apply for the position of MINA Executive Director. I continue leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend.
November: I am a judge for Saipan Singing Superstar. I continue leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend. Emily goes back to Florida :(
December: Christmas! Parties! I play in a soccer league...we win our first two games! I continue leading Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities every weekend.
Here's to a 2007 that is as interesting as 2006!