Thursday, September 27, 2007


I believe I've finally found a farm to stay at in Japan for the two weeks after I part company with the dojo group. It's in Hokkaido, near Date (pronounced dah-teh). You can see the area on google maps or mapion, and there's a bit of a description on the WWOOF website. For those who haven't heard of WWOOF, it stands for "willing workers on organic farms" (sometimes the first "W" is used for "worldwide"). They're not all precisely farms, some are restaurants or pensions, but they're all supposed to have some connection to organic farming. The deal is that workers can stay on the farm and work 4-6 hours a day for room and board. I thought it'd be a great way to reduce the cost of my trip while also getting an inside look at Japanese culture and everyday life. The host I'm staying with also knows very little English, so I expect I'll be practicing my Japanese a lot too.

Unfortunately, I found out through an email exchange (in Japanese, thanks to Ian for help in translating some of that) that they don't, in fact, have horses anymore.. I was looking forward to that. On the other hand, I do like kids.. I find they're great to practice language with because they naturally tend to use simple structures and vocabulary.

I'm not usually one for countdowns, but hey.. 3 sleeps until I leave! Sunday doesn't count, with a 6am departure I'll probably have to just stay up until the taxi comes at around 4am.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"The real training has just begun"

I passed my black belt exam! Just in time for the trip to Japan.. so yay, I can participate in the training camp in Tokyo!