Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The End of the Journey

Well...it's finally over. I am officially done with my 1 year teaching experience on Sado Island. This last year has truly been amazing. As this blog will show, I have had many amazing experiences that have enriched my life in more ways that I can even begin to write about. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading my blog as much as I have enjoyed keeping it. I wish you all good luck in your own adventures. This is the Southern Boy in Sado signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Phillip,
    This is a little weird, but I just got into JET and was assigned to Sado Island. Your blog was really helpful for giving me an impression of the place. I know almost 5 years have passed since you're been there, but I was wondering if I could ask you a few more questions to better prepare myself for the trip (everyone keeps throwing ESID around and it is so unhelpful)
    1. Does everyone really need a car? I know you had one, but my driving skills horrify people 4 years after I got my license, and I don't think the JET office will find it amusing if I crash my car.
    1a. Is the car powerful enough to drive through snow, or will I be relegated to walking during the winter. If so, how long is winter?
    1b. Do any of the roads to the schools or stores happen to be mountain roads? If so, how many?
    1c. Is there any place to rent/buy a bike or a scooter instead?
    2. How realistic is it to get to the mainland? Is it worth it over the weekend, or is it something done with at least a 3-day vacation?
    3. Are there any larger stores on the island where one can buy things like furniture, coffee makers or toasters? Or should I bring my coffee maker with me?
    3a Is there usually a kotatsu left from your predecessor, or should you purchase one? Is there a place on the island that sells them?
    3b. If there is no store on Sado Island that sells furniture or coffee makers or such, how possible is it to transport these things from the mainland? Is there a delivery service?
    4. My Japanese isn't very advanced--probably back at beginner/elementary level after being out of practice for a year. Is it possible to get by on only some Japanese before I improve my vocabulary?
    4a. For that matter, do you have any advice on improving my Japanese while there? I'm guessing there aren't really language classes somewhere so isolated...
    5. What was your general impression of working on Sado? I hear a lot about how it's beautiful, but, let's face it, a lot of time will be spent teaching (which is good, because I signed up for the program for teaching experience--there's just less info about it on the internet). You're not the first to mention teaching in several schools while on JET. How does that work?
    6. I heard someone say there are a lot of Brazillians/Nikkei on the island (well, it is Niigata-ken). Is there anyone there? It's kind of random, but I was thinking of picking up Portuguese (I studied Spanish and started Portuguese with a Brazilian friend)...
    7. How was your internet? Any recommendations on providers I should check out?
    8. I heard there are 11 JETs on Sado, so I know that their situations might be different even on that single island, but what are my chances on winding up living in a slightly more urban area vs. a slightly more rural area? By which I mean, is it likely to be living with nothing but rice fields for miles, or is there going to be something else around? Mind you, I'm from Duluth, MN, which is considered big in its area for having an entire movie theater and hockey rink and parks that are part of the forest that become pavement eventually instead of just forests with no pavement in sight--I don't need much; I'm just trying to gauge what footwear I should bring.
    I don't know if you'll ever find this commend, but if you do, you can email the answers to yuliyaatjet@mailinator.com. It would be great to figure this out in the next week or so if you're not too busy. Many thanks.