So last night was my welcome party! It was fun. We went to the city and ate at a nice Japanese restaurant. We took off our shoes and sat on the floor. It was definitely something you don’t do everyday. We first started the evening with a toast: Kampai! Then there was lots of food(cold spring rolls with sweet chili sauce, radish salad topped with ume, edimame beans, stuffed peppers, assorted meat and potato tempura, Udon noodles with clams, and some sort of mily pudding topped with honey). Then I made my speech in Japanese. That was fun. My Japanese teacher helped me with it. It was super basic, but everyone said that my pronounciation was Sugoi (super great)! it was also very short. And at the end of the night we did something traditional for the end of parties. I can’t remember what it was called. It was fund to get to know people and hear all the places that I *have* to go and visit according to my coworkers and bosses. Apparently I need to go to Sapporo and scuba dive in Okinawa. And I think they’re going to plan a big ski trip to Hokkaido! Yippee! This requires that somebody bring/ship me my snow pants and winter gear. Awesome. Thanks!