Greetings from Iki!
After two months of hotels and the houses of friends and family, we finally made it to our destination. Six months ago we sent in our application for the Study Abroad Program — it is a relief to finally be here. I have not added very many blog posts this month since we have been kept busy settling in. This week I must fly to Nagasasaki for a day in order to pick up my driver’s license. One of the challenges of island living is not having access to certain official processes. However, there are many positives to the isolation. We are lucky to be able to conduct relatively normal life on the island. Other than the ubiquity of facemasks, and complete absence of tourists, life on our sleepy island continues normally. The kids are in school full-time, we are going to museums and catching fireflies, and slowly settling into a normal schedule. I have started my book research and have been writing some upcoming blog posts.
But to be honest, I am despondent over what is happening in the outside world. My plane on Friday will land at the airport in Omura, a suburb of Nagasaki and the location of an immigration detention center where a Black man died in custody last year. I have been watching protests from around the world with sadness and anger. The virus we are sheltering from is novel, but the man-made epidemic of institutional racism has been with us a long time, and my thoughts are with those that are on the front lines fighting that long battle to bend history towards justice. I am grateful for the privilege of being safe, and I wish for their safety too.
Stay healthy and stay vigilant,
A successful move to Ikijima, the Lucky Island Traveling on empty trains and boats during the pandemic State of Emergency, then finally settling into a home after two months of intransigence.
What are Japan’s Remote Islands (ritō)? I know Japan is ALL islands… but there actually IS a mainland and a non-mainland. Let me explain (cat islands will make an appearance).
A short tour of the guesthouse we stayed in upon arrival (YouTube) →
A very fun Japanese syncretic sound generator →
Postage stamps from Bhutan that are playable vinyl records!? Link →
I had an amazing birthday cake!! →