Hello, my name is Christian O'Brien. I am the teacher at Olive English. It is my great pleasure to introduce myself and share my blog with you. I hope you find it interesting!!
Christian's Blog - Febuary 11, 2014
Hello everyone. I hope that the long winter hasn't hurt your spirit. I was thinking for a few days in January that spring might never come, but a but a few days of warm weather and I was feeling better. It turned out that it was a little too early and it is cold again, but I have faith that spring will come....someday :) Even though it is very cold, winter in Akita means that there are many wonderful and interesting festivals to go to. I don't really like cold but I put on many layers of clothes and go out into the cold world to watch these festivals. I love the color and energy at winter festivals. I also enjoy the hot food on cold winter days, a hot rice ball never tastes better than on a cold winter day. Every part of Akita prefecture has a winter festival, so please go out and see one.
Hello everyone. This is Christian. Sorry to have taken so long for an update. I have been very busy with the holiday season, and I haven't really been able to get out and take many pictures. I celebrated the American holiday Thanksgiving. It is really a wonderful holiday where you think of all the good things in your life and not worry about the things you don't have. Usually in America you celebrate by eating a big turkey dinner, but since turkey is hard to find in Japan we had Chicago pizza. Which is a thick pizza that is mostly cheese. It's very good, but also very high calorie.
Christian's Blog - December 19, 2013
Another reason I haven't gotten many pictures recently is I have been avoiding the snowy weather. I think now it is really winter, and there is no reason to avoid it any longer. I think it is time to embrace the cold and enjoy the winter. Winter is a beautiful time of the year, I really like looking at the trees covered in snow and I enjoy the silence of the forest that only fresh snow can create. I don't like being too cold though, luckily Akita is much warmer than my hometown. Last week my home town was -16 degrees. I will have to get outside more though to see the snow. I will be getting some new pictures soon so please hold on a little while.
Christian's Blog - October 1, 2013
Hello, everyone. I hope that everyone is doing well and that you are all having a great time. I have been doing pretty well recently. I am excited about the summer Olympics coming to Tokyo. I really enjoy the Olympics, and when I was a child I had dreams of entering them. It turns out that I am not a great athlete (although I was able to finish the 20km race at Tazawako last month with my best time even though it was raining). I really enjoy the spirit of the Olympics. All the world comes together in peaceful competition and the enjoyment of sports. I think that it is really inspiring, especially to children. Even though I will not be an Olympic athlete, I think that the message of doing your best and trying hard even when you don't want to is an important lesson that we can all use in our lives everyday. Now I feel like I should go run. Have a great day.
Christian's Blog - September 11, 2013
Autumn is coming!!
Hello everyone, I hope that you have been having a good summer. I have been glad since the weather has cooled down a lot since my last blog post. I am really looking forward to the fall weather. It is my favorite time of year. I love the cool weather. I love the beautiful colors of the changing leaves in the mountains. I love the smell of the country side as the farmers are burning the rice straw and husks after the harvest. I love eating the wonderful fresh food that they harvested and eating it in extra big sizes after eating only small sizes in the summer.
When I was very young, me and my family would go camping in the autumn, after all the summer campers were gone and we could quietly enjoy nature together. I still have great memories of those trips today. Now I have grown up, and I think the thing that like most of all about autumn is sitting under a blanket close to my wife drinking hot chocolate. I think that is the best thing in the world!!
Christian's Blog - August 17, 2013
Hello everyone, I'm sorry that I haven't been writing blog posts recently, There has been a problem with the website and I haven't been able to add anything new for awhile. I hope that everyone is well and taking care of themselves. The summer is really in full swing here. I have been running, but not as much as I was before when the weather was cooler. I finished the Melon Marathon and me and my wife got 4 melons. We are still eating them and our refrigerator is now full of melon. The next race is the Tazawako Marathon next month. I hope that I can see some of you there. If you see me, please say hi.
At the end of last month me and my wife went to America for a summer vacation and to see my brother Matt's wedding. It was a lot of fun and it was really great to see my family. I really missed them since the I saw them last year. It was fun, but it was also very busy. We had to go to many wedding events, drive very long distances, and we still went out to eat and went shopping. I was a great trip though, and I am looking forward to the next time we go. My camera wasn't working during the wedding ceremony so I will post some wedding pictures later but my wife was able to get some pictures of our trip. The first is me dressed for the wedding, the second is some of the children who were at the wedding taking a nap, and the third picture is me eating strawberry and banana pancakes at an American diner. I hope that I can get some wedding pictures up sometime soon. Have a great day and be careful in the heat.
Christian's Blog - June 17, 2013
Some of you in the Tegata or Soto-asahikawa area may have seen an American runner. He probably looked hot and tired. That was probably me. I have been running. Every year my wife and I enter a few races in the Akita area. We usually run in the Melon Marathon in Oga, the Tazawako Marathon, and the Akita International Family Marathon. We have been running in them for the last few years. It is usually a lot of fun, but sometimes the heat is just too much. This year I have been training for the last couple months. My wife got a later start on training, but she has been faster than me this year. The weather has, for the most part, been pretty good. There have been only a few really hot days so far. I am hoping that the cooler weather stays for awhile. If you are a runner I hope I see you at the races. If you are not, why don't you give it a try. I recommend the Melon Marathon since you get 2 free melons to take home, and on race day all the melon you can eat!
Christian's Blog - May 29, 2013
Fresh Summer Green
I am excited to see all the new green leaves all around us here in Akita. I missed the fresh green of the trees and plants all winter and now I am happy to have the green back. I think that green is probably my favorite color. It always makes me feel relaxed and it reminds me that there is a beautiful natural world outside. I would like to go outside and go hiking and fishing. On nice days it is a little difficult for me to stay inside.
This week summer has come to Akita. The temperatures were almost 30 degrees this week. I was caught off guard, which means that I was not ready. I went to class as normal in a long sleeve shirt and tie, and soon I was sweating. Today I am wearing a short sleeve shirt and tie, so it is not hot at all. If it gets too hot (maybe above 35 degrees) I might have to stop wearing a tie.
Christian's Blog - May 15, 2013
The Forest Trail
Hello everyone, it has been a while since I updated my blog. The weather has gone from cold and cloudy to warm and partly cloudy. I am very happy though. It means that I ma able to get out and ride my bicycle. Earlier this week I went riding through some forest trails near my apartment. It was very nice to get the fresh air and to get away from the city life for a couple hours. I felt a little upset though. I found these forest trails about 5 minutes from my apartment by bicycle. I couldn't believe that I lived next to such beautiful forests this whole time and never noticed them before. In the future I will have to do more to take my time and notice things like that.
Christian's Blog - April 29, 2013
Are you busy as a bee?
On Wednesday last week I was enjoying the warm weather outside when I accidentally found a Japanese honey bee hive. There were not many flowers on that day since the weather was still a bit too cold, but the bee hive was bursting with activity. I got up really close to the hive to take some pictures. The bees didn't seem angry that I was there, but some of them seemed annoyed I was standing in their way. They would fly out of the hive and fly towards me before turning at the last moment. They were too busy to notice me. In English, there is an expression, busy as a bee, that means that you are very busy. Recently I have been busy as a bee. I haven't had a chance to go outside, except to go to my car or a class. There is another important expression to remember though, stop and smell the flowers. It means that you have to take time to slow down and enjoy life. If you are too busy working, you can forget why you are working. So please remember, even very busy bees always stop and smell the flowers.
Christian's Blog - April 19, 2013
It is now cherry blossom season in Akita. Go outside and enjoy it!!
The cherry blossom season has finally come to Akita. I am so happy to be surrounded by these wonderful and beautiful flowers. It feels like I have been waiting years to see them. I think that the cherry blossom season is one of my favorite times of the year. It feels like the earth is finally waking up in a beautiful display of color and life. I feel like I am doing the same. After a long sleep during the winter my mind is waking up. I feel like my mind is sharper, and I have the urge to go outside and do things.
Christian's Blog - April 14, 2013
This week I was helping my father-in-law by helping on the family farm. I really like farming so it was fun. We used a machine to help us plant the rice seeds for this year. It was a lot of work, and since I was the youngest man there I was given the job to do all of the heavy lifting. Today my back and legs still hurt. It was nice to do some work like that though. I like the feeling of satisfaction you get after a lot of hard work, when you see everything that you were able to do that day. We planted the rice seeds and after a couple weeks we will take those small seedlings out to the field and plant them into the ground. I am looking forward to when we can have some delicious rice from all of our hard work. I am still a little sore, but I am excited to do more palnting this year. Hopefully there won't be as much heavylifting next time.
Christian's Blog - April 9, 2013
With the warmer weather of spring comes new growth in the mountains. What I am talking about is the wonderful mountain vegetables in Akita. I have only collected mountain vegetables once before, and this year I am excited to get the chance to collect them again. I eat them pretty often and of course any excuse to go into the forest is good for me. In my home town in America, we didn't collect vegetables from the forest very often. We would sometimes collect mushrooms, but vegetables were different. I did collect a plant called garlic mustard which was very delicious, but that was all. In Japan, there are so many different mountain vegetables to collect. Many of them are very good. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.