Sunday, January 15, 2012

Next stop: Japan

Please note: If you are a military family planning to PCS to Iwakuni soon, scroll down to the bottom of this post for some additional posts you may find helpful. (posted Feb. 18, 2014)

Cherry blossom path in Iwakuni.
Documents provided by the military to prepare us for a move overseas, as well as Rosetta Stone for Japanese.

My husband Rodney received orders - to MCAS Iwakuni in Japan! Click on the link the some info about it. We report in July, after being stationed in Pensacola, Florida for 4 years. Iwakuni base is the only Marine Corps base located on mainland Japan. The rest are all located on the island of Okinawa, which is where Rodney was stationed in 2003-2004 while Will and I lived with Rodney's parents in Illinois.

Iwakuni Castle
Map of Japan - note how close we are to Gina's homeland of Korea!
Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni
Arial version of MCAS Iwakuni in 2004. That sandbar-looking area in the bottom left corner is now a new runway.

Rodney is absolutely thrilled to be going back, he loved it there and can't wait to share it with the rest of us. The kids are more excited than I thought they would be. Will wants to see the Pokemon museum in Tokyo and Xan just wanted to make sure that he didn't have to learn Japanese before he went to school there. I am sure we will all have moments of sadness when we leave, but I think we all have the mindset that this will be an adventure! We have gotten Rosetta Stone for Japanese, levels 1-3, so, hopefully, we will have picked up enough Japanese to get ourselves from America to base. As we get more info, we'll let you know. Right now we are busy trying to figure out what to do with our house (sell or rent?) and our cars (must sell, but how and when?).

Meanwhile, I am still working part time for the credit union's marketing department, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we are launching a new campaign for 2012: The Pen Air Patrol. Click the link to see what my CU life has revolved around for the past 5 months. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am still teaching two sections of speech, or Basic Communication Skills, for the University of West Florida. I am a lot less nervous this semester and have adjusted the class slightly to better ensure the students actually read the assigned chapters ahead of time. It seems to be working so far.

I am also scheduled to graduate with my master's degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership May 5, provided I finish the three classes I am registered for now. One is a traditional class, meeting in Thursday nights, and we are studying how the media portrays alternative medicine. Since I know very little about this subject, I should learn quite a bit. The second class is new for the school. It is a sort of advertising agency for the different schools and departments within the university, to help them promote the speakers and events they host on campus. I am not sure what I will be doing with that yet, but will hopefully find out next week. And, finally, I will have a capstone project, something I work on individually as the all-encompassing final project. I am not sure what I am going to be doing, but I have some ideas. Hopefully one of them will be approved by the department.

I have no idea how much time I will be able to spend creating, but I surprise myself sometimes, so you never know when you might see something scrappy here. ;)

If you are moving to MCAS Iwakuni from the States, here are some additional posts you may find helpful:

About all the construction happening on MCAS Iwakuni through 2017
Commissary information (prior to the new one to be built in 2015)
My experience with house hunting (on base) 
My first night in Iwakuni
Some of my first observations about the base

Also, on the right-hand side of this blog are other websites that will be helpful to you. Also, if you haven't already, join the Iwakuni Classifieds and Information group on Facebook. While their is sometimes asinine drama on there, there is also a lot of helpful info and resources. If you are on a computer (not a phone or tablet) there is a search function on the top right of the page so you can search key words.


Sheene said...

hello jessica.. :) ive been following your blog for some time now.. im really excited for you going off to a new adventure to Japan :) here's a thought about what to do with your house, have it rented and have a way to have the money wired to you in Japan you'll never know when you'll need it.. just a thought..
hugs from the Philippines,

Jenn Christman said...

Hey Friend! The pictures that you will be getting will be amazing so you better share more often!!! I am going to miss you even more then I do now if that's even possible. Love ya and hope you have an amazing adventure with your wonderful family!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica,

My brother got orders to go there although he is in the Navy. He's been there since January. He has posted a ton of pics on FB so all the family can see the sights of Iwakuni. No Macdonalds---he sent a picture of the Chicken House. Yeah, they serve chicken in so many diff. ways.
I'm sure all of you will love it.
Good luck! AM