By the way, I’m moving to Japan


News staff writer

June 24, 2006

A recent listing in the Hood River News classifieds read, “Hood River/Tsuruta Sister City Committee is looking for a new Coordinator of International Relations Director. You need to be a Hood River resident, have a bachelor’s degree, be able to live in Tsuruta for at least one year, be able to work as a team player and have interest in and like children.”

A month later, a new position was listed; “The Hood River News, a twice-weekly community newspaper serving Hood River County in the heart of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, has an opening for a sports reporter ... Application deadline is June 21 for the position to start in mid July.”

My last day at the Hood River News will be in about a month. My last day in town, and in the country, will be about a week later.

I love Hood River, and my job as the sports editor in such an active and lively community. I remember, during my days at Hood River Valley High School, seeing the former sports reporter on the sidelines and wishing someday I could have his job. That wish came true in May of 2005, and it will end a little more than a year later as another, more grand wish of mine comes true: to travel the world.

Specifically, I am moving to Tsuruta, Japan, next month, where I will live for at least one year and work for the City Office of Tsuruta as the Coordinator of International Relations Director. Much of my duties will entail teaching English to children and city employees. I will also be responsible for helping coordinate sister city exchange programs and activities between Hood River and Tsuruta.

Other than that, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. And to me ... that’s the greatest part.

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