...what I want to do with my life. This. I want to work at a job where everyone is really nice, they walk me through things, take me on tours of facilities, give presentations just to me, explain things slowly if I don't understand, get to learn Japanese on the job, get a free place to stay, get to live in Japan, and get living expenses generous enough to survive and get to Tokyo every now and then.
But, unfortunately, this is only a summer program. I have only been here 2 and a half weeks and I've already had several once-in-a-lifetime experiences. On Friday, after my presentation, I went to the Kanagawa Prefectural Disaster Response HQ and got an in-depth explanation of emergency management at the prefectural level. During the presentation, I got to sit in the governor's seat. After this, we went to the Kanagawa prefectural Police HQ (no, I wasn't in trouble) and got a tour. I got to see the regional 110 (police emergency number in Japan) dispatch room and the prefectural traffic monitoring room. Unfortunately, I couldn't take pictures in these facilities, but I have loaded pictures from the visitor museum and the observatory on the 20th floor.
Today I got a presentation from the Guidance Division in the Fire Bureau. They explained how the Fire Bureau is organized, its history, and how it carries out building inspections. I then got to go on a building inspection at Don Quixote (a Japanese version of Wal-Mart), where I will have to return to do some gift shopping. We returned to the Fire Bureau building for lunch, then we went to the Chuo Fire Station for another presentation on what they do there and a demonstration of the equipment, including the jaws of life, a chainsaw, and a cutter.
Then, I got to go up in the 40-meter ladder. Wow. It was scary at first, but I got used to it, and it's amazing how much you can see when you're above the 10-storey apartment buildings nearby. Don't worry, I was safely strapped in and one of the firefighters was there with me. I have loaded pictures on flickr, so be sure to check them out!
I wish I had time to write more, but again, I'm at the Internet cafe. I had a ton of pictures to load and I don't like to spend too much time using the computer at the International Affairs Association because it's a busy office and I feel like I'm in the way.
I'm going on the American Naval Base tomorrow, followed by lunch and a tour of the Fire Bureau's mini-museum, which includes an earthquake simulator! More pics to come soon!