Sorry to all those who guessed I am pregnant. Considering that would have to be an act of God, you are incorrect. With the busy life I have with the three we already have I think another would push me over the edge to the funny farm.
So what is it then? Are you ready? You holding onto your chair in suspense? Are you jumping up and down from the wait? Well here we go...
Matt has been offered and accepted a promotion at work. And while that is exciting, it is not the BIG news. The BIG news is that the job is in...
... Kobe, Japan.
(I will pause while you pick yourself up off the floor)
Yes, you read that right. We are moving to Japan – as in the country Japan. We have always wanted to do an international assignment, and while we were thinking maybe next summer would be a good time, this fell into our laps. And after lots of talk and prayer we have decided to take on the adventure.
We will be starting to work with our relocation counselor this week to iron out the details and book a house hunting trip for Matt and I. Matt has to be in Japan for an already booked business trip the week of September 14, so I will fly out and meet him at the end of the trip and we will stay a week to pick a house, get the kids schools all organized, learn the area, meet fellow expats (people working in a foreign country) and much more. The job is a 3 year assignment and after that we will be back stateside.
As of right now, Matt will be going around the 3rd week of October and the kids and I will follow at the end of February. While the kids and I could go by the end of the year, Matt and I have decided that allowing the kids to finish up some commitments here for school, football and gymnastics will help them transition easier. Our hopes is to rent our house out here, allowing us to keep a US residence and hopefully some back here when our assignment is over.
I am excited, scared, nervous... so many different emotions. This is huge for our family. But I know that during the next 3 years our family will have an experience of a lifetime. And don't worry all my bloggy friends... I will be here to blog it all. I know. Finally something to blog about besides David Cook.
So I will leave you with these few facts about Kobe, Japan. And be prepared for lots of posts leading up to our departure. The next few months will be filled with visits, packing, passports, redtape, jumping hoops, tears, smiles, airport travel, recommendations for the best acne treatment due to stress levels and much more.
- Kobe is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan's ten largest cities.
- Kobe's has a population of approximately 1.5 million.
- Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is considered one of Japan's most attractive cities.
- Kobe was one of the first cities to open for trade with the West following the end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city. It is Japan's fourth busiest container port.
- In January 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed over 5000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. A decade later, the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event are left. (Don't worry the city was rebuilt to withstand such an earthquake)
- The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe Beef, as well as the site of one of Japan's most famous hot springs resorts, Arima Onsen.
- Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki, and Kobe Steel , as well as over 100 international corporations with Asia or Japan headquarters in the city such as Procter & Gamble and Nestle. (While we will live in Kobe, Matt will actually be working in Akashi, Japan, where Caterpillar is located)