OK, back w/ a little time for blawggin before I teach my 3rd English class for kids today. For all of you wondering how that's going, it's still tough to come up w/ good ideas but I am usually able to think of sthg at least halfway decent, and the classes virtually always go quite well. The kids are warming up to me and I to them. The problems are getting myself in the right frame of mind to teach them and not being stressed before the classes start. I am slowly getting over both, partially by just waiting and partially by putting forth significant effort to prepare far in advance. I pray that it will indeed go better in the future.
Anyway, the day that I met Aub in Kago City was actually 9 Nov, her birthday. We were blessed to be able to be together to celebrate, and after meeting for awhile at our friend Erica's place (which is where we stayed all but Sunday night), we rode our bikes down to the Dolphin Port, which is a seaside dining/entertainment complex that is quite nice. It reminds me alot of a similar complex (which is where The Melting Pot restaurant is located) just along the Arkansas River in Jenks, America, right across the river from Tulsa. So we roamed and searched, finally deciding on akeihan restau. You can see in that pic the toppings, which you put on top of rice in your bowl, and then you pour chicken broth on top and eat it w/ chopsticks/drink it like a soup. At this restau they also happened to have live shamisen music there, to which we danced and made the waiters laugh. The player turned out to be from another town on Kikai island (I was going to say "small town on Kikai," but that woulda been redundant. And redundant). After keihan-eating, we adjourned into the clear and slightly chilly evening to drink tea on the balcony. Erica's Japanese friend Masumi had also come along w/ another JET friend, Sive (who is Irish). Sive and Erica talked for a long time and Aub and I were able to talk to Masumi for quite a long time. What a God-sent rendezvous! She was not even supposed to get off work that day, but at the last moment was 'set free,' and we really hit it off in Japanese/English and were able to share the entire Good News w/ her. To be honest, it was quite a surprise since convos like that don't often just pop up, but there you go - this one did, and it grew out of a discussion about Aub's and my purity rings. (Wanna know the story? Email me or sthg.) So as not to give the wrong idea, it's not that we necessarily expect an on-the-spot conversion, but then again we try not to expect the Holy Spirit NOT to work in someone's heart.
Thursday we had to get a multiple-re-entry visa for Aubrey and me, but only got one for Aub since I forgot my passport. We need that if we ever want to leave the country and come back in (more on that later). Thursday we took our time and went over to the downtown (Tenmonkan) district. We grabbed some more Fourbux coffee and sat down, and our sailor friend just happened to come in at the same time, so we had another interesting conversation. Then we took off to see more of the town and decided we would bike over to the famous Sengan'en garden/house complex. This was a retreat house of some kind for the powerful Sho'gun Satsuma (I believe) in the 19th century. It took us a while to bike so far north and we almost got lost several times, but it was nice to see so much of the city. We made it to the Sengan'en (aka the Iso Garden) and took a look around. It is a cool place, though I think its charm was diminished b/c such a large amount of the complex's buildings were not exhibits or historical artifacts but rather shops for buying blown glass or samurai armor or regional specialty sweets and clothes. We ended up climbing up the steep and slippery nature trail, which offered some good views but was actually a bit disappointing. Our legs protesting every step of the way, we descended. The garden was neat - pretty well-cultivated w/ some nice flower scuptures. Also, there were some tents w/ special flowers underneath, and some of them were strange mutant flowers!
OK, I'm tired and don't wanna type no more. Back w/ more later.