Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A not so good day and an imbecile cop

So you might be wondering just what I did today.

OK, I'll tell ya. It's been a weird day, actually, a hard day. Got up at 5:30 am to meet the pastor of the small church down the road at 6 am at his house to go prayer walking. It looks like I'm interested in doing this w/ him about twice a week, getting up to go from like 6-7:10. It's a bit early but he likes to walk his dog and do it at that time, so I'm game 2 days a week I guess. I'm not sure IF he's praying, though I'm pretty sure he is. Even if he weren't muttering/singing under his breath, I wouldn't have much understanding of it anyway, but you know. So we walk and pray and when it's done smile, bow, and say see ya later.
The funny thing is that we've been going to that church on Sun mornings for 3 weeks now, having stopped for like 2 months for various reasons. But then God reminded me that it's tough to influence someone to be bolder for the Gospel if you're not around them, so there you go - we've started going back. It's not like we get a whole lot out of it really, but our attendance does boost the congregation's headcount by 50% (it increases from 4 to 6, w/ 3 non-members of the pastor's family instead of 1) and seems to please the pastor and his wife quite a lot. What's really weird is that for the 3 wks we've been going there, they keep giving us food. And then last week they gave us a whole bunch of spinach when they stopped by the house to say hi. And Sunday it was more food. And then Monday it was some brown sugar and something I don't even want to smell, really. And then today it was flowers, more spinach, eggplant, and something else. I'm getting a little suspicious and weirded out, to be honest - nobody else brings us stuff just out of the blue. Don't know what to make of it.

Anyway, he and his wife brought over those things right after I finished doing my newly-divided-into-2-groups-of-2 people adult English class this morning at 10 am. During the class, a policeman showed up at my door and started asking me some questions. I didn't really get it, but my students were helping me out. I finally comprehended that he wanted the names of the people who live here and their birthdates. So I felt weird, since I'm a conservative American and don't like the gov't snooping around (though I realise that name and birthdate is not asking for much). It was obvious that I was relying totally on my students to interpret for me, but then this cop asks me for the name and info of my neighbor. Ummm, right - ask the gaijin (that's Japanese for gringo) who understands almost nothing about his neighbor. Good call. I do know enough Japanese to tell him that he'll have to knock on their door if he wants to know that.

Then I had to plan for my English classes, which is usually tough for me, but today was quite tough. And I still didn't come up w/ a winning plan - I wanted to play a game outside since it was like 75 F today and sunny, but once we got outside it started raining and has been a downpour since. It's actually dropped like 10 degrees F since it started raining. So bummer, huh?

OK, I wrote all that before my last English class, and on Tuesdays the last class is w/ 6 4-year-olds. Today 5 came only, and that's a good thing, I'd say. The game I had planned for them didn't quite work out like I had hoped. Even w/ a Mom inside the house helping to direct traffic and me giving directions in Japanese from time to time, the kids were like, "Huh?" So chalk one up to experience. But I'm really getting the sense that when you have 5 or 6 4-year-olds in an English class, it's the thought that counts more than the actual learning.
However, like I mentioned, I had 4 classes today and the 1st was interrupted by a nosy policeman. And it turns out that he decided to return to disturb my fourth class! Sheesh - it's quite annoying, I must say. He wanted to know where we're from, as if it's not obvious! So I told him. Then he asked when we came here and I told him but he stopped paying attention to me while I was talking and started looking at the little girls running wild behind me. Then he turned back to me and was like "OK, when did you come here?" By this time I'm shaking my head. I tried again, though it's tough w/ my level of Japanese. The Mom inside also tried to tell him, but he didn't get it. I was amazed. I told him just go talk to Aub's boss at the Board of Ed 'cause I was tired of dealing w/ his incompetence. Didn't say that last part, though. Wouldn't know how to say it if I were inclined to. No, I was not inclined to.
It may sound like I had a bad day, and I'm venting a bit on the blog. I confess, I did and I am, but I kind of don't want to retype or fail to post this since I already spent some time typing it out. So we'll leave it as is.
On a positive note, I'm meeting a guy I just met for dinner tonight at my favorite restaurant, and I think we could really hit it off - he seems like a really cool guy. This is good b/c there are very few young men around here w/ whom I can be friends - my age group is thinned out from either people leaving to university or (more probably) leaving for itinerant farming or construction jobs.

Finally, we're still considering our choice of another year here or an attempt for me to get the JET job. Still praying and listening. We'll letcha know when we know.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tea party and taco party and a trip

I can tell from the slew of comments from the last post that SO MANY people are excited beyond measure that I, Alan, might indeed be coming back to the States for a visit that I might need to close the comments section temporarily.

I'll be thinking about it - don't call my bluff!

K, anyway, we're hosting an all-girl (except Alan) tea party this afternoon. This has been a full Sunday, and it was looking to be a full Saturday except my ping pong club was cancelled. Too bad. Actually, I don't know if it was really cancelled but I knew like 4 of the core members wouldn't be there including the coach man and there was noone available to drive me. So I coulda gone there on bike, but I'm guessing that's a good 30 minutes one way, in the dark, no streetlights, on a road that I know fairly well but certainly nowhere near infallibly. And the possibility was strong that I would arrive after a tiring run and find nobody there. Yeah, staying home was looking pretty good by the time my potential departure was rolling around. So I didn't depart.

We got to hang out w/ some friends yesterday and eat keihan, which is Aub's favorite dish around here. When and if I come to the States, we're gonna eat some at a get-together - you won't be sorry you came! Then we went out to watch said friends and some of their friends fly some toy airplanes and helicopters around in a big open field. That was cool - the planes were like 4 ft long and the copter was at least a meter, so it was really interesting. I met a 32 year old guy who works at the kinda-secret military installation on top of the hill, so hopefully we can hang out some more. This installation exists to monitor radio transmissions from _____ and ______ ______ (think: the two big military threats to Japan and the US in our area. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm) and thus was controversial. One friend told me that 90% of the island's population did not support the installation at its construction, but the politicos didn't care. That sounds about right, to be honest, but you can never be sure.

Today we went to church for the 3rd straight Sunday and then I did kids' Sunday School w/ the pastor and his wife afterwards while Aubrey went home and prepared for the tea party, doing an admirable job of cleaning and reorganising the house. It was OK, but the pastor's wife looked at me at one point and abruptly asked me to come up w/ a game to play w/ the 18 kids present. Oooofff. Ummm, thinking quick, I came up w/ musical chairs, given the piano present in the corner. That seemed to satisfy. Aub later told me that often, as a JET teacher, she has to be ready at a moment's notice to come up w/ a quick game/activity to keep kids busy at the request of a teacher/boss. OK - good to remember. Tonight, after the tea party and then my class at 3:45-4:15, we're hosting a big taco party w/ like 7 people. Should be fun.

So still not sure that I'm coming to the US but it's looking likely. My JET interview is scheduled for 21 Feb in Houston, so if we decide not to renew for a 2nd year in Kikai, I'll be coming. I'll spend 2 wks in OK, Dallas, and Houston. I'll keep y'all updated. Please pray that we'd know what to do. Thanks!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

To destroy the Earth

If you click on this and read it, you're a nerd like me.
But it sure is funny!

Did I mention I'm looking into flights to come to Dallas and OKC and Houston and Tulsa? Stay tuned!

Japan so far (from Aubrey)

I was thinking the other day about how we have adapted (or not) to all the unconscious things that the Japanese do and want to blog about it before it becomes second-nature to me.
I have never had so many different shoes for different rooms. I could have more but I haven’t found the right ones yet. So, let’s talk about Alan’s since he does have a lot. He has outside shoes which are tennis shoes, and his hiking boots and such. Then he has shower shoes. He also has kitchen shoes. Now our ‘genkan’ (the sunken down entryway) is the ‘house’ for our outside shoes which leads directly to our small kitchen. Rooms are divided by ‘fusuma’ which are traditional sliding doors (not rice paper). The next room leaving the kitchen is the mysterious ‘tatami’ room. NO SHOES allowed is what we have heard and the room right next to the ‘tatami’ room is our bedroom which is wood floor. Houses are measured by ‘tatami’. The ‘tatami’ room is also our everything room where we read, watch TV (if we do), eat, have English classes, etc. So, you have to either break the heels of your new shoes or get slide-on ones, which is what I have thanks to a garage sale at Nancy Edwards’ before heading to Japan!

Food is of course quite different and not so different. I eat a ton more of rice here than I’ve ever eaten in the States. I also eat raw stuff more often though not sashimi or sushi everyday but I definitely could eat sushi every day. I love the ‘nori’ (seaweed) it’s encased in. You can even pick up a ‘bento’ (lunchbox) at any supermarket or convenience store. The bread though looks like Texas Toast that’s not toasted (sliced kind) but Alan says it’s just ok tasting. Eating out can get super expensive-especially if you go in groups. You are almost always offered an appetizer and can’t refuse it but the meal is served in small bowls, like Spanish tapas. Some of our favorite dishes here are hand-made French Fries, Suki Yaki, Kaiten Sushi, sushi, some sashimi, all the yummy fish, Oyakudon, Niku Jaga, Okoge (Chinese dish), and my personal favorite, Keihan. Chopsticks are definitely second nature even more so than in the States. I would say that we eat with them quite regularly.

Sitting properly at the small tables has been a real challenge for me. I have runner legs, which means a little more muscular than most, and the women usually sit on their feet for extended periods of time. We can sit sideways but it’s better to sit on them. Guys can sit Indian style. Funny how I noticed the other day that I was sitting in the ‘seiza’ (sitting on my feet) unconsciously for longer than normal before my knees down went completely numb.

Tea and drinking tea is an understatement in Japan. There are tons of kinds of teas -both hot and cold- canned, and in tea bags. People love their tea. At first, they chided me in Japanese (I could tell by their face but now I know what they said about my ‘wanting sugar’) about wanting to put sugar in the Green tea. That’s like putting sugar on your ice cream; it just sounds weird. Now, I’ve gotten used to that. Regular teas still get my sugar treatment though.

Doing without CHA has been more of a challenge than it was in Europe or Mexico. Even though we live on an island, sitting in front of a space heater is not my idea of getting warm. I bundle up to go to school and anywhere else (while it’s winter) because there is no space heater at school and moving is the best way to stay warm. However, they do have ‘hot carpets’ which are nice. It’s like an electric blanket except thicker and used on the floor. We usually put it under our ‘everything table’ so we can sit on it when we have company and while we are eating or studying.

And people do have cars here, and we could too but we don’t. We bike everywhere. We don’t really NEED a car here though sometimes we want to explore other parts of our island by ourselves and not by bus or bike. It is kind of cool to bike everywhere except when buying groceries and when it rains. People’s cars look like small Hot Wheels autos. Some are boxy and others are fancy. I think that a lot of people’s cars are actually nicer than their houses. Some people have DVD players too and can drive around during the typhoon (when one’s electric will most likely be knocked out) and watch movies to kill time…that seems odd to me.

And there are a ton of other things that I wanted to note, but I have already written bunches so I’ll stop for now.

And if there's anything else you want me to write about, just leave a comment and I'll write. Thanks!

--Posted by Aubrey

Monday, January 23, 2006

Nothing interesting.

It's another day in Kikai and I'm trying to think of a good way to take up some space.

First, a hat tip to Kyle for teaching me how to post several pictures at one time. I hope it'll work on this entry!

OK, so the pictures:
1) Me playing guitar at Sabani bar in Kikai on like 2 January or something. Had a good time, got to play a nice guitar. Discuss. Actually, I think I'll accept the invite to play again there - I keep having these ideas for songs I should practice and then play there, so I'll do it as long as I have ideas.
2) Kaki and Aubrey in front of a restaurant called Hana No Ren (which means "Flower Curtain") on Kaki's last night w/ us. We had a good time fellowshiping for the time she was here. Thank you Kaki for coming and thank You Jesus for calling her to come!
3) Us inside of Hana No Ren, and a big dead octopus is on the counter. We just thought the octopus was cool/weird/crazy-that-it-was-
the-counter and all... so we took a pic.
4) & 5) Pics of us eating at Tokumoto-san's house on 3 Jan w/ his daughters, w/ whom we have really hit it off. Hanako is at university so we've only met her thrice, but Naoko is still living at home, goes to the high school, so we see her alot. They're really fun and Aubrey and Kaki both loved hanging out w/ them.

Today a friend showed me a few empty houses that the Dept of Education owns in our town. We're going to ask w/in the next coupla days for a move to a bigger place. Hopefully that will work out. Don't have any idea if it'll work though.

Still have received no information from JET as to whether I have an interview in Houston for trying to be a JET next year. Can't believe it's taking this long - I'm just a TAD frustrated.

OTOH, I sent some money orders made out to Aubrey's name to my parents via the Japan Post Office and then realised I should have made them out to my mom's name. So I thought I was going to have to go thru a big process of getting them back, voiding them, and reissuing them - a big hassle and an expense. But praise God it went thru no problemo - I'm really surprised and glad!

Nick the JET from the nearby island Amamioshima is here in Kikai for 4 days, so we hung out w/ him and the 3 HS English teachers tonight. Tomorrow night is a taco party at our house w/ tacos and Chinese spinach salad. Yes, I do realise that we're having Mexican and Chinese food at the same time and that that's kind of weird.

Moving on...
I would like to note w/ sorrow the passing of New Testament Research Ministries' regular blog and also bulletin board forum. Both were a great source of encouragement, knowledge, and help in my spiritual life and I will miss them. May the Lord provide others of His servants to fill the gap!

Aubrey is sitting in the living room working on a Japanese language test. As a JET, she has access to a certain curriculum written by JET and so periodically sends in a written test for grading and evaluation. She wants to do well on it for personal satisfaction, and I hope she is concentrating well. She knows the stuff - it's just a matter of putting it down in the right place (and sometimes for us, it's a matter of putting it all in the right order).

Now I'm gonna call it a night. W/o further comment. Except for that last one.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Rant About Mardel

OK, I'm going now to rant about Mardel Christian Bookstores.

[specific rant]
You may be familiar w/ the just-released movie "End of the Spear," which retells the death of young missionaries (including Nate Saint and Jim Elliot) in Ecuador at the hands of the murderous Waodani tribe. The movie focuses in particular on Nate Saint, the pilot. However, the role of Nate Saint in "End of the Spear" has been filled by a Chad Allen, who is a gay activist and has starred in homosexual-themed movies and TV shows. He has apparently marched in at least one gay-pride parade in a large US city and displays no repentant attitude about his lifestyle or activities in his very recent interview on Larry King Live, where he was joined by Dr. Al Mohler and Janet Parshall.
See the transcript.

Also, please see also his official fan website.
On this page are posted not a few links to support groups for gay students, "2005 Queer Favorites," and other similar things.

A blogger I have come to enjoy (who is an asst. pastor from Colorado w/ a real live name) comments often on this film and has sent letters and a petition to Mr. Mart Green (the owner of Mardel Christian Stores) asking him to reconsider his decision to cast Mr. Allen as Nate Saint.

Looking at Mr. Allen's credentials listed on the movie publicity website, we see also that his production company did the play "Corpus Christi" in Los Angeles. I won't link to this blasphemous, ridiculous, biased, and highly historically inaccurate play (which, if you are unfamiliar w/ it, features a hard-drinking gay Jesus), but you get the picture. This Mr. Allen is no friend of the faith Nate Saint died to share w/ a people who were destroying themselves as a logical conclusion of their culture.

I am personally thoroughly disgusted by this choice to cast Mr. Allen as Nate Saint in this movie. I don't know whether I would see it in the theatre if I still lived in the States, but I just wanted to let all of you know about it - there may well be a good reason not to go.

[/specific rant]
[general rant]
Mardel is not alone among other Christian bookstores in its lack of discernment. Others, like Family Christian Stores, have made other bad decisions like refusing to carry Derek Webb's She Must And Shall Go Free b/c of the lyrics of this song, which is clearly imagery discussed in the Bible itself. Why Mardel? Nothing particularly better or worse in the areas that concern me than other retailers, although this movie ticked me off enough to blog about it.

A list of Christian retailers' offenses (off the top of my head):
-kowtowing to publishing houses' inundation of the market w/ "new and improved" English translations of the Bible. For God's sake, STOP! There are way more than enough! How about diverting some of that capital into projects like creating translations for languages that don't have one? I recently heard a joke about the new ESV, which I like quite well as a translation; that it's the NASB w/o semicolons.
-refusing to exercise much discernment in their stocking of music.
--I don't want to get too much into P.O.D., but the way they present themselves before secular magazines like Rolling Stone and Guitar is extremely disappointing and disturbing.
The list could go on.
--Amy Grant and Vince Gill
--Michael English
--Phillips, Craig, and Dean
--Jaci Velasquez

-refusing to exercise discernment in their stocking of books. The list is long and distinguished. Among the worst that come to mind:
--Benny Hinn
--Kenneth Copeland
--Other Word of Faith teachers like the Crouches, Kenneth Hagin, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar, Marilyn Hickey, Oral Roberts, etc
--T.D. Jakes
--The "Divine Revelation of Hell" and "Divine Revelation of Heaven" by Mary Baxter

OK, there are just a few reasons to be afraid, very afraid, when walking into your local Christian bookstore. And angry. Like me.
[/general rant]

That said, I thank God for them since they're great stores for browsing when you're a theology/apologetics dork like I am. But dang it, couldn't they do a whole lot better too?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Post-New Year's thoughts

Hi there everyone! I was going to title this post "Sorry I haven't posted in so long," but given how many times I will probably have to say that during our stint in Japan, I decided I didn't want to get to "Sorry I haven't posted in so long MCMXIII," so yeah.
This is a pic of, from left, Kaki, Erica, and Aubrey during our sumptuous New Year's Eve feast of sukiyaki and sparkling grape juice, which I've already mentioned. It's a good pic, so I put it in. Not that I've ever been shy about inserting NOT good pics...
OK, so it's been a longish week and weekend of trying to get back into a 'normal routine' and trying to improve thereon - New Year's Resolooshuns and all that. In point of fact, I haven't made a NYR per se in years, but often I tend to rethink things right around the New Year, so in practice it's the same thing. I suspect it's that I'm too crazy and counter-cultural to admit that I actually make NYRs.

Kaki took off on Thursday night on the ferry. It was a rainy night after a nice day and the ferry was fortunately not required to go to the faraway port, and we watched and waved and watched and waved for like 30 minutes from when she got on until the ship actually left. I think we both felt profoundly lonely, at the same time. It felt kind of final, really... Kaki moving back to Asia pretty soon and all that, but we knew that God is w/ us and these kinds of feelings fade eventually. And now, writing on Monday, I'd say it has faded, for which I'm thankful to the Lord Jesus, since I was feeling really alone for like a week. Reminds me of two other friends who are missionary-ing elsewhere in Asia and who, despite a recent refreshing trip to the Middle East (you know you're a weird mission-nerd when you consider a trip to the Middle East to be refreshing, but some family was there too. Get off me) are feeling a bit empty like they need a change. I can relate, brothers. Perhaps the change I need is to learn to speak Kikai-speak a little better. I must say that Erica, who is the middle young lady in the above pic, was quite inspiring to Aubrey and me for the 4 days she was here. Her Japanese was at a decent level when she came over here at the same time Aubrey did 5 months ago, but it has already taken great leaps and bounds, which is really cool. If we had had the same level, I think we'd be the same place, but we didn't so we aren't. But we thank her for the encouragement - I've been studying quite a bit more and intend to do much better w/ time mgmt so as to study better every day. The funny thing is, when you live immersed in the language and you learn some new words, you can usually use at least a few of them w/in a day or two's time. That's cool you can't buy.

My English classes are steadily increasing in popularity, so that I have a class of 4-year-olds, about 5 classes of 6-7-year-olds, a class of 7-8-year-olds, a class of 10-year-olds, and an adult class. I'm about to take a 6th 6-year-old class... I'm getting a bit cramped, actually. I am struggling w/ my enthusiasm about these classes, I must admit. Taking on another 6-7-year-old class doesn't bother me since I already have ready-made curriculum for them, given the other ones are months ahead, but taking on a different age group is a pain in the rear. That is definitely a subject of prayer these days.As is my constant fatigue. I've felt tired most every day I can remember for the last 8-9 years at least, and I thought that it was worse while I was working the night shift. When I got to Kikai, I was sleeping 8.5-9 hours every night for about 40-50 days. That was when I realised that I still felt about the same after 9 hours of sleep as I did after about 7. So I just decided to forget it and have been sleeping around 7-7.5 most days since then, but I'm sick of being tired all the time. I'm on the 4th day of a no-caffeine-no-coffee-almost-no-sugar diet, though I don't think I was all that bad on any of those counts beforehand. I'm kind of hoping that it helps the problem and kinda hoping it won't (b/c I miss eating sweet snacks)...

Today Aubrey taught at the high school and I ate lunch w/ her. The weather today was clear skies, about 75 degrees, light breeze.

I wore shorts.

In mid-January.

I think that's a fitting follow-up to my recent mention that we swam in the ocean on New Year's Day.

Speaking of New Year's, a monstrous hat tip to my little bro Steve for hooking me up w/ a website from which I can download college football bowl games. Y0u r4\/\/><0rz! And congrats on getting so many perks from your new company that it's like you're at double salary or something. You gotta tell me how to do that sometime.
Anyway, I've already watched about 3/5 of the Rose Bowl and am struggling to allow myself time to watch the rest. In time, all in good time. Next up is the Holiday Bowl and then the Shoogah Bowl. It's a little taste o' home. Yes, I do plan to consume some Chee-tos some time while watching - it'll be just like home actually.

Not speaking of New Year's, I'm happy to report that I learned Friday how to not stand in the middle of the court looking like an idiot while playing badminton. So now I may be an advantage, however slight, to my teammate during weekly badminton playtime. The guys around here take badminton serious, y'all. I've been hit in the face by one of those birdies a coupla times (actually, one time it was thrice in a 3-minute stretch by the same high-school girl. Maybe Aubrey embarrassed her in class or something) and it STUNG. So this ain't backyard badminton. But the upside is that I'll dominate when I come back to the States. At badminton. Fear the --thwing!-- of my racquet!

OK, my wrists hurt so I'm gonna call it quits. Love to all. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So what are we doing these days?

Oh, we're mostly chillin'. You remember how I mentioned that I was going maybe to play guitar at this new bar in Kikai? Well, my friend said that I should probably just go there and maybe the owner, who's wanted me to play for some time, would just ask me to play right then. So I went w/ a bit of a mental set list at the ready, and sure enough I played from about 10:30 to 10:55 or something. I had a good time, got to play a nice Takamine guitar, played before about 50 people or so, had fun playing and am mostly happy w/ the way I sang and only made a few mistakes on the guitar playing. So it was good. It was a little annoying how the progressively more drunken patrons of the bar would occasionally let fly a whoop or loud whistle, but I didn't let it affect my performance. I was afraid that they hated my music, but whadduryagonnado? The owner invited me back to play "anytime." We left pretty much right afterwards b/c the smoke was kinda thick inside and we couldn't stand it well. Some friends, old and new, were there to observe, and they said they liked it. I'll never know if they really did. ;-) It was fun.

I took off of my classes today and only have the one class tomorrow, w/ 2 adults. Aubrey went to the office to "work" this morning, but we decided she should take the other 2.5 days of this week off for vacation - we're not really sure how many more opportunities we'll have - ever - to hang out w/ Kaki, since she's almost certainly moving back to Hong Kong after her grajeeashun in May (grajeeashun is where you get a piece of paper that says you're smart).

So yesterday we entertained two Japanese friends (whom we had seen at the bar the night before) for a taco and refried beans lunch. It was great, but kind of un-Japanese of our one friend, whom we had invited. She then called us 3 minutes before she was to arrive and said, "Is it OK if I bring a friend w/ me?" Ordinarily, we're cool w/ that, absolutely. But 3 minutes before? Well, it was OK, but it struck me as a bit strange. But no prob - we're always ready to welcome more peoples into our haus. And we had enough tacos, so no harm, no foul. Our friends ended up staying until like 5 pm after lunch, so that was neat, but I started feeling a bit tired, so I kind of reclined on my elbow on the floor. Then all of a sudden, I started feeling really dizzy and so pretty much retired to bed for the rest of the day.

And tonight Aubrey was "invited" to a Year-Beginning party for her office (which means that she was under quite a bit of pressure to go) and I walked her there. Once there, I was turning to leave but they invited me in. Not too unhappily, I joined the 40-strong dinner party in the community center. They had good food - big platters of sushi and fried shrimp and also some hot soup that was highly diggable. Some people played and sang, and Aub's boss asked me to go home and fetch my guitar, which I did quickly. I played one song and Aub sang w/ me and it went over quite well. Of course, I was offered alcohol about a zillion times, and one of those times 'twas the superintendent, quite a 'big man,' who offered. I refused politely and asked for more tea. He said "Mada kodomo?" (Are you still a kid?) Two thoughts - 1) Maybe I should re-grow my goatee. 2) How shallow are you, sir, to think that you're a man when you drink sake?
I don't know - it's just sad to see this. Aubrey reminded me that these guys seem all growed-up, but in reality they're more like still-immature high schoolers. She's right, you know.
So tomorrow, we'll visit the other American on the island and generally do more chillin', and some prayer walking. Talk to you soon!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes

This is Kaki preparing to lift Kikai w/ her bare hands. This pic was taken at the Hyakunodai Park, which is the one on Kikai's highest point.

We've been having a pretty good time here.It is possible, though not certain, that I will performing at a bar kind of place (this bar is on the family-friendly side, serves coffee as well as alcohol) tonight w/ my guitar. That should be interesting. I guess people heard about me singing Christ-mas songs at the schools w/ Aub and told the owner and so he wants me to come play. So I'm kinda thinking of what songs I could sing...I think it'd go well if I get to do it. We'll see.

Also, I want to give a shout out to all of our friends and family who are living in wintertime. As for us, we went swimming (yes, swimming) on New Year's Day. We all biked down to da beach and took a dip and it was nice. A little chilly, but it wasn't bad at all (especially 'cause we had 3 bikes so I jogged down there, which is about 1.5 miles, and so was fairly hot by the time I got in the water). So I can say that I swam in the ocean on New Year's Day in the Northern Hemisphere. Cool. (Even though we're only technically in the N Hemisphere!)

Anyway, there's this hilarious 'documentary' on sushi that you simply must see. We laughed so hard while watching it - the humor is so dry! You'll be glad you did! Posted by Picasa