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.