Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ending Year One...

Today ends our first year in Japan.

It was a slow day for me, one English student at 10 am, then at 5 pm I met three of my students from the base for dinner in Chinatown. We had Brazilian barbeque. Um-huh, Chinatown - Brazilian food, you heard right.

Jihae (Korea), Emiko (Japan), Elizabeth (US) & Rosanna (Brazil)

A few weeks back, Rosanna, my student from Brasil, told me about the restaurant. I hadn't been able to find anyone to go with, so I was thrilled when she and two other students agreed to go. We did a little shopping as well. I found out that there are also three Greek restaurants in Chinatown.

Over Labor Day weekend we had company from Yokota Air Base. Ace and Pam Tubbs lived in Yokosuka 15 years ago, when Pam was a captain in the navy, (rank just below Admiral). They arrived Friday afternoon. Allan was suffering from something akin to the flu, so he did not join us that night. Our usual Friday is religious services at 6 pm, then dinner in town - somewhere different every week. They were game so we had an evening out while Allan convalesced.

They have friends in Yokosuka who had us over for a barbeque on Saturday afternoon. This barbeque included rice balls, grilled squid and yes, plenty of regular American barbeque food.

Sunday, we brunched at the Officers' Club. This was our first time for the brunch, too much food, but it sure was good.

We took a tour of the base and later went to one of my favorite places, Kamakura. It's a cute town close by, but I hadn't been to this Buddhist Temple before. It's off the beaten path and set in a bamboo forest, uh grove, uh orchard. You know, lots of bamboo trees.

We walked the path to the temple and passed this very special tree. It must be special, because it's really crooked and split down the trunk, yet it hasn't been cut down for firewood. It's lovingly propped up and cared for like a tribute to willpower.

The little guy below is a special angel, saint or god for children, although I'm sure none of those names fit. Isn't that sweet? Children get their own angels with red bibs and caps.

We've had great fun during this year. We arrived the day before Rosh Hashanah, and now we are in the middle of the holidays again. People come from other bases to Yokosuka for the holidays. I met a young man who flew in from Korea. It's still a mighty small group.

The summer ended abruptly after a rainy day earlier this week. Suddenly the weather is cool and breezy. The Mikoshi Parade is this Sunday. We were living on the base during last year's parade, but if we attend this year, we'll be fighting for a parking space.

So tomorrow starts year 2 in Japan. It's going quickly. We go to Australia in three weeks and expect guests in late October and again in March. Hopefully, Brian will come again soon, so we can go to Beijing and Xian, China.

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