Monday, 26 September 2011

Out and About

We had two National holidays last week. Monday being the first was "Keirou no Hi", a day to respect the aged. So in honor of that day, a couple of the women from the Youth Center and I visited the Nagoya-Jo Castle. It was originally built in 1614 but caught on fire during WWII. This castle among many others were rebuilt in 1959. It is a beautiful Castle that has three gilded "dolphin"(also known as killer whales) statues on top of it. These creatures are the sign of Nagoya City. Afterwards we went to ginormous shopping center for lunch. It was a beautiful day!

On Wednesday I experienced my first typhoon. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to  be. The ladies I work with told me that it was coming but they didn't seem too distraught about it. So I spent all day in my room until it was time for class.

The Second holiday was on Friday, the Autumn Equinox. To celebrate that day I decided to go to Sakae, a region within Nagoya. Sakae has a large shopping center and a incredibly beautiful park. I think the park has become my favorite place in the city. I also found out that Nagoya is the sister city to Los Angeles. I ended the day with a cheesecake...I had to give into my cravings.

Also, a couple of my brother's Japanese friends live about 30 minutes outside of the city. They contacted me this week and invited me to their farm to help harvest rice. Since I have never harvested rice nor been outside of Nagoya, I eagerly jumped at the chance. They sent me the information on how to get to their town by train. It was a bit of a nerve wracking experience riding the train for the first time but I made it. It was such a wonderful day! In the morning we cut the stocks of rice and hung them in the green house to dry out. After having a lovely lunch we went back out to the farm to sow some seeds. I can't explain to you how much this day was needed and welcomed. The soreness that I had the next day was well worth it. I hope go back out there again some time soon.

Here are some pictures of this week's adventure. Enjoy!

Central Park in Sakae

A platform above the Shopping Center.

Nagoya Castle
Replica of the Gilded Statue above Nagoya Castle

The rice that we harvested!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

My First Week


I arrived in Nagoya on Tuesday evening after a very very long plane ride. When I landed I was greeted by two of the women from the Youth Center. They took me out to eat at a Tofu restaurant, where we met up with the other missionary from England. I have never had so much tofu in my life! It was DELICIOUS.

The past few days I have had a lot of free time because they were letting me adjust to the time change (and being in Japan). In that free time I was able to explore my neighborhood and the city a bit. This a very huge city. On Friday I was able to help out with two of the Center's English classes. We sang "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake." It was awesome! The children are just adorable. This coming week I will be visiting all of the over classes and should have a better idea what my weekly schedule will look like.

I went to church for the first time this morning. It was all in Japanese so I didn't understand a word but I did recognize a few hymns. Afterwards we all had lunch together. The whole morning was a community effort, from getting the hall ready for the service to cleaning all of the dishes after lunch. Everyone had a part to play including myself. It was great!

Well that is all from Nagoya for now.

God's Peace,

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Peace Be With You

Well summer is slowly drawing to an end. There are signs everywhere school has started back up, West Texas Fair and Rodeo is coming, and the temperatures are in the high 90s versus the 100s...YAY! This summer has gone by in a flash. It seems as though I spent half of the summer in the car on the way to my next destination. I have been blessed to go to four weddings, a family reunion, three weeks of camp at Quartmen Ranch, and two weeks of orientation in Toronto. During all of this travel I have become re-acquainted with friends, family, and places that I have called home. I am very thankful for the opportunity of travel but at the same time I am very happy to spend time at home.

I now have a departure date, September 12. This means that the remainder of my time at home is taken up by saying goodbye and gathering last minute things. This weekend both of my brothers, new sister-in-law and her mother are in town. Its going to be a wonderful weekend filled with card games, our favorite foods, and as much sibling mockery as we can get in in 48 hours.

I am very excited about this new chapter in my life. I can barely believe that it is actually happening. I have been talking about it so much that lately it has become more of a conversation piece rather than a soon to be reality. It has been hard to be at peace with the things that I will miss out on this year. But after many discussions with God, friends and family I have finally come to terms with those things I cannot change. I am ready to see all the things that lie ahead in Japan. In the meantime I am going to enjoy my time at home among those I love!

God's Peace,
Katie Young