Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Cows, Music boxes, & Laughter

Mt. Fuji in the distance
Last month David Copely, the director of Global Missions, came to visit Nicole and me in Japan. There is nothing like getting a visit from someone back home. He flew into Nagoya on a Monday. We spent the next two days visiting the various ministries I work with and chatting about my time here. He even braved a couple hours in Mitsuba (the pre-k class). Since the children are always surrounded by women, the boys were instantly drawn to David’s presence. It was fun watching them play with him. 

On Thursday we boarded a train to Kiyosato where we met up with Nicole (my fellow volunteer in northern Japan). In Kiyosato we stayed at Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project. KEEP is an educational facility complete with a farm and retreat center. During the summer they hold many camps to teach children about the environment.  KEEP was built after WWII to help build relationships between the US and Japan. It also helped rebuild the local economy. 

Nicole, David, and I got to relax. We ate ice cream, milked cows, went for a hike, and saw Mount Fuji. On Friday afternoon, the Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori arrived along with Peter Ng (coordinator of Asia and the Pacific Anglican Relationships), Richard Schori (the Bishop’s husband) and many other church officials of the Japanese Anglican Church. Everyone was a blast! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

Nicole and I got to share our experiences of the past six months with Bishop Schori. She was such a great listener. I love hearing stories of Nicole’s experience. Nicole works at the Asian Rural Institute. It is a place where people from all over the world come to learn sustainable agriculture. They then return home to teach others how to live within their means. At ARI they live in community, share ideas, their cultures, and their lives. Her stories of community are so beautiful. On Saturday, after we said goodbye to everyone, Nicole and I went to a music box museum. It was definitely one of the coolest things I have seen. We saw a giant music boxes that was over 100 years old.

That week came at the perfect time. It was nice to see everyone and get to share our stories with others back home. It reminded me how much I love my work here and how thankful I am for this opportunity. 

Music box that played at the World Fair in Paris in the early 1900s

Our amazing guide around KEEP and Kiyosato
We got to play with the music boxes ourselves!

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