Here is a little synopsis of what has happened over the past month.
|St. Stephen's Church|
I went to another wedding in Japan. It was a church friend of mine. Being the small and very family like church congregation that we are, everyone pitched in to make the festivities wonderful. Most of the church members showed up early to prepare food for the reception. There were so many people in the kitchen it was ridiculous. Food was made, jokes were told, and I think there was some singing as well. The wedding went on without a problem and the reception was perfect. So happy for them!
|Mochi! It might not look appealing here|
but it is DELICIOUS!
The next weekend St. Stephen’s church went on a trip. It took us five hours to get to our destination. After several stops along the way I realized that the end destination didn’t matter. As all great trips the journey getting there was just as important. For lunch we stopped in Kiyosato which happens to be one of my favorite places in Japan. It has some of the best ice cream I have ever had and the food isn’t too bad either. Once we finally arrived, we had dinner with the priest and his family. Everyone helped make the delicious meal. It is always a joy sharing meals with this group. There is never a dull moment. The next morning we went to church, did some shopping, and drove along way up the mountain to have some incredibly delicious mochi. After lunch we meandered our way home. Church is a place where community is not just an idea it is a reality. I have been very fortunate in that every church I have been a part of, community has been the reality. This church is no exception. Everyone knows everyone they are always there to lend a hand, to share a meal, to comfort you when you are down, and to share God’s love. It is going to be hard to leave this church. They mean more to me than I could ever say.
|My friends at Gujo Hachimon|
This past weekend I went on a trip with some of my farmer friends. We went to Gujo Hachimon. There we did what I can only describe as Japanese line dancing. I was told to bring my yukata (it’s like a kimono but not as formal). When we parked the car my friends met a woman that would help me put it on. So this woman took us to the yukata dressing area. At one point there were two tiny Japanese women tugging at me. It was quite an experience. After I was dressed we walked around the town and had dinner. They had a lot of cool little shops. At one of the shops we played hide and seek with some kids. They were adorable. Once the dancing finally started we joined the crowds. I was not made for Japanese dancing but I had a blast trying to keep up. The next day I helped my friends on their farm. We harvested cucumbers and okra. Then we pulled weeds from their paddy fields. I don’t know if I could be a farmer as a profession but I really enjoy working on my friend’s farms. There is something honest and peaceful about the work.
A couple of weeks ago we had the last English classes. Luckily I get to teach the kids one more time at the Summer English program. I am looking forward to seeing all of their faces again. Last week we had Long Day Camp at the center. I promise to post a blog about it soon.
July has been an incredibly busy month. I can’t believe its already August. This summer is going by in a blur! I have so many more stories to share with you but I will save them for another day. In the meantime I hope that you all are staying cool in this very hot summer.
|My yukata Sensei|
|I met this kid in a park. He was trying to catch crawdads.|