Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Pools, Crocodiles, and Fuji

Before the pool. Aren't they ADORABLE!?!?
As I stated in my last post I am back in Nagoya. The past three weeks, I was working at ELCC. This is a school that the church started for children of Filipino and Japanese parents. At the school they have several volunteers that teach various classes everyday. They very kindly made space for me teach there as well. Therefor I helped with art, PE, Japanese, religion (well one time only) classes, and taught English. The kids range from 4-9years old. They are the CUTEST children. In the school use three different languages. They mostly learn Japanese but they are also learning Tagalog and English. So communication can be difficult sometimes. Even with those difficulties we manage to have a lot of fun.

Last week was the last week of school for the kiddos so on Wednesday we went to a pool. I think I was as excited as the kids. We spent 4 hours splashing around in the kiddie pool. When it is the first time your back has seen sun light in a year and you are crawling around like a crocodile for 4 hours, put on sunscreen. Lesson learned. On the upside I have find a new way to gain better posture. 

On Friday we had a barbeque. Most of the adorable kid’s parents came. It was nice to visit with them and play with the kids one last time. They are a crazy bunch as any group of 4-9 year olds would be. One day their entertainment was opening a children’s book of anatomy to the page of the naked boy. I can’t tell you how many times they opened it, laughed, closed the book and did the very same thing over again. Another time, while reading a book to the kids, I told them "you have to be quiet because there was a sleeping crocdile. If they woke the crocodile up it will be angry." From then on any time I said "shhhh," one of the little girls would say "oh shhhh, sleeping crocodile!" Of all the things I taught the little kids this is what stuck with her. LOVE IT.

Also some other highlights from the last 3 weeks are that I celebrated my 24th birthday at my friends farm and then at the best Tex-Mex restaurant in Asia with friends.  As a present from my parents, the next weekend I hiked Mt. Fuji with a few friends of mine. It was a blast! Sadly due to the horrible weather we didn’t make it to the top to see the sunrise. BUT we did get to see the sunrise-ish on Mt. Fuji. The church recently celebrated the consecration of a new church. For the past 4-5 years (I might be off on my timeline) it has been a mission to Filipinos living in the area. So during the consecration some of the parishioners preformed traditional dances. It was great. I will try to get some pictures for you soon. I have had a wonderful time settling back into Nagoya. Its been nice seeing friends, going to TakiDashi (where we feed the homeless on Thursdays), being apart of the church here, and relearning my Japanese home.
Celebrating 2 birthdays! Love these women.

hanging on the farm

this is what Tex-Mex does to Japanese friends...

5/7 of the Fuji crew

About 1am and making friends

view about 3/4 of the way to the top

Thanks for tuning in!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Tons of food, tons of songs, and tons of goodbyes

Let Us Walk Together Project's Staff's last meal together
The Let Us Walk Together Project has come to an end in June. The Tohoku Diocese will continue the project but at a more local level. The national church however will continue to support the victims of radiation. Not much information about the radiation “clean-up” and the things going on with the radiation are getting out of Fukushima Prefecture nor the to the wider world. So the national Anglican church of Japan’s priorities in this next phase will be supporting the victims and to tell others both domestic and abroad about all that is going on in the radiation contaminated areas.

I have moved back to Nagoya again to finish out my contract with the church in Japan. I resumed some of the work I was doing here last year and this past spring. I have moved back just in time to help out with the busiest part of the year. While I am thrilled to be returning to my Japanese home, I am not so excited about leaving the community in Sendai. It constantly amazes me how fast a new place can become a home. I have yet another family here in Japan. I
My Filipino family! Miss them so much already
have learned so much from the church members and the people we have been working with. I will miss the Filipino women that I have come to call my friends. I will miss the men in the church that love to tease me about my hair or lack there of. I will miss the women that have stepped in as my mother since I am away from my own.

This past month has been filled with closing off programs, writing reports, and saying goodbyes. I think I have been to enough goodbye parties to last me quite awhile. Here are some pictures of all the friends I have had to say goodbye to for the meantime.
the buzz crew (or no hair crew) at the goodbye party
best friends!

Prayer service for Shinchi base
 Ms. Keiko the woman who can do anything!