Friday, March 23, 2007
I arrived in Dallas and was welcomed by a very long immigrations line which had me considering my options if I missed my connecting flight. Just a note for the future... For peace of mind's sake, less than 2 hours of layover in Dallas is not enough time to ensure you will make it to your next flight... But the good news is... I've become a hard to stress traveler. I wasn't so much worried about missing my flight, instead just being mentally prepared if it did happen. I was more worried about loosing my bag in the process. But in the end, I managed to make it to my flight with 10 mins to spare, and myself and my bag arrived in Midland safely.
And for a note on travel hassles I could do without... Did you know, when you fly from an international starting point and then transfer flights in Dallas, you have to go through a security check point again. But I've learned the value of traveling light, so it was fairly painless.
I then arrived in Midland to not be met by my parents, who had suffered two blown tires on the way to get me (one on the real tire, then the donut blew as well...) We were rescued by a family friend, and then we proceeded to try to fix the tire. As we were driving into town the second time (to pick up the tire from Wal-Mart and then put it on the car, which was still on the highway) a nice big thunderstorm hits. Horray for thunderstorms you can see!!! This was a nice one with lots and lots of lightening strikes. It was beautiful. And short. It ended right before we went to put the tire on the car. So my dad didn't get too wet. And then I proceeded to drive home, (since there were two cars and my mom doesn't drive anymore, I had to drive one home). It was eventful.
Today I got to sleep in though. Maybe my first full nights sleep in quite a while. It was nice.
Now if only I could relax and stop thinking about work....
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Anyway. The time has been so full that I haven't even had time to think about this trip home, much less prepare for it. But now that the day is here, I'm thinking of what a good thing it is.
I really love living in Japan. And I'm really glad I'm staying for another year. But, sometimes you just need a break. You need to remove yourself from the situation, recover, process and rest before you go back. I think this is what needs to happen.
I knew I was tired, but I didn't realize until recently exactly how tired I am. I'm physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted.
So, this is not anything negative. (Don't freak out Marlo) It's just the reality of living in a country like Japan as a Christian.
Anyway, I hope that I can write some more in America. Probably without pictures.
That's all for now.
Next stop, America.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
It always seems like my weekends are fuller than my actual weeks. But lately, it's just been busy. I'm looking forward to April when things calm down for about half a year.
Let's see. This is the first day of my last week of class. I will go out everyday this week and have parties with my students. I will eat way too much, and all for free. (which is good because due to unexpected expenses, this month is really tight).
Last week was ok. There were a lot of ups and downs. If you care to pray for my spiritual protection, I would greatly appreciate it. (if you let me know you are praying, I can send you more details.)
I went out yesterday with my friend, the one I came to Japan with for one last time. It's sad because she is returning to America and I am staying in Japan. It's really weird. And I can't even figure out how it's already been 2 and 1/2 years! Crazy!
I thought I had more to say, but nothing is coming to mind now that I am actually typing. These are some old pictures. The first one is near my house. I wanted to put up some pictures from yesterday, but when we cleaned my house, I don't know where we put the cord for the camera. So I can't download pictures yet. I'll look for it eventually.
Friday, March 09, 2007
So I haven't been writing too much lately. It's been difficult to find the energy to write. When I'm not busy, I have no energy at all. Anyway, here are some recent pictures from the band. Yeah, that's pretty much my entire life. Well, not really. I do do a lot of work for VYM and my church. But I don't really take pictures of a lot of those things.
But next year looks like it's going to be exciting. It looks like I'll get to do some fun events and stuff. But next year can also be hard. There will be a lot more work for me next year too. (oh yeah, Japanese school years start in April. So next week is my last week of classes. There is a short Spring Break, and then you move up a grade in April. This is also the time of year when many people start new jobs. It's also when the cherry blossoms bloom, so it's really symbolic of the fleeting beauty of life/youth etc.)
Anyway, in other news, I'll be flying back to Texas at the end of March. I'll spend two weeks with my family, probably running around all over Texas. I'll need to get a haircut, and buy some new clothes. I've lost weight, and a lot of my shirts and stuff are really big and don't look so nice anymore. Also, most of my jeans no longer stay up. It's really annoying to have my pants falling down all the time. I'll probably also have to pick up a pair of shoes. Some of this stuff I could do in Japan, but it's really expensive and it's hard to shop in a foreign language all the time. Like, I totally don't know the vocabulary for getting a hair cut. How do I even explain what I want? I definitely don't want a Japanese style hair cut. They usually don't have so much experience cutting foreign hair either.
Speaking of hair, mine has gone curly again. Horray! Spring is here, so now my hair once again has definite curls. Now if you don't know, I grew up with my hair totally straight. It wouldn't hold curls even when we tried. They always fell out. But now it's curling naturally! Very exciting. I'm going to get a layered cut so that it curls better.
I'm glad I'll be able to go home during Spring Break, but at the same time I'm kinda sad. I fee like I'll be missing out on a lot of the things that are happening here.
The Band will be having their first live house performance, and I'll have to miss it. I'm really really bummed about that. Funny story with the band though. I tried to tell one of the girls that I was visiting America for two weeks. She misunderstood me and thought that I was leaving for America in two weeks and was never coming back. She just started crying and it was all I could do to try to explain what was happening. (this is what comes from not being able to speak a language well...) Finally I had to get another girl who is fluent in English to explain it to her. Poor girl!
There's a lot more going on, but most of it is really complicated and hard to explain. Recently I've been learning more about prayer. We meet every week for a Prayer Meeting, and it's really good right now. I've also been learning about fasting, and prayer walking. Very interesting stuff.
My friend did come over on Monday and helped me clean. We got a lot done, but it's not finished yet. I don't know if I will have time to finish before I leave for America though. My schedule looks like it is filling up fast. But the good news is that from April the schedule slows down a bit. Fall/winter is always the busiest time here. We re-arranged the house a bit. It's nice.
Ok, I think that's about all that's interesting. And I have to go get ready for work and all that fun stuff now. I'll try to be more regular about posting.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Well, I got to tell all my students that I was staying another year. Good stuff. I would say 90% of the students are really happy. The rest probably don't care one way or the other. It's nice to be liked.
Then there was Spring retreat. It was good. The pictures are from then. It's hard saying goodbye though. Spring Retreat is always the hardest.
Umm, lets see... It was Mako's birthday, then we had English School Open House. I was really really tired last week. Sunday I could barely ride my bike to go see the band. It was so slow. I was wondering how I was going to make it home, when one of the girls and her boyfriend offered me a ride home. I was sad, because I had my bicycle, so it looked like I wouldn't be able to take it. But his car was huge (think van) and he offered to take me AND my bicycle home! How nice! It was really troublesome too. He had to fold up seats and everything. So nice! I was really really grateful.
Then another student, gave me an air pump for my bike. (same student that fixed the bike.) Very very nice.
Things have calmed down a little bit, but there are lots of things that still need to be done, so I still feel a bit rushed with it all. But, I'm trying really hard to get everything done.
And it looks like Monday I will have a friend come over and help me clean my house. Everyone is being so nice to me lately. Although I'm really ashamed of the state of my house. But I think it's at the point where I just can't recover on my own. *sigh* Anyway, that's a brief update. I have to run off to work now, so I'll try to post more again later.