Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The truth about Ramen and other important revelations.

Haha. The title sounds really important doesn't it? Well, it's not really, but we can pretend for a little while.

Anyway. Today I am working late to write a report on my year for the annual church meeting. I'm not terribly excited about writing reports (thankfully I can write it in English and someone else translates for me) but one thing it does do is shows me what I've done with my year.

Sometimes I sit and think, what is it exactly that I do here? Sometimes it's hard to find an answer. Even though I know I feel really busy, sometimes I wonder if it's really true. You know, I could just be a huge wuss or something. Many times I have no idea how to answer the question of what I do. So, with the help of last year's calendar (I have a horrible memory), I finally completed a list of all the major things I did last year. I was kinda surprised at how long it was. So, I decided to share with you a part of my report. This is all the major events of last year:
  • Regular teaching and preparation (8 adult classes, 13 children’s classes, 4 Bible Studies)
  • Sunday English Bible Study (around 6 regular students)
  • One English School event per month
  • Coffee House (2)
  • Gingerbread House (2)
  • English Cooking House
  • English School Open House
  • Movie event (Passion of the Christ)
  • English worship
  • Halloween Fair
  • Thanksgiving meal
  • Christmas Party
  • Served as Assistant Director to VYM
  • Attended weekly meetings with VYM director
  • Attended weekly prayer meetings in Iidabashi
  • Co-led August English Prayer Retreat (VYM)
  • Attended Japanese classes
  • Attended monthly leadership meetings for VYM
  • Attended Sunday School Children’s Camp
  • Attended monthly English worship (Kanto area)
  • Visited my family in America for two weeks (March)
  • Attended Kanto Area Youth Group meetings (3 times)
  • Helped with Yoshiko’s Summer English camp
  • Attended Discover Tokyo Day
  • Went on a class trip to Ikaho
  • Attended Trash Box Jam street lives and events (weekly)
  • Visited Niigata to support co-missionaries there
  • Started designing new fliers for the outside sign to make the school more attractive to new students

This year I'm planning on going to Kyoto in March with one of the girls I met at the band. This will probably be the closest thing I've had to a road trip ever. (we are going by train.) It will be very exciting because she doesn't speak English. This will be a wonderful chance to get to know her and share with her about me. Please pray for the preparation of this trip. I'm a little nervous, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Anyway. I guess you might be wondering about the ramen comment in the title. haha. I was eating some instant ramen tonight as I worked. It was good. But suddenly I was thinking of how my views of ramen had changed since coming to Japan.

When I lived in America, I don't think I ever paid more than like 30 cents for ramen. (I don't know, how much is cup ramen now days? 1 dollar?) Anyway, ramen is super cheap food in America. I had a roommate once who lived off of the stuff. I prefer to fry it up and eat it. But I never ate too much ramen in America. So I was shocked in Japan the first time I saw a whole restaurant devoted to ramen. And, to top it off, some of the ramen was like 8 bucks! Who pays that much for ramen?!? I mean, really? It's ramen! right? Wrong. That stuff you eat in America is nothing compared to real ramen. I mean, this stuff is good. Esp in winter. It keeps you warm for a long time. (I had to get used to making noise when you eat it, because of chopsticks, but other than that) There are so many varieties of ramen. Different types of noodles, different types of soups, different types of toppings. It's amazing. Ramen is great. And even instant ramen is way better here than in America. It's also a bit more expensive (cheapest I can get is like 88yen) but it's still good. It's good when you want a cheap meal to fill you up on a cold night. So today, knowing I have little time to eat (it's Wed, my busiest day) I bought some instant ramen from 7/11. This meant I had to pay close to a dollar fifty for it. (My American mind thinks this is really expensive for ramen. My Japanese mind thinks this is really cheap for a whole meal.) This was the first time I've tried this brand. It was really good. I don't eat ramen very often, it could be easy to get tired of it, but when I do, I'm usually happy with the results. Yes, very good ramen. It was a really big bowel too. So I'm happy to be filled up for so little. (I really am full!)

Anyway, no pictures because I'm still at the church, but you did get an update and a random conversation about ramen. Can't ask for much more than that right? (come on, humor me...)

I do still promise more pictures and a video of my kids singing Away in a Manger soon. (we'll see if my computer can handle the video editing software yet...)


(another random revelation: I can use spell check on this computer, which is suprising because it's still in Japanese. But apparently, spellcheck doesn't think ramen is a word! It showed a lot of spelling errors this time. I was surprised. I thought ramen would be in the dictionary by now... Haha)

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