Friday, October 03, 2008
Today is my 4th Anniversary in Japan! Wow time flies. It's been long enough that I've started having difficulty remembering how many years it's been. (yeah, I'm just bad with concepts like time to begin with.)
It's really amazing to think that I've lived here for so long. This is long enough to get a college degree. (in all honestly, it felt like I've been in a kinda "hand-on" grad school.) This was long enough that my nephew (who was an infant when I left) will be starting Kindergarten soon. Long enough for a niece to be born. (she's about to turn two I believe, and I've only seen her twice!) Long enough to miss the death of two dogs.
Long enough to fall in love with an entire country. Long enough to have my heart broken by the deep pain and suffering I see here, but is so often covered up and ignored. Long enough for my heart to heal and be desensitized to things like that.
Long enough to loose over 60 pounds. Long enough to be able to speak conversational Japanese and read just enough to get by. (being illiterate isn't as hard as you would think...)
Long enough to see co-workers come and go. Long enough to see students come and go. Long enough to watch kids grow up...
But not nearly long enough...
I'm still in love with Japan. I love Japanese food. I love the fashions. I love the history and the romance. I love the style. I love the traditional arts. I love the people.
I don't really miss America. I don't miss my car. I don't miss the noisiness. I don't miss the politics. I don't miss understanding what everyone is talking about around me. I don't miss the unhealthiness.
I do miss my friends and family. I miss watching my niece and nephew grow up. I miss the future that will never happen. I miss shopping for clothes. ;-)
But I don't regret any of it.
Here are some pictures. The pictures of me were taken by my student Masahiko. He was very excited to see me in Yukatta. Please pray for Masahiko. He studies the Bible very diligently and he is a good student. But I would love to see him believe what he reads and become a Christian and my brother.
The other pictures are of my cute returnee class. They have all lived in other countries (three in America, one in Malaysia) and are great with English. We wrote a fun story in class the other day about a Skiing Egg. They are so cute!