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Changes in Plans

Originally published on 23 June 2006. This post is part of a series of “e-mails to home” from my first trip abroad living and working in Japan!

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Kon-nichiwa! It’s been a poopy past couple of days, but I have things to look forward to, and it will get better. I’m determined it will.

I had fun riding the bus Wednesday because Mr. Koda was the bus driver. Even with limited English skills and my ever so small Japanese skills, we had a pretty fun conversation. We went all the way to Toba (2 towns over, about a 35 minute or so bus ride), and we took some roads I haven’t explored yet. I have lots of riding to do on my next day off (provided it’s sunny!). There were no kids to pick up or drop off between 5:30 and 6, so we went to his and Mrs. Koda’s car dealership and had some Japanese sweets and iced coffee. I was getting REAL hungry by that time, so I was very appreciative! The sweets sort of looked like fudge, but I liked them better! I think they’re made of sweet beans. Those things are apparently very versatile, not to mention they taste great!

After our little break, we finished up the bus route, and I went back to the school to have my break and whatever they needed to have done. I ended up cutting out more stuff and organizing it, which is exactly what I do best!

The Kodas are wonderful people. They’re taking Anna and me yukata shopping on Sunday. Yukata is a summer kimono made of a lighter material than the silk traditional kimono are made of. We have to get yukata because they’re taking us to some festival with fireworks and fun stuff on July 15! We have to wear a yukata to attend the festivities. I get to play dress up and they’re buying–how fun is that?

And not only that, they’re also taking us to a 3-year death ceremony, which is a very important tradition here. That will be on July 23 to honor Mr. Koda’s father. We’re going to a beautiful temple, and I’m not sure what the ceremony entails or how long it takes, but it definitely sounds cultural and interesting (and like a marvelous photo opportunity).

Not only all that, but they’ve really been great about having to change my plane ticket home. I didn’t know it when I made the plane reservations, but I need to leave on a Sunday, not Thursday as planned. I have to cut my 90-day trip about 4 days short, but I get to see my family and friends sooner. So anyway, the only plane I can take leaves at 8:50 am, so I need to be at the Nagoya airport at 6:50am to get through security, but I actually need to be there at 6:30 so I’ll have time to pay for the change and make sure everything’s straightened out. I don’t know why the date needs to change, but I have to do as I’m told.

Nagoya is 2 hours away, so we’ll have to leave at 4:30 am. I feel bad that they have to get up that early to see me off, but there’s nothing that can be done. There was some controversy and tension about it, but only with Yuri, not with the Kodas, so I’m not going to worry about it. I’m trying not to anyway. She’s the one who approved my original reservation, and she’s the one who wants me to change it.

But anyway, the Kodas being so great about all that, AND they said I’ll stay with them July 28 and 29, my last 2 days here. They’ve taken such good care of me. I don’t know how I’ll thank them, but I’m trying to think of something!

Oh, and another thing I have to look forward to… Mami (our school receptionist, I’ve talked about her before) is taking Anna and me to the Ninja Museum! It’s about 2 hours away, and we’ll go in early July! I’m pretty excited about it!

As you can see, I still have lots to look forward to, and I’m also making plans to go to Nara, where they have beautiful gardens and a massive Budda. Not sure when yet, but hopefully on a day off soon. It’s a 2 hour train ride, so I ought to be able to do it in one day, no problem. Let’s hope so anyway!

So that’s what’s happening on my side of the world. What about where you are? I miss y’all, and I hope everything’s going well. Let me know what you’re doing; even if you think it’s boring, I’d still like to know! Love y’all. thank you for the thoughts and prayers. Keep praying, though. I need a better outlook when it comes to work, and I seem to need more and more help holding my tongue. I’m learning so much, and I’m thankful for every opportunity–good and bad!

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