Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two Weeks On

It seems a lot longer than that. We have packed so much into the days. We have enjoyed shopping for a few things to make our house more user-friendly. Warren decided I needed a microwave that wasn't 30 years old and we have bought an electric kettle for the endless cups of tea.
We were taken up the Suzuka mountains which are 30 minutes drive behind our house. What beauty. There are hot springs, wonderful waterfalls, wild deer and very steep, green high mountains. The cable car took 12 minutes to climb to the top. It was 1.2 kms up. We picked a clear day and the views were spectacular.
My observations of Japan have been made up of the little differences in ways of doing things which actually become quite important. I am amazed at how every little purchase is individually wrapped. A box of crackers will have groups of 4 crackers in mini-packs inside box. Cakes will be pre-sliced and each slice wrapped.

This weekend our church has hosted a 2 day 'joy joy camp' for the primary age children. It has been very well planned with activities, talks, games and a trip to the mountains to swim and visit the hot baths. I was helping to pack afternoon tea which consisted of something that looked like paste rolled in a brown sweet something. Each serving was placed a pre-pack plastic container. We then used sticky tape to paste a toothpick to each lid and then when closed we put an elastic band to keep it closed. That is today's example of organisation, neatness and wrapping things.

The language barrier is a big one. None of them speak much English and although I am starting to recognise words and sounds, I cannot put them together to say anything of substance.

We start teaching this week. I am looking forward to being able to legitimately freely talk in English. I'm sure it will have its misunderstandings.

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