Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Gaijins Strike Back

We really are beginning to feel at home in Mito. We can go to a store and say we don’t have a store card. We can go to the ATM and withdraw money. We can pay our bills. We can take buses (ok.. just one route, but that’s good enough). But sometimes situations help us realize that we know NOTHING.

The other day we were at dinner with Brett and Heather eating some tasty ramen and gyoza. We finished our meals and all decided we wanted more gyoza. At our table we saw a special deal of 30 gyoza for 400 yen (about $4). So of course we called the waitress over, ordered and then waited… and waited… and waited… We called the waitress over again to check the status of our order. She said something we didn’t understand so we just decided to wait longer.

About 30 minutes later we decided we had waited long enough. We went to the register to pay and asked them to take the gyoza off our check because it had never arrived. The waitress then started laughing and turned around, pulled open the freezer and handed us a box with 30 frozen gyoza. Apparently- the kanji we all can’t read must mean frozen… Then, embarrassed by our illiteracy, we quickly exited the ramen shop.

Last weekend we attended the church foreigners’ retreat. We had a wonderful time! On Friday night we met at the church and ate a great dinner together (prepared by the wonderful Sasha). We also played a hilarious game where we built ridiculous things out of random Daiso items. My group made what was supposed to be a castle but ended up being the walls of Jericho (post-fall). The structural integrity was not so fabulous. Daniel’s group made an awesome aquarium thing (apparently titled “Under the Sea”). It had all kinds of fish and marine life. The other group made “the secular soul-train” (a car full of trash??) It was interesting. Of course Daniel’s group won, my group came in second only because of the ridiculous presentation…

We then enjoyed an awesome worship service followed by a quick exodus to a youth hostel. It was a traditional Japanese hostel complete with tatami floors, a curfew and lights out time. The next morning we awoke to have breakfast and a short Bible study/devotional. Then we had a meeting on how to improve our involvement in the church. I am so grateful to Joel, Sasha, and Atsushi for preparing such a wonderful weekend for us to learn and be together.

Saturday night we went out to the movies with the Rileys and Jason. We saw Iron Man II. We all liked it and had a great time- despite the fact that there was no A/C in the theater and it was SO humid!

Sunday we went to church and stayed all day! We had a meeting in the afternoon for the children’s ministry. We are so excited to get involved at Mito Church. We love all of the people we have met and can’t wait to deepen our relationships with each of them.

That evening we had an okonomiyaki party! WE love okonomiyaki!! YUM. It is kind of like a pancake (that isn’t sweet) with veggies, meat or fish, and sometimes cheese. It is very tasty. Our wonderful Japanese teachers prepared the meal and served it as well.

Wednesday, Daniel had a flat tire half way to school and consequently was 15 minutes late. His Kyoto Sensei (Vice Principal) fixed his bike that afternoon and sent him on his merry way. Sadly, the next day after school he came outside to find his tire flat again. Luckily, this time it was after school, but not-so-luckily he was also at Oba which is about 4 Km from our apartment. So… he began walking his bike home and (after 30 minutes) was passing his other school when his Kyoto came running after him. He fixed his bike again! And since then it has been mostly reliable despite the “black smoke monster” clicking noise.

We are so happy and blessed to have so many caring people around us. Thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts. We miss y'all!