On Your Mark.. Get Set… Maybe Go…
Leaving for midterms was a bit hectic the day before we were supposed to hop on a plane to Japan we had a moving truck coming to pick all our furniture so we had to disassemble several pieces of furniture including a lofted bed. As my roommate and I were taking the bed apart, push came to pull and I had a metal rod hit me pretty hard to the point where my roommate insisted I go to the hospital. All of this happened less than 36 hours before we were supposed to hop on the plane to Japan. For about 8 of those hours we were at the hospital getting checked out and a CT scan. This all resulted in diagnosis of a mild concussion, 3 sets of medicine and the most unbelievable part the price $100 HKD (roughly $13 USD). Luckily the doctor also cleared me to fly which was one of my main worries.
With an hour and a half to spare we left the hospital to meet the moving van that was coming to pick up all our furniture to be donated to a great organization called CrossRoads. CrossRoads is the organization that donated a lot of furniture to us when we first moved into our Apartment. After some help from our amazing associate Pastor Mary Beth (who refused to let me do any work due the concussion) we got everything moved with time to pack and get a quick nap before our fight in the morning.
*Note we moved so if you are planning to mail anything please ask me for the new address as I cannot get the mail from the old one*
The Mid-terms of my Global Mission Fellow class was in Osaka, Japan. We met in mid October discuss what we all have learned in the last year. Luckily now-a-days Midterms no longer means and exam or a 20 page papers. It does however still mean being stuck in a plain room with florescent lighting for hours at a time. We spent most of our days in conference rooms in the YMCA in Osaka. The main goal of mid-terms was to regroup and discuss the last year of work we have been doing at our placement site. How we can continue to grow in the work we are doing.
We also had discussions about we will be doing in the 3 months we will be working when we get back in our home context. My goal is to go a gift basket ministry that I will be able to expand on in a later post, I don’t want to jink it just yet. Others are working with training, other projects, working with their conference or Itinerating about their experiences.
We had speakers come and talk about the issues that japan faces today. Many off the issues have to do with the nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima and Racism. It was really eye opening to hear the issues that effect the people in japan from the people it effects.
The last full day that also happened to be my birthday. We got out of our fluorescent light, white walled room and got to explore! While we had nights to do some exploring and reconnect with the other missionaries, it was really nice to have a day to see some of the amazing sites of Kyoto. Kyoto has so many sites to see that are breathtaking! After seeings some temples that are beautiful sites to be seen, we then did some touristy shopping.
I got two great surprises, a pair of chop sticks with my name engraved on them from Hikari who is one of the missionaries in Japan who helped to host us and a slice of cake from several of the people in our class. I also got sang Happy Birthday like 3 or 4 times throughout the day one of which was very public in a crowded train station. It was an unforgettable birthday!
LET THE FUN BEGIN
VACATION: Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo By Train
Universal Studios/ Harry Potter World
Several of us went to Universal Studios Osaka. This Universal studios is one of the few (so far only Orlando and Osaka soon to be in Hollywood) that has Harry Potter World! Most if not everyone in the group was just so excited to go to the park and experience the very realistic setting of Harry Potter World. The It was awesome to get on rides that remind me so much of my childhood like Back to the Future and Jaws. I really enjoyed spending time with several other global mission fellows outside of the mid-term and training setting.
I honestly don’t have many words for this experience. The peace park in Hiroshima is honestly so moving. There is a building that has been left in its destructed state as a symbol why there should never be a another atomic bomb used. The peace park has memorials for all the innocent people who died the day the A-bombs were dropped. There is an Angel statue for the students who died, an origami bird for all the children who died which inspires several origami works of art for peace that are on display, there is also a bell to ring for peace and there is a museum (sadly we didn’t have time to go through the museum before we had to leave to catch the train). The war game of who has the biggest most destructive weapons wins is not always what is best for the world, this was such an amazing experience to see why peace is so important.
Disney Land Tokyo
I have now checked 4 (Florida, California, Hong Kong, and Japan) of the 5 (soon to be 6 Disney parks once the one in Shanghai is built) Disney Theme Parks off my bucket list. We went to Disneyland Tokyo on the day before Halloween and we went Disney Sea Tokyo on Halloween. It was so awesome to see all the Halloween decorations and the Día de Muertos theme of Disney Sea was just amazing to see. I honestly had such a great time! Disney Sea is such a unique feel compared to the other Disney parks I have gone to. There was a the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Atlantis, many others and the all important Tower of Terror! I really do feel so blessed to have this ability to not only travel but experience these parks that remind me of home. And I really hope to cross off the rest of the Disney parks one day, Paris and Shanghai.
This much needed vacation refreshed me to go back to work. Mid-terms showed me how blessed I am to be placed in a site that fights the injustices I plan to fight against in the future. I am very excited to see what the future holds!