Sunday, 22 June 2014

A quiet but pleasing week

The week started off as hot as anything. Luckily I had bought some traditional Kiwi shoes ($5 plastic, made in China Jandals) plus a pair of shorts and a singlet. I'm fully set for summer! 

On that extremely hot and sunny Sunday, myself and the karate crew all met up for a first aid course. It was fairly early in the morning but that's alright, it was a great day.

This first aid course went well; for three hours we learnt how to deal with injured people and how to do CPR. We practiced on dummies but we learnt the procedures for adults, children and infants. I really hope I never have to use any of the stuff I learnt. 
A look from where we doing the course
Not a cloud in the sky!

After the course, we all went to Sensei's house and had a big BBQ. It was pretty great, we ate this local dish called "Ke-chan"
It's like, just chicken, cabbage and some sauce mix but it's so good!
Japanese BBQ? More like grill, still good though.
And plenty of chicken and cabbage

Sensei makes the lower grades cook
A true karate BBQ

Squid mouth...
I pushed the limits again when I was ordered to eat squid mouth. Admittedly, I refused the offer to eat this when it was first presented, which is dumb and I don't even know why I said no. But then Sensei made me eat so I had to. It tasted like normal squid but a bit stronger. And shit it was chewy. You don't eat the beak which felt like a really hard and quite sharp finger nail.

I'm glad I ate it though. That's one of the weirder things I've eaten so far.

I got sun burnt that day even though I spent most of it under a tarpaulin. Now I've got a singlet tan line, so I can keep my summer wear with me where ever I go! (I have since bought sunscreen and plan on using it)

Monday was great. I'm so happy with myself. On Monday I had another Rotary meeting and of course that meant another damn speech. Normally, I get quite nervous.

You might remember that I developed a stutter a while ago and that was in all honesty, shit. I've since fixed that but I'd still get a bit nervous before talking.

This time I decided that I'd deal with the nerves and force myself to calm down. So coming up to this speech, I did a lot of practice and never really thought of the day itself. When I got to meeting I was only a little nervous.

This meeting was different from usual too, to make it all the better challenge. Instead of a casual lunch time meeting, we were having a more formal dinner meeting. This time the school principal was coming along and a bunch of other official-ish people.

Normally I'd be shaking and unable to eat but this time I didn't even mind.

(Luckily, this time my speech was before dinner)

I got up and spoke my most fluent speech yet. I didn't stutter, I didn't forget anything, the audience laughed at my jokes and it was fun.

Everyone told me it was an awesome speech and that I spoke it so well. I was so happy. The rest of the night went amazing. I spoke fluently the whole with everyone and even had a good talk to the school principle. It was an awesome night.
 It was a DIY dinner, we had our own wee cookers and a bunch of meat to cook. Under the paper cone was a broth of some sort that boiled the meat. It was delicious!
Everyone was getting quite merry and I kept to the coke

The official looking stand from where the speeches are given
No longer a place for a shaky voice!

Hitting the hard stuff
I am still pretty happy with how that night went. Whilst it's pretty tedious with the speech making and all the practice, I'm looking forward to the next speaking opportunity!

Tuesday was an awesome day for karate. I was, as usual, super pumped all day because I had karate that night. I got to training and did the usual new stretches that we now do. We're doing something like yoga and a lot of balance training. It's pretty tough.

But the fighting was the best that night. I was slugging it out with Fuyuki who was landing quite a few good hits on me. He had managed to slip an uppercut through my guard and caught me right in the sternum. Ouch.

I had to get him back. So I managed to time a knee just right so that it came up and caught him right in the sternum. One for one, it seems.

Except he stopped, dropped and rolled into a ball. Up went his hand with a big thumbs up. I got him good. I was so stoked! Of course I said sorry but soon enough we were back to fighting. And it only got better (for me at least) Fuyuki started dishing out the big hits. 

He wasn't angry at all, but he wanted revenge and I could see it. I know too well not to get cocky because this guy can deck me if he tries. 

I wanted to make some distance between us so I fired a front kick at his guts but he blocked as if it were nothing. But he pushed my kick to far to the side which started to spin me around. 

After all the training I've done, most of the fight is fought on instinct. My body knows that once I've turned past a certain point that I've got to keep spinning. And that is the perfect set up for a spinning back kick.

So that's exactly what happened. I used his push to give me momentum and then threw my leg up. It copped him right in the side of the head. We had to tone it down after that but once again he gave me a big thumbs up.

I'm think I'm going to get a good smacking next training. Something to look forward to.

Wednesday saw another bug assassin in my room. This one had wings and it certainly didn't last long.
I punched this harder than I punch at karate
I made some progress in calligraphy as well. In class we are making portfolios and our best piece acts as the cover. I'm pretty pleased with what I got done but it could probably be a bit better.
I don't think it came out too bad
After school on Thursday, I took time off kendo to help with the school debating team. Why would I be helping with the school's debating team? Well it turns out that they all debate in English. It's quite cool.

A bunch of Japanese kids arguing all in English. It's actually amazing.

I helped them with grammar in their arguments and that sort of stuff. It was real good fun. I think I might be helping them out weekly but that's cool as. 

I had karate that night and we did a bunch more of that yoga. I don't think it's actual yoga but it's a bunch of weird stretches so I guess they are pretty similar?

My legs still hurt though.

More of this balance training and endless kicks have finally popped the blisters on my feet. Yes, of course I'm going to show you pictures of them!
Pretty gross feet

Got rid of it with the heavy duty scissors in the end.
Friday was quite a long day. It was hot and school wasn't too exciting. I got a little bit of speech practice in (that's right, more speeches this weekend. Luckily I can recycle the previous speech for this meeting.) So I revised my speech and got a bit of study done.

Kendo was tough because of how hot it was but fun nonetheless. Lately kendo has been going until five o clock instead of six so I've been getting home early. This is because there are some real serious tests coming up and people need to study.

So it's been pretty relaxed lately and I'm not so tired. (Still pretty tired but not as much as usual.)

Saturday was a day for relaxing. I slept in until lunch time and had noodles for breakfast. I revised my speech again and that was pretty much the day. 

I did go and see the American boy 'cos it was his birthday. He and two other exchange students are going home soon. They've been here for nearly a year now and next month they will return. It's quite sad.

So Sunday's meeting was about the three who have completed their exchange. We drove to Gifu and delivered speeches and congratulated the three on their year. Everyone got up and shared their memories that they had with the students. I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear.

And everyone saw it too! Damn!

Pretty choice salad

Mini steak and mini fish

Serious photo time

The crew

Words cannot describe this bunch
After everyone has gone home or off to their host countries, only three of us in the above photo will be left. It's a grim thought but This could be the last time we are all in the same photo for a long time. I'm actually quite sad at that thought.

The girls in the back are going to be off in August. They were all like mentors and we became a pretty close group. We taught them English and in turn they taught us Japanese. It is an awesome bond. These are friends for a lifetime and I can't really believe that soon enough they wont be here.

Then there are the other exchange students. We are like an actual family. A bunch of bickering brothers and sisters who laugh and smile together, complain to each other about each other and then laugh it all off. We are all in the same boat here and it has made us become so close so quick.

The guys that were here before us were like the elder siblings. They showed us around, told us what to look out for and how to live the exchange life. When we arrived, we had a big meeting just like this weekend's one but at that meeting instead of us saying congratulations on the year been, they gave us advice for the year to be.

It is very weird to think that soon, us newbies will be giving that same advice to the new newbies. We will be the elder siblings showing these new kids what's up here in Japan.

The big kids leave next month and it's going to be pretty rough. I honestly can't fully believe it. I'm all teary right now as I'm writing. I'll be a mess at the airport next month saying by, and when it comes to my departure, well shit, I don't even want to think of that.

Emmeline, From America

Juliette, from France
Jordan, from America
Ania, from Norway
Ania left early, but she is still part of the crew
It's going to be a tad empty when they go, but that's all part and parcel of it.

Driving back from the meeting today, in the car was myself, Jordan and three of the outbound girls. We were all talking about the fun we had that day when I decided to be open and tell one of the girls that a line from her speech made me cry. 

Of course Jordan bombarded me with all the insults he could muster (as is usual) and the girls said that I'm always the first to tear up. I was a tad embarrassed but I decided to not be. But it was true, I'm the "tough" guy and it seems I'm the first to start the water works.

Our driver put in his two cents and made me feel a lot better (not that I was feeling bad, just a slightly knocked ego) and said "That's actually awesome that he can do that without shame." 

I feel truly blessed to have made such amazing friends. We really are a family.

That's all I've got this week. It's been a good one. 

Until next time.
No witty comment, just good friends

Saturday, 14 June 2014

It's all good

This week has been, for lack of a better word, "standard." That means that it was awesome, I've got some good training done, I've written another speech for a meeting coming up soon, I've entered in some tournaments, I've eaten some pretty amazing food and it's all still great fun. 

I've spent all week writing this speech for a Rotary meeting next Monday。I still get nervous before speeches but this time I am really trying hard to control that. Normally I have trouble eating and get all shaky but not this time. I'm pretty sick of the feeling. So I've practiced hard, I can remember my speech off by heart and it 'should' be fine. Here's hoping for no stutter. I'm simply talking about last months trip to Gifu and Fukushima, it shouldn't be too bad.
Monday's talk
School this week has gone by pretty normal other than that. I did however, find myself in a very familiar situation in physics class.

The teacher wasn't present on this day so he had prepared a video for us to watch. It was an actual video too, like a video tape. Anyway, we watched Mythbusters in English with Japanese subtitles for the period. I loved it! Most of the other kids slept but I was more alert than ever. If you look closely in the next photo, you can see the substitute teacher sleeping in the back of the class. It seems I'm not the only one!
Substitute teacher napping in the back.
We were playing softball for P.E. the other day (we always play softball) but I'm so bad that it's beyond a joke. I always miss the ball when I'm batting or if not I hit it right into the hands of the nearest fielder. When we're not batting, I'm the catcher. The guy who stands behind the batter and catches the missed balls. I can't catch a ball to save my life it seems because I've been hit by it on numerous occasions and every now and then I've caught a good one right between the legs.

But this day I was good. Well good enough to not get out on the first swing. I hit the ball and made it to first base! This was awesome, my whole team cheered for me. The rest of the bases were loaded so someone made it home off my swing.

It was going well. I made it to second base from the next hit. "Yusssssss! Second base!" I thought. I was halfway to home. Lo and behold, I made it to third! I'm not normally to interested in the game but at this point I was excited. Further than I had ever been!

And home! I made it home! I made it back and I was ready to do backflips because I was so stoked. My team high fived me and that was that. I acted as if it was no big deal after that but I was still pretty happy. Shit, I'm still happy now!

obligatory lunch photo
Got some octopus today!(or squid, I can never tell the difference)
I did a bit of calligraphy as well! It's actually pretty good fun.
It says: 武 (Bu or take or maybe even  mu, I don't actually know.) But it pretty much means Warrior.
I'd like to say that was my first attempt but I spent an entire hour writing the same character until I got the above result.
Calligraphy takes a fair bit of time and a another fair bit of patience
Whilst "normal," school is still good. I have so many friends here and it's just the best.

Kendo is picking up even more! This week was a bit tough though. For a few days I wasn't too keen to do it because I was simply tired. But after I started training that feeling of it being a chore went away and it became fun again. The adrenaline is awesome. 

I've said a few times that I love screaming. It's quite hard to not get excited when you're yelling as loud as you can in someones face while they scream back. I'm having a lot of problems with sweat in the eyes, itchy face and sore ears (the mask presses on my ears really hard and it sucks.) but it's not so bad. 

I'm getting better quicker now that I'm getting more involved. I get to do a bunch of practice fights every night so my fighting is becoming stronger. And I love fighting so this is great fun.

I didn't get to go to karate on Tuesday because we went out for dinner. I was a little sad but that's no problem. We were going out to have eel for tea!
Eel! It's pretty tasty
We were out for dinner because my host family's friend was over from America. She was Japanese but spoke fluent English.
It was quite a fun night!
And I didn't get beat up at all!
 I've entered in a bunch of karate tournaments! (Entered/plan to enter)

Firstly there is one in August that I have officially entered in. It is an open styles karate hosted by my home style of Kyokushin. It's going to be good. I'm once again in the heaviest division in the youth boy's group. 70 kg and over, up to 19 years old.

I'm really looking forward to this one. It's rules that I'm fully used to so it should go well! There is anohter tournament in September that I'm planning to enter in. This one is the Toyama prefecture tournament.

So I live in Gifu, right in the middle. Just above Gifu is Toyama. So I'll go and fight there and see how it goes. I came 2nd in the Gifu tournament but I'm stronger now so I really hope I can step up my game. 

The Gifu tournament had over 1000 competitors so I'm curious as to how many there will be in Toyama.

That's in September. In November I will be fighting in the "Zenkoku Taikai" Or "All country tournament." The nationals! This is going to be held in Nagoya inside of this massive stadium or something. I'm actually a bit nervous already. But that's in November so there is plenty of time to get strong.

Besides the karate training, I've also got kendo to build up my stamina. Hopefully I can pull it together bring back a really big trophy!

Today was for the first time in a long time a plain relaxing day. I slept in late and then got a haircut. I walked to the mall to get some snacks and have a look at what was on sale but didn't find too much.

On my way back I came across a shady looking group of guys so I turned my music off so I could stay alert and hear what they were saying. (Paranoid.) 

"Ah shit." I thought as I was walking up to the same crossing as they were. So we stood there waiting for the lights to change. I noticed they weren't speaking Japanese. I remember my last host Dad had told me there were a bunch of Indonesians who had come in to work at the company he works for.

I looked over the street and over the river and saw the building where my previous host Dad works and assumed these guys were said Indonesians and were going back to work.

One of them turns to me and says with a funny accent: "From New Zealand?"

I said "Yes, where are you guys from?"

And sure enough they were from Indonesia! I figured my host Dad must have talked about how he had a foreign kid staying with him and these guys assumed I was the foreign kid. (It's a pretty educated guess seeming as foreigners are so rare here.) 

It was quite an odd encounter. But I had to laugh at myself for the paranoia as I walked home.

That's all I've got for this week! Tomorrow I'm doing a CPR and emergency-thing course with the karate club. Then I think we are having a BBQ at Sensei's. Should be a good day!

Until next time!

The other exchange students and I found that texting with images is pretty fun and this was my best one
The pringle's mustache 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A grounding and uplifting week.

This week's entry unfortunately starts with a horribly sad incident that whilst not directly connected to me, it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

(The rest of the week was just as good as the others though, so it's not all grim.)

As Japan is getting hotter as we move into summer, more and more people are taking to the pools and the rivers to refresh themselves. I personally can't wait to get swimming! There is a big river running right through the middle of my town that is just perfect.

But of with swimming in rivers comes a bit of danger. There is always the risk of injury. And last weekend there was just that. A boy from my school here in Japan was swimming in a river, just you regular summer activity. But something went wrong and he injured himself in the afternoon at this river.

I have no idea what the injury was or how it happened but at about 9:00 that night he died in hospital. He was 17 or 18 years old and in his last year of high school. I had never met him before but I recognised his face in the newspaper.

We had a big ceremony at school in the hall and it spooked me real good. Normally when you enter the hall you can hear the buzzing chatter of everyone whispering to their mates, talking about who knows what. But this time when I entered the hall there was not a sound. It was so eerie.

Whilst I never met this boy, he has taught me a pretty good lesson. I was thinking about it on the way to school. Just last Friday he would've gone home and made plans for the weekend, like I had. He would've been excited to see his friends and have a good time just like I was. He would have been worrying about some homework he didn't get done and would've been a bit anxious to go to school on Monday. Like I was.

It shook me pretty rough. I'm not going to lie, I felt quite invincible here in Japan. I'm living my dream, everyday is amazing. My friends and family here all love me. I have so much fun at karate, I'm decently strong. I truly felt as though nothing could bring me down.

But when I thought about how this boy is pretty much exactly the same as me, with the same dreams and ambitions I realised that I too could die tomorrow, just like everyone else.

I was confronted with a thought. I thought that I couldn't drown in a river. Not only was in a swimming squad quite a while ago but I used to swim in rivers often. There is no way I could have an accident like that. But I later heard that he too was in a swimming squad and was quite a good swimmer as well. I also realised that living in a town with a huge river running through the middle of it would mean that he probably swam in it quite often.

A truly unfortunate accident that ended his life far too early. The reality hit me far harder than any punch could when I saw his friends crying after the ceremony. It brought me back into the real world.

That day was pretty odd. Obviously with such a grim start, the rest of the day was going to be a bit quiet. We went back to our classes and life carried on. I didn't have kendo that day and I went home to relax. The weather was great but I was still a little bit spaced out from the morning's news.

Tuesday was a good day. Of course the weather was ridiculous and I had karate. It was pretty regular in terms of school.
Of course I had a great lunch too!
Whilst this weather is at times uncomfortably hot, it's not too bad. It makes kendo and karate pretty tough.

But karate that night was great, just as always. It seems I can never not have fun at karate!

I got home for a big feed and then got onto the blog until some ungodly hour in the morning. I was pleased to get it written though. I don't like being late with it.

Wednesday was pretty regular. I got to do kendo and boy was it hot. When I took off my mask it looked as though I had just gotten out of a shower. It's a good feeling though, to have done a good workout. That good feeling is negated when sweat gets in your eye though.

Thursday was another interesting day. We had a desk change at school. So we all had to draw numbers out of a hat to decide where we would sit. I went from the very back of the class (freedom to nap every now and then) to the very front of the class, in front of the teacher's table. So no more naps for me. 

It's better though, I will be more motivated to study so I guess I'm grateful. I'm also sitting beside a good friend of mine so it wont be so bad!
Only in Japan.
My mate was making mini cranes and then this.
I went to kendo and once again got drenched in sweat. It was a really good training session. At the end of every night we always do one final (its more like three) really hard excersise. So everyone is screaming their loudest and hitting their hardest and the atmosphere is amazing. The floor shakes as everyone stomps by and you can't help but scream and cheer everyone on.

Whenever there is one or two people left finishing the excersise while everyone else has already completed theirs, they don't just stand there and relax. They cheer the slower ones on and it's awesome.

I found on Thursday as I was just about to start my last set, everyone had already finished. So whilst I was giving it my all everyone was screaming and what not. It made me try harder and push the limits that much further. It was so cool.

I sat down after class, absolutely buggered. I had nothing else to give. All of my energy was drained and dripping off of my face. I looked up at the clock and realised that in half an hour, I had to go to karate. It's gonna be tough.

And it was. But it was still super fun. Sensei put me on the spot and made me give an small inspirational speech to the kids. I talked about how I studied and worked to get where I was in both karate and Japan. They thought it was so cool and it made me feel awesome.

Next thing, Sensei was boasting about my fluency in English and decided that tonight we would study whilst we trained.

So when the leader of the excersise called out what we were going to do, I would call it out in English. For example, we did jogging on the spot for one minute. Whilst we were jogging, the kids passed the time by yelling in a Japanese accent:

Running on za spot foa, wan minit!

It was quite cute and funny but they all learned a bunch of new words throughout the night and because they actually remembered them all by the end of the session. I was impressed!

We later got to fighting and I once again busted my hand. But this time it was my thumb. It's quite the pain.

Other than a sore thumb, it was a good night. I think we will be doing these English lessons for quite some time from now on.

When I got home I got a hell of a fright in my room. I found this massive bug crawling about my floor at speeds unknown. I pretty much started levitating as I was in no mind to be in contact with the floor while this monster was in my room.

I had to act fast because this thing was making its way to my futon. It was probably planning to kill me in my sleep. It looked so evil. 

I bunched up about a hundred tissues and got ready to confront the beast. I actually (no joke) started talking to myself (aimed at the thing) and I was spitting all kinds of profanities at this creature. In hind sight, that's pretty weird but this was serious business. 

After hearing my challenge, it zipped out from under my bed and reared its head in challenge. I was not playing the fair game though. While he started the formalities for a proper fight, I punched him right in the kisser. Knocked it out cold. 

I took a photo of the carcass and then threw it outside my window. What a glorious victory. It's body is still sitting on the veranda outside my room, a statement to all other bugs that wish to invade my space.
Shit was gonna eat me in my sleep.
It was a lot bigger in real life, I promise...
After all the excitement, I went to sleep in my safe bed. 

I taped my hand up on Friday morning and had a hard time writing anything all day. It was a pretty regular day though, hot as anything. I had been writing a list all week of the things I needed to buy. Myself and a bunch of other exchange students were all going to Nagoya tomorrow!

My list was mainly mundane stuff like new clothes and textbooks but I was really craving some KFC, so we got that too. 

What a good day it was! The weather was overcast and it even rained a little bit but it was still pretty damn hot!
Getting high in the morning

Had a really big ice cream for breakfast

We managed to destroy it in record time

America's got talent
Got some photos with these pretty ladies in dresses or something

This is the k-fry I'm looking for

So I opted for a burger but others wanted something else from the Colonel

Sadly, I didn't buy the singlet.
The Japanese just don't get it and it's hilarious.
Indian for dinner!
I stupidly ordered the 'hot' level curry. It was hotter than hot. 
It was an awesome day! There were ten of us in total during the day and it was great. A bunch of foreigners making a huge noise in the big city. We got all sorts of looks as we did random things in the street. Piggy back races, eating whist we walk, playing the yellow car game (many a sore arms were had that day) and just being loud. It was so much fun. 

It was a long train ride home but it was good to wind down. When I got home I showed my photos to my host family and then went to bed. 

But there was this one part of the Nagoya trip that put me over the moon. Before I can tell this story, I've got to give a bit of background.

So we know that two years ago I went to Hokkaido, Japan. That's the northern most island of Japan. It's quite far away from where I am now. When I went to Hokkaido I not only had the time of my life but also fell in love with Japan. Not just Japan though, there was something else.

It was this think called Melon Soda. It is a green fizzy drink based on Melon flavour. It's not watermelon, but something else. There were many brands of Melon here but the best came from Fanta. It was divine. I ended up having atleast one of these everyday I was there. It was just so good.
From back in the day
So this drink was so good that when I got back to NZ I immediately went on the hunt. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find it. I went all over the place and all I could find was cheap knock off brands. They weren't the same. I made it my goal to get some as soon as I landed in Japan. 

When I did land in Japan, I went straight to the nearest store, they didn't have it. To the vending machines! None!

I looked all through my town but to no avail. I even went around showing people the above photo asking "excuse me, have you seen this drink?"

But no one had seen it!

I was beginning to think it was a Hokkaido only drink. So I asked my Hokkaido friends and they said they hadn't seen it! No! It couldn't be gone. I had to get more of this stuff there was no way it wasn't around anymore.

You might remember last week that I got a coke bottle from a vending machine with the Prime Minister's name on it. I said that I would take it as good luck, it was quite cool but I didn't think to much of it.
There it is, "Abe" and the good luck coke.
During our little adventure through Nagoya, some of the guys went into a convenience store in search of some ice cream or something. I wasn't too interested. But I went in to have a look any way.

As I went up to the freezer where my mates were I had to walk past the fridges. And shit, I did a double take that almost broke me neck.

There it was. I screamed. I jumped up and down. I turned into some hyper five year old child as I literally danced around the fridge. I got my drink and almost threw it at the clerk and then dropped coins all over the counter. What a mess I was. But I got it.

When I drank it.... it was even better than I remember. I couldn't believe it. I was so damn excited I didn't even notice anything else in the fridge until I looked back over my photos later on the train ride home.

The coke beside the Melon is "Abe"
It was kind of spooky. But so cool. 

Sunday was tough. It was karate and it was early. I got up at 5:40 and had some toast. I went with my mate Fuyuki because he lives right next door. We got to Sensei's and then it was off to training.

Today was just a big fight fest. There were a bunch of people doing black belt gradings but it is run a bit different to what I'm used to.

These guys had to do 20 rounds but everyone got in and did the 20. And shit it was tough. I didn't get too injured. I nicked my sore thumb and got a good hit on top of the knee but otherwise fine. 

I took a fair beating but I also dished it out pretty well I thought. Well I hope I did. I've got some mean bruises and I hope my opponents do too.

Bruises and a tan line.
It was a good session until the very end. I was sitting there and one of the guys in charge says to me.

"foreigner, say something!"

Ah shit. He wants a speech.

So I got up and waffled on about how karate is an international family and then I tried to talk about how today's training was but it didn't go so well. Everyone clapped and was nice about it anyway so I'm not too bothered about stuffing up.

After training we were all limping and it was great. We went out for lunch and then back home.

There was a huge thunder storm and it was amazing. As soon as I got home I went straight to my room to nap but I was more interested in the thunder and lightening that was going on. The lightening would illuminate my dark room soon followed by the thunder that was like a drum in the sky with it's massive sound being echoed through the mountains. It was amazing.

But I soon fell asleep. I was woken up for dinner and it was a good feed as always.
I forgot the name of this sushi but it's good!

Host family and a mean feed

Host Dad and I
So it is still hot here even though it was just raining. Life is good here. I'm a bit tired but that's nothing major. That's all I've got for now. It's been a good week aside from the beginning. I think that will stay with me forever. Not only do I feel as though I have been brought back to the reality of life but I am now more determined to live each day with more enthusiasm. There is no telling when we will go.

Until next time!
I'm on a whole other planet

Paraded it down the street!