Friday, September 7, 2012

An Amazing August

It turns out I ended up in one of the hottest spots in Japan! Even though Kyoto is at about the same latitude as other, cooler, cities, the mountains surrounding it collect the heat that falls into the valley we live in, keeping us sweating from May to October. And compared to the temperate climate of Portland, it's a sauna. So, when classes ended for summer vacation, there was no hesitation on taking the 12 hour bus ride up to Sendai. Caitlin, my fiance, and her family stay at Takayama, a group of cabins owned by missionaries in the north of mainland Japan. I had a wonderful time hiking (see photo), swimming, and partaking in various Japanese summer traditions. 

Taking a break on a mountain hike at a Shinto shrine.

One of my favorite Japanese summer traditions is watermelon flavored treats (see photos). Although actual watermelons in Japan are only about the size of a soccer ball, they are delicious. Summer sees convenience stores across the country carrying everything from watermelon Pepsi to watermelon popsicles--with chocolate seeds, awesome!

Caitlin's mom showing us this summer's limited edition Pepsi flavor: Salty Watermelon

One of the fail-safe ways to cool off in the Japanese heat: ice cream!
I was also able to spend time with my fiance and her family in their home in Tokyo. There I prepared for the coming school term, planned lessons, researched textbooks and classroom exercises, and visited the dentist and optometrist for check-ups.

Last week, it was time to head back down to Kyoto for teacher meetings and lesson planning in preparation for the fall term starting on September 5. Although it's never fun to have vacation end, I'm looking forward to seeing my students again--and teaching classes that I've had a chance to plan for!

This month, please remember these prayer requests:
  • Praise God for safe travels and a relaxing vacation! Pray for energy and health in the continued heat.
  • Praise God for good preparation for the upcoming term. Pray that I will get everything that needs to be done in the next couple of days (and for the rest of the trimester) so that I can help my students fulfill their academic potential.
  • Pray for Luke Nagai and his family, the two-year old boy in my fiance's house church ministry who was diagnosed with Leukemia this month. He is now 1 week into a 6 week session of chemotherapy.

Thank you for your support of God's work in Japan!