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March 20th 2007
Published: March 20th 2007
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Valentine's DayValentine's DayValentine's Day

MMmmm...a huge luscious chocolate cake!!
Ok, I'm lying alittle. I am writing this on the evening of April 6th, after bidding farewell to Mike at the airport and drowning my sorrows at the Junior High school teacher's enkai (drinking party) held for new teachers. But whilst Mike was in town I had absolutely no time to write and now is my time to catch up. Therefore, please excuse any typos to my teary tired eyes and read on about the crazy events we encountered along the way. From now on out I am on my own, so I have plenty of time to update, add and adjust these pics. So sad, yes, but it also gives me time to search for the job I will be needing upon return to the states in July. Hmmm, yes, probably a good idea in the end now that I think of it. Ok, here goes:

February 14th: Valentine's Day
Japanese custom has it that only the WOMEN give men a present of chocolates on Valentine's Day. Then, on their own "White Day", Japanese men must (and I mean MUST) return the gift to the givers of cookies. So Mike and I defied this rule and really internationalized
Romantic sunsetRomantic sunsetRomantic sunset

Hojo beach
the community. I handed out heart stickers to both boys AND GIRLS!!! at school to my teachers' surprise. Mike bought roses for me from the local florist, who giggled at his actions. And while I gave Mike chocolate mochi (pounded rice), he baked me an amazing chocolate cake. Thus went our holiday and all were happy.

March 2: Dinner with my Japanese friends
After mentioning Mike at school and my tea ceremony classes, a few of my fellow teachers and friends insisted on meeting Mike. So we conceded and went out to dinner. Mike was the only male, making for a most interesting and hilarious evening as all the women flirted with him and made their best attempts at English. So cute. They were really wonderful and made sure Mike had plenty to eat and drink. A wonderful night in all.

March ?: Pizza night at the flat
Too far back to remember the date, but a great night indeed. Homeade pizza (cooked in the microwave oven with baking functions...) enticed many to come out to my rural flat for a taste of American and a viewing of our favorite, Ace Ventura. As you can see from the
Dinner outDinner outDinner out

Out on the town
pics, the movies were very influential in Mike's hairstyle.

March ?+1: Hike in the mountains following pizza night
Mike and I followed our fellow Canadians, Mike and Andrea, into the mountains which compose the backdrop of my view, in search of a trail that leads to the peak. While we never made it to the top, we did find some interesting abandoned homes and old wild boar traps. Oh, yeah, and then there was the live trap that Mike(mine) just happened to step over but Mike (Canadian) actually stepped into but brought his foot out just in time. That was when we decided to turn around and climb another peak. Later we spotted some locals carving up a huge carcass of ribs, which only could have been the wild boar. Did I mention that the land we were hiking on was labeled "Ehime National Wildlife Preservation Area"? Apparently that doesn't hold the same meaning here as it does in the states. Or they are just lacking on a few area rangers...


Additional photos below
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Japanese dinnerJapanese dinner
Japanese dinner

Manami's mom, Elementary school teacher, Takeda sensei (Junior high nurse)
Is that Ace?Is that Ace?
Is that Ace?

Ace inspired new 'do
Hot on the trailHot on the trail
Hot on the trail

following the wild boar hunters' trail...
eeewwwwww!eeewwwwww!
eeewwwwww!

attacked by a stink bug


9th April 2007

Oh, Mikey!
Hey Mar - Sorry to hear that Mike had to head back stateside, but knowing you, you little poptart you, making the most of the rest of your time there will be no sweat. And I will make a grand effort to write you much more, to help pass the time eh? I will actually write you right now, as there is new news...

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