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June 10th 2007
Published: June 10th 2007
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train station snackstrain station snackstrain station snacks

Who says dark chocolate is only for men?? POCKY's MEN says so.
The end is near, and instead of simply packing up and heading out, I feel my ties within the community have gotten stronger. Two weekends ago I took an hour trip south by train with my friend, Vania, to visit the orphanage in Uwajima. Most of the children there still have parents. It's just the parents are unable to care for the kids for some reason or another. Therefore, adoption is not an option, and most kids see their biological parents at visits once in a while. Also, its pretty taboo for Japanese to adopt unless they can't have their own kids and even then its not the norm. Family blood is a very important thing here.

The visit was awesome. We ate lunch at the home and gave the kids presents for their birthdays (anyone within a few months). Then it was off to bowling for some of the true action. Other JETs had raised money earlier in the year and so were able to pay for the kids. It was a great time! In Japan they print out your scores at the end of the games so you can have a play-by-play of the action. I bowled
showing offshowing offshowing off

Little duder showing off the sweat bands I gave him for a birthday present. Ready to rip it up in the lanes.
a 139 on the first run, then a 120 on the second. Not bad compared to my JET counterparts. I think there is more bowling in Minnesota than other parts of the country, or especially other countries!

This past weekend I was the guest of honor at a formal tea ceremony sayonara party. My sadou (tea ceremony) friends thought it was necessary to host a party with the "high" tea. This stuff was made so thick, I had green powder stuck in my teeth. At the end of the 4 hour ceremony I must say it was unlike anything I've ever been a part of. Very formal and HOT (oh, so HOT!) but fun and interesting. Of course, whenever one of us messed something up that was the greatest part, because everything is supposed to be perfect in tea ceremony. Oh, yeah, and the food was amazing! Each guest made something for everyone. I wish I could cook (or cut fish) like that! I will truly miss these friends. As a sayonara gift they all gave me a lacquer box that also functions as a tea set. It's for me to serve traditional Japanese tea at home, for all you people! So start practicing sitting on your knees...because there is some tastey green tea on the way.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


My team My team
My team

Me and the boys after the games

Preparations for the Par-tahy

(Delicious!) The yummy food.

13th June 2007

What a Year!
What a great year and experience you have had in Japan! What helps making leaving not so sad is that in today's world you can expect to visit every once in a while. I was in Japan twice in just six months. Love. Dad
29th June 2007

The San
Marla Marla... now are you and the girls coming up to see the three day besuboru fest in Hiroshima, celebrate nikina's b-day, get some more quality dancing in, and eat, eat, and eat??? I hope so now.

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