Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week 7 - March 19-26, 2013

Wednesday Terry and I went to the Kumamoto International Center for Nihonjin lessons.  It was raining but a beautiful walk in the rain with the Sakura (cherry) trees in blossom.  

In the Thursday we drove to Oita to check the apartment there.  We found that they needed a new light fixture in one of the study areas and light bulbs, curtain hangers etc.  We went shopping in the afternoon and then took things to them and installed them during the dinner time.  We bought pizza and shared it with the missionaries.  It was a fun day.

 We checked in to the Toyoko Inn and then drove down to the bay for a look.

We saw a big Funa (ship) loading four semi with trailers.  It was amazing.
 We picked up the Elders and before returning to Kumamoto drove down to the bay/ocean and showed them the Funa.
  This is a picture of Terry, bay on his right and ocean of his left.

The water was amazingly clear.  
I enjoyed driving though the farm land.  It was beautiful!
We enjoyed ramyun at one of the best in Kumamoto on the way home.
This is a picture of my dish of ramyun.
Getsuyobi (Monday) we toured Kumamoto Castle.  This place is huge.  It was amazing.  It is on a large hill and then is seven stories high.  We hiked to the top of the building and the lookout was amazing.  It was beautiful with all the sakura in blossom.  
We were able to walk through the Han-maru Goten Grand Hall.  It had beautiful floors covered with bamboo mats and wonderful paintings.  A must see at the castle. We have been blessed with a wonderful week full of new adventures.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week 6 - March 13-19, 2013

This week was our first experience with transfers.  We took Elders to the bus stop and brought them from the bus stop.  Elder Morris worked with Terry after they dropped his companion off at the bus stop until his new companion arrived in Kumamoto.  They put up Eikaiwa (English) posters up on the community boards.  This is a picture of the last board that that we posted.  We had a mother and her daughter come to Eikaiwa on Saturday from our advertising at the International Center.
We finally figured out what the yellow X and arrow pointing the direction you should not go means.  It means not to turn that direction or no right hand turn.  SURPRISE! 
We have had a hard time figuring out addresses here.  This week we walked around our block to see if we could find the street markers for our own address.  We are learning.
I took pictures of two birds we saw this week.  The picture above look like possibly a swallow and picture below looks like a dove.  What do you think? 
 The radishes I planted are growing fast.  The zucchini I planted in the middle of the pot sprouted today.  Life can be exciting to watch even on a balcony eight stories up.  
It has rained this week and cleaned the air.  It is beautiful to not see the smog.  We are enjoying the beautiful view and the smell of laundry hung outside to dry. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 5 - March 3-13, 2013 Visit to Mt Aso

This week Elder Koberstein and Sister Koberstein spent a lot of time learning how to read addresses, program the Garmin and find community boards to post Eidaiwa fliers on.  This is a picture of board 59.  The Eikaiwa flier is on the six spot.  There are drawings every three weeks for the free boards around Kumamoto.  There are 60 boards divided into three groups of 20.  We are able to post on the B group spots this time.  The boards we have found are in great spots i.e. by a bus stop, in front of a college, church etc.

Monday we had a surprise ice cream party at our apartment.  Elder Morris and Elder Ushiro were working on the computer as the one at church is not working. We were a little late leaving for the  Young Single Adult family home evening activity.  A large group of the Young Single adults came up to our apartment which is next to the church.  We decided to have the activity in our apartment.  It was a fun evening.

Tuesday, preparation day because of transfers, Elder Morris and Elder Ushiro drove up to Mt. Aso with us.   It was lots of fun.  We hiked up to the top from the lower parking lot.     

I enjoyed the interesting evergreen trees and unusual erosion patterns on Mt Aso on the drive to the top.  There were also beautiful tall golden grasses.

This picture is taken at a viewpoint on the way up to the top of Mt Aso.

Wednesday has been the rainiest day we have seen in Japan.  We hope it has cleared the air.  Japan gets pollution from China and it has been bad. Kumamoto is in a dish.  It has mountains all around it so the pollution stays for extended periods of time.  

We went to the International Center for our Japanese class.  It is fun to visit with our teacher Kutsuka Motoo.  He told us his name means "normal husband" in nihongo.  He is a 70 year old retired teacher who volunteers at the international center, a cancer unit for terminally ill patients and sings in a man’s choir that will be singing in the Vatican in Rome soon.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 4 - February 24-March 2, 2013

The first picture is of a license plate.  There are two kanji’s on it which stand for Kumamoto 熊本 meaning the original bear.  
We see a lot of bears but none alive.   See the mat of the Kumamoto bear in the door of the stationary store and a big road sign here with the bear on it.

Saturday Terry and I drove to the homestore.  Across the street was a MacDonalds.  We decided to try some familiar food.  We went inside and they were advertising an Idaho Burger.  We had to try it.  It was a hamburger with a potato cake on it and a Japanese sauce.   It was interesting.

I bought two pots and some dirt for a small garden/planter on the patio.  I was given the two flowers.  We bought two lettuce plants which are in this pot with the flowers.  We  also bought radishes and zucchini squash seeds to plant later this year.

Sunday was the “Festival of the Dolls” in Japan.  We had our picture taken by the beautiful dolls in traditional costume in the home of Shinya Maki.   It was fun to get to know some of the members of the ward.  He is in the bishopric of the Nagamine Ward.  He has a beautiful family.