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September 2006 Archives

September 18, 2006

We're "Home"!

After being in 10 different countries since we left the US, we are thankful to be in Japan! We are thankful for the prayers of so many that have kept us safe and given us a blessed time. We are staying in Akihiro's brother's home which is in downtown Tokyo and right next to his parent's home, so it is very nice (despite the scenic view of electrical wires and concrete!). We did find an apartment and are very thankful as it is in a more residential location--most of the houses around are only 2 stories! The apartment is actually the second story of a house, so it has many windows--even a window with a view in front of my kitchen sink! Hopefully we'll have pictures soon. It is about 200 meters to a walking path along the river that will take me near the Klaus home (another American family living in Japan)! It is just what we need! We plan to move this coming weekend. I also got a cell phone--what a blessing that Akihiro is just a call away if I need help! I feel like a child who cannot read--everything is in kanji symbols. Yes, sometimes I just keep pressing buttons til something starts working!

Thanks again for all your prayers! We certainly cannot make this journey without God's help!

Sorry the blog update is so late in coming! I will try to do better!

Also, we have a Skype number that is transferred to my cell phone. If you should want to call, just remember that we are 14 hours ahead of Illinois time! The number is 309 740 1599. We'd be glad to talk to you! Hopefully I can update the rest of the web site soon!

September 20, 2006

Driving in Japan!

Six days in Japan so far, and I have learned--or tried to learn--so much. Today was my first time to drive in Japan. For those of you who don't know, in Japan, we drive on the wrong--oops, a "different"-- side of the road. I only went on the wrong side twice! Thankfully I was corrected quickly and no harm was done! Overall, though, it was very stressful. Akihiro is a very patient driver instructor, for which I am very thankful! In fact right now I am sitting in the lounge at his driving school. He is taking a 20+ hour course so that he can drive a 15 passenger van. Right now he is driving around an "obstacle course" style of park for driving! Driving is a very serious thing here. After today, I can see why. The roads and lanes are very narrow and there are many signs, signals, motorbikes, bicycles, and pedestrians. Just to get a regular driver's license you have to pay $2000 to take a major course. Nothing like driver's ed in high school for nearly free! Thankfully since I have an International Driver's license, I can drive for a year. Then I will have to take a short driving test. I've heard stories already, though, that foreigners have had to take it 10 times before--the test is so picky! I'm glad I have a year to practice!

Japanese toilet seats

First of all, I apologize for any of you opposed to elimination details! Personally, as a nurse by trade, I think these toilet seats are hilarious! There are many options. Your toilet seat can sense when you sit down so it can prepare to... heat your fanny, wash your fanny, dry your fanny, and pull any stinky smells away from your fanny! Somewhat unnerving is the option of a sensor that automatically raises and lowers the lid!
Just a side note: The buttons on this machine are not ones with which to experiment unless you are prepared!

A few random events

Things are getting busier for us as we prepare to move on Friday! I did some cleaning at our place today, after trying to find a mop, brush, bucket, etc. at the local grocery store on my own. Can you imagine trying to figure out what kind of soap to buy when you can't read the labels? Oh well, we can wash our hands with dish soap for a while!

Yesterday we went to the immigration office for a 3 hour stay to get my paperwork in order. Wow--I can identify with some of you with similar experiences!

We are shopping for many things--toilet seats (see blog), irons, stoves, a wardrobe (no closets long enough for my dresses!), rice cooker, kitchen table, etc. It takes a while because Akihiro gets the sales pitch from the energetic and friendly sales associate and then he explains it to me. By the way, the sales people here are "something"!

September 21, 2006

Thursday's update and--yet another toilet function!

I have been busy cleaning! They have spiders here in Japan too--unfortunately! Overall, though, it is pretty clean! I look forward to putting flower pots on the balcony and adding any "green" I can to the place!

We plan to sleep at our place tonight for the first time! You can see a picture of the front of our place here! We got some futons from Akihiro's mom that will work until we get our mattress moved tomorrow.

I did my first "solo" train trip today! Actually it wasn't very solo as Akihiro made sure I got on the right train and one of the ladies from the church made sure I was headed in the right direction after the lady's Bible study at the church. ( I had never taken this route before!) I was very grateful for each guiding hand and feel more comfortable to do it entirely on my own next time--but at least I sat by myself on the train for a while!

Speaking of the Bible Study...There were ten of us ladies that met at the church--they meet every month. Many of those who came--6 or 7 I think--weren't Christians, but are either interested in learning about Christianity and the Bible or they are interested in learning English. They were very kind and some could speak English fairly well. They were very interested in finding out how I met Akihiro. When I got done explaining our faith-based marriage, one of the ladies said, "God is a good match-maker!" I would agree! The experience really helped to remind me of the missionary opportunity that we have here in Japan.

Today we bought a rice cooker, stove, and a kitchen table. It is interesting to see the different appliances they have here--lots of choices in rice cookers and hot water heaters for tea or noodles, but hardly any stand mixmasters or food processors. Everything is small! We are so looking forward to getting settled into our home!

On our way out of the driving school, I used the toilet and discovered yet another function! This toilet had a button that would make a flushing sound. I guess there are some shy bladders or--well, use your imagination!

Sorry I haven't been able to reply to many of your encouraging emails! Once we get settled, I will perhaps be able to do better! Thank you, just the same!

September 25, 2006

Our Address, Etc.!

We continue to be pretty busy as we settle here in Japan! We were thankful for a beautiful day to move on Friday and for the cheerful help we received from Kan and Miyagawa to move Kay Kellenberger's stuff (she lived in Japan for 2 years and just moved back to the U.S.) from the Tokyo church storage to our home. We are also so thankful for all the furniture, etc. that Kay had--it makes us miss her presence, though!

The moving truck was packed--so much that poor Kan, who got stuck riding in the back, had about a square foot of space to stand as we closed the door on him! He said it made him feel like he ws crossing the border illegally!

I am unpacking the last box today and we have made several trips to the stores to get other things! Our attic has been a wonderful blessing because our storage space is very limited in the main part!

Yesterday we had a beautiful day in Shioda for church. There were quite a few people there--15, I think! It took us about an hour to get there from our place--a beautiful drive through the mountains, but the ride home was a 3 hour traffic jam! We will have to make a schedule to avoid that!

Today we registered our address! Our address is the following:
Higashiasakawa 1057
K-2 Hausu 2F
Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0834

Akihiro goes to Kofu tonight for a meeting about his work. He will start work sometime in the first 2 weeks of October--not quite sure yet! He is busy preparing for his workshop on October 7th at the south island. Actually they hired me too! I will be acting as an English speaking patient and giving the medical students, residents, and doctors feedback as to their English medical interview skills. I did the same thing in May and really enjoyed it!

That's all for now!

September 27, 2006

It feels like home!

This morning the sun is shining and the birds are singing! I am so thankful for the quiet place we have--but more than that--I am thankful for the quietness I feel in my heart, knowing that the Holy Spirit lives in our home and in our hearts here in Japan, just as he did in the U.S!

On Tuesday, I went to the grocery store and bought most of the food items I need. I am thankful that many things look similar to Japanese foods I used at home, but it still takes me a while to figure things out--much different than going to Aldi's and tossing everything into my cart! That night I was able to cook a "real meal"--rice, miso soup, salad, seasoned chicken, Japanese style squash, and an Asian pear for dessert (their fruit is delicious!). After supper, we--after over a month of being unsettled--resumed our routine from Tremont. We read a story from the Bible story book, 3 questions from Bible Trivia, and sang a hymn at Akihiro's electronic piano! It felt like we christened the place!

Yesterday I dug in and washed all the dishes and started scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing! It is fun to see how much better it looks and smells! My battle with mold and musty smells has begun--the damp weather really promotes these!

Today Akihiro goes to the notary to set up his company--Family Medicine, LTD. This company will cover a broad spectrum--workshops, provide support through preceptorship to the hospital in Kofu, and hopefully many other avenues. It is a big step, but we feel that the Lord is opening up the way for us. Being his own businessman will hopefully let him work from home more and be flexible so that he can help me and help the church.

September 29, 2006


I am very thankful for my Japanese cookbooks that are in English! I saw a recipe for saury fish which is a fish that is particularly good in this season, so I wanted to try it! As I was chopping the head and tail off and cleaning out the guts at my kitchen sink, I was thankful that Dad taught me how to clean fish! It is a little different than bass and bluegill! I don't have a regular oven here on my stove, but a little drawer grill. It is used mainly for grilling fish. The fish area of the grocery store is about 2-3 times as large as the other meat sections.

About September 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in September 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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