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June 2009 Archives

June 3, 2009

Breaking ground, Birth class, and Being an actress

Due to rainy weather last week, there wasn’t a whole lot done on our house, but yesterday it dried out enough so that they could start digging. I felt very sorry for the two young men who worked all day with a shovel on the perimeter—digging one meter deep. It’s kinda hard to believe it is really finally happening!


Last week Akihiro (isn’t he great?!) and I went to a birth class at the clinic where I will be giving birth to this little active boy (sometimes I think he’s practicing martial arts in there!). There are two classes before the birth—unfortunately in Japanese only. My first shock was how small the other pregnant ladies were—they hardly looked pregnant! I felt like a moose! Jana says I better get used to it! I had been fairly proud of keeping my weight in the proper range, but as Dad says, “life is a humbling school”! Anyway, we learned about diet and a relaxation technique they recommend called “sophrology,” got a tour of the facility, and did a bit of “Maternity-bics” (I guess it is aerobics for maternity!). The Maternity-bics was my second humbling for the morning. Most of you know that coordination isn’t exactly my forte! Oh well—I didn’t hit anybody at least! The tour was very helpful. They have private rooms available or rooms that hold four laboring women! The standard stay is five days!

On Monday we will be going to a studio to be filmed for our medical English program. My patient is a furry puppet with a guy’s voice--not quite sure how that will be! I’m not very good at this sort of thing, so I will be relieved when it is all over. We’ve been busy editing our scripts and practicing!

June 18, 2009

Filming, Memorial Service, Hakodate, etc.

The filming of our medical English DVD was an interesting experience. It was a very long day—started at 9AM and the last shooting got over at 10:30 PM (with 30 minutes for lunch)! We were exhausted and hot (they have to turn off the air when they are recording), but it was fun. There were 5 little puppets who were my patients. Sometimes I had to record the puppet voice (if the patient was female). That was the hardest part—for one I used a British Accent, and the other was just high a squeaky—talk about self-conscious, talking in a goofy voice in front of the camera and recording crew! Oh well. Akihiro is quite the enthusiastic commentator—and will be known on this show for his sparkling glasses at the end of each clip (added technologically!) It will air in October and then they will make DVDs to sell next year, from which we will get a small commission. They really liked our show, so we may be doing a second series sometime.


On Saturday the entire Ito Family (16 of us) (minus one great granddaughter and a grandson’s wife) gathered at the graveside of Akihiro’s Grandpa who died 23 years ago. I guess they do this periodically. We cleaned up the grave and then there was a Buddhist ceremony. We didn’t do the incense stuff (being Christian), so basically observed the half hour service. It consisted of a Buddhist priest ringing a gong (which made me really jump—I had to keep an eye on that!), knocking some wooden instrument, lots of chanting that none of us could understand, and waving incense in front of Grandpa’s picture. The Buddhist priest had a nice deep voice which would have been beautiful if set to praising the One True God. I just sat there and prayed that the family could somehow be led to know Jesus and the fulfillment in a life living for Him. After the service, we went to a local inn and had quite a spread of food—delicious. It had been at least 10 years since all the family had been together, so it was like a reunion and everyone seemed to enjoy it—commenting on how eachother was getting gray hair, getting thinner or fatter, etc!


On Monday and Tuesday we were in Hakodate (the north island city) where we did one day of business and one day of fishing. The economy has made it hard to fill the tenant building that Akihiro is in charge of, so we were trying to think of ways to encourage tenants to come to our building. It reminds me a little bit of how I used to have to think of ideas to recruit EMTs for good old Rescue 702! We came up with a few ideas and had some good meetings with the real estate agents and office people up there. The next day we got up early, hoping for a good morning of fishing.! We caught lots of flat fish and small kochi (a delicious little fish), but also quite a few pesky little baby sharks!
Akihiro’s dad cleaned them on the boat and we brought them home. I deep fat fried them for our supper last night—yummm! I was thankful that I didn’t get sea sick as I didn’t take any medication. Baby-kun seemed to really like the boat—kicked a lot when the engines ran! After we were done fishing, Dad took us to one of his favorite eateries in Hakodate. We walked through the oceanside cemetery and came to a little café overlooking the ocean. The people were nice and the food was good—we needed to warm up after being a bit chilly on the boat.

They are making slow, but sure progress on our house—still digging up all the junk that was buried under it, so they can make a good foundation.

We were at a home center the other day and I had to take this picture of a Japanese lawn mower—it looked like a toy!

We are looking forward to July 1st when John and Wanda Kinsinger and their family will be moving to Japan. They will live in the house at Shioda church and hope to teach English here. We are excited to have them and pray for a smooth transition!

About June 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in June 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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