Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday morning walk

It is January and the weather feels cold.  The vegetation is also preparing for colder weather.  Saturday, I decided to go for a run and walk around the neighborhood.  I took some photos as I was walking and running along. 

Harvesting the last of the carrots
Along the way there is a fenced off area for the United States Forces.

The gardeners dig a hole and put in waste from the garden to burn and than cover it after it's burned through.
Manicuring the trees is very common
A neighborhood donkey.
These plants are covered in plastic to project from the cold the next few months.
The neighborhood playground. 
In Tokyo, things can sometimes look the same everywhere, but there are differences and sometimes we need to look closer.  It is a privilege to live here and to be involved in the ministry at Christian Academy in Japan. 

Christmas Break @ Takayama Beach Company

Christmas break was an especially long one, we had three weeks!  It really is a good time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.  It is also a time to remember God's great gift in his son at Christmas.  At Tokyo Union Church (TUC) we have multiple Christmas eve services, one that has a children's focus and two that are candlelight services.
Here in Japan, Christmas is primarily for commercialism.  There is a lot of buying and selling of merchandise but the real reason of Christmas isn't usually found in any of the stores.
December 23rd is the day Japan celebrates the Emperor's birthday.  That is an official holiday, but this year, that day fell on Sunday and the country observed the holiday on Monday, December 24th.  Before heading up to Tak I wanted to get pick up the medicine I need.  Unfortunately, it was too late before I figured out that the doctor's office was closed on December 24th.  I was planning to drive up on Dec. 25th, however now I would have to drop by the doctor's and pharmacy before heading out.
As I was sitting in the doctor's office, I was thinking about Christmas and how odd it felt that it was Christmas day and I was able to visit the doctor and pharmacy.
Before I drove up, I went to pick up a chocolate lab, Coco, from friends of mine. I take him with me up to the cabin occasionally.  He is good company.
Sunset when I arrived
 Usually twice a day I would take Coco for a walk.  The morning walk was along the beach, but the afternoon/evening walk could be to Hanabuchihama.  The panoramic pictures are of the Hanabuchihama shore.

 It had snowed over night.  The snow was still on the beach when Coco and I took our walk along Shichigahama.

The sun trying to shine through the clouds

Still evidences of the tsunami from March 2011
One way to keep warm in the cabin

This year the Willson's invited me to participate in their gingerbread house competition.  Steve, Jacquie and I were one team and Lauren, Rachel and Caitlin were the other team.  It was a fun evening.

The last few days I was there, it snowed each night and sometimes into the daytime.  The last day when Coco and I took our walk, it was still snowing by the beach. 
I am always amazed at how quiet it can be at the cabin.  Enjoy the sights and sounds of this video. 
I drove home along the coast.  It was a good time away and I was still able to have some time before school began.  I have been blessed to be able to get-away to this cabin.  I am very grateful for this opportunity.  I also enjoy the time with Coco and being able to take care of him.  He's a good dog. 
I pray that you all had a good Christmas and New Year! 


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Run for the Cure 2018

Many years, I participated in the Race for the Cure in Washington, DC and the Run for the Cure here in Tokyo.  Both of these were to support breast cancer.  December 8th was the date for the 2018th Run for the Cure here in Tokyo.  It was a cool day, but turned sunny.  They organize a 5K and a 10K run and a 3K walk.
This year we had one of the largest groups of people from Christian Academy in Japan.

There are a number of booths up in the park, set up by companies that support Run for the Cure. To begin, they lead all through a warm up. 

I didn't take too many pictures today, except this one building had an interesting mural.
It is my hope and prayer that those who have had to deal with breast cancer, will be able to benefit from days such as Run for the Cure.  May we be able to find ways in which we can support those we know and love, who have to deal with breast cancer.   

Sunday, November 11, 2018

EARCOS Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I had the privilege of traveling with some of the Educational leadership people at Christian Academy in Japan, to the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Leadership Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  I flew out on Tuesday, October 23rd and returned to Japan on October 27th.
The first day of the pre-conference was a good session on curriculum.  There were a number presentations during the regular conference on topics such as conflict, brain research, managing change, as well as keynote speakers, Sir John Jones, Pasi Sahlberg and Kim Phuc Phan Li.  Here are some pictures.

The place where the conference took place.

At the Concorde where we stayed.

An interesting slide from Sir John Jones
 In the evenings we mostly went out and about to find a place to eat dinner.  We found this walking street that had some interesting decorations.

 At the Concorde they did have a fitness room as well as a swimming pool.  The fitness room was a great place for me to get in a good workout.

Petronas Twin Towers

One evening we were sitting in the lounge when we noticed this group of people who came for an event.  They were dressed quite beautifully.  

One of the keynote speakers was Kim Phuc.  She was quite an inspirational speaker.  I have read her book Fire Road since than and find her life story quite amazing.

Kim Phuc is the girl in the center of the picture that is projected on the screen.
Garden area in the Shangri La where the conference was held.
Two of my colleagues gave a presentation at the conference.

 On the last day in Kuala Lumpur, we did some exploring and found some interesting sights, a market, mosque, and some of the contrasting architecture.

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We took the red eye flight back to Tokyo.  I was tired when I finally made it to my place.  I was glad for the learning I did during those four days.  I am blessed to have been able to go.