Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snow day!

When I think back to August 2012 when I moved here, the temperatures were in the 30's C and the humidity was high.  Sweating was an hourly occurrence.  We are now in the throes of winter, brrrr, it can be chilly.  The temperatures outside aren't necessarily so cold, right around 0C, but the buildings can be cool.  The best place to be in a building is by the heater. 
The courtyard at school at about 10:30 a.m. taken from my classroom window on the 2nd floor.
On Monday, January 14th, I bicycled to school in the pouring rain.  My experience has usually been that if I bicycle one way, it is dry by the time I have to go the other way.  Well, Monday, January 14th was a different story.  I have found that the weather predictions for this area tend to be incorrect, so I usually don't look at the weather too often.  Well, I probably should have, that day.  Brian and Bette decided to take the van and offered to take me as well, but I said I'd bicycle to school.  As it turned out, by about 9 a.m. the rain changed to snow.  It snowed for the rest of the day!  After it was all said and done we probably had about 5 cm+ of snow.  Now if you live in Red Deer, Alberta, or Hague, Saskatchewan, or Grand Rapids, Michigan, it's not a big deal, but here in Higashi Kurume or Kiyose, in Japan, it is a HUGE deal!  There is not one snow plow in all of Tokyo.  People are not used to driving in the snow, so driving in snow is as much about being careful with your vehicle as watching out for everyone else.  Bicycling is not really an option since the sidewalks are not shoveled, never mind the roads.  Fortunately, I was able to catch a ride home with Brian and Bette.  The next day there was still a lot of snow around so, we had a snow day.  It was quite timely, since we had semester grades due the following week and a number of other things due within a week or so. On a side note, the way the roads were cleared were mostly a result of someone shoveling the snow, or the snow eventually melting.  There was even a picture in the paper of Sumo wrestlers shoveling snow.  
A litter later in the day.
Thursday, January 17th was my second opportunity to go down to Ikebukuro station with a Middle School class, to pass out breakfasts and warm items.  We again met at the Higashi Kurume train station by 5:40 a.m., took the train down to Ikebukuro, passed out the breakfasts, and traveled back to Higashi Kurume.  Here are some pictures of our activities.  
Waiting for students to arrive at Ikebukuro station.
Putting lunches by homeless.
Cardboard walls set up by a sleeping homeless person.
One of the hallways we walk down looking for the homeless. 
These fellows were cleaning Ikebukuro's station walls. 
We took the Kotesashi 6:44 a.m. train back to school.
On Tuesday, January 29th, my Homeroom/Bible class will be going down to Ikebukuro for our opportunity to pass out breakfasts to the homeless.  Pray that we may be able to make a positive impact and that God will bless the recipients and as they read our pamphlets may come to see their need for a Saviour.  

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