Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thrift Shop October 2014

Today I experienced my fifth Thrift Shop.  I am amazed at how much is in that gym to start with, how much is left and how much has to be brought away!  
Jazz band is setting up.
Seniors are selling food to help raise money for their trip to Thailand.
Selling hot dogs, curry rice and chili.
CAJ shirts
Here they were selling pie and ice cream.
Nozomi Project came down from Ishinomaki to sell their wares.
On the Friday of Thrift Shop weekend, the families and staff of CAJ are able to purchase items from Thrift Shop as well as the other booths that are set up.  I heard that yesterday they BBQ 100 kg of meat for the Korean BBQ!  That's a lot of meat! 
Many, many shoes, but not many my size!
Some great deals on children's clothes.
Toys and games galore!
Clothes, clothes everywhere!
I love it that they have mirrors so you can see how the clothes look on you. 
Various housewares!
Some more housewares.
Sorry for the unclear picture. 
The registers.
Waiting in line to pay. 
Saturday, Thrift Shop is open for the community, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  It is a little bit humorous as once the doors open, people literally run into the gym and run right to the place they want to buy something.  This year the first man in wanted shoes, so he took off to the area where the shoes were displayed. 
I decided to volunteer to help cut and bag at the registers.  I was at the Express Registers this year, but there was a steady stream of people waiting to buy their items almost the whole time. 
It does take an army to pull these days together.  The CAJ PTA does a tremendous amount of work and it does take hours afterwards to clean it all up.  It is a weekend that is full of excitement and it is a way for CAJ to minister to the Higashi Kurume community. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tama Hills bicycle ride

It is the fall season of sports at Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ).  Cross country is one of the fall sports.  Most of the meets are on Saturdays, although there have been a couple during the week after school.  The Saturday meets have been at Tama Hills, at a US base/recreation area.  I have figured out that it is about 17.5 km from my house to the start line of the cross country race.  One of the reasons I go on Saturdays is because I do enjoy the bicycle ride.  There is a long hill you have to go up at Tama Hills, but there is a pay off, in that you get to go down the hill when you come back and there is a store that sells US goods, like Cheetos and Kraft Mac 'n Cheese (yes, I can't figure that craving out either).  Today on the way back, I took a few pictures.

This is the route I took.
It's quite lush across the road from Tama Hills.
Tama River
Going over the bridge that crosses the Tama River.
A two-way street.
Crossing the tracks.
Sometimes there isn't a lot of room to bicycle on the road.
When I bicycle, sometimes I ride on the sidewalk and sometimes I ride on the road although when I ride my cross mountain bicycle, I tend to ride on the road.  On of the roads I follow is the Koganei Kaido.  I thought I would take some video.  My camera was in my right hand while I was riding, so it's a little bumpy.
Saturdays are great days to do some things outside of school.  I am very appreciative of weekends.   

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 10, 2014 Bicycle Ride

It was nice weather today.  Ruth and I decided to go on a bicycle ride today.  We bicycled for 28 km. 
There was varying road types and scenery.  Sometimes it was a little busy and sometimes not many other folks. 

We did stop at Starbucks for a drink and chat time.  We were able to sit outside and enjoy the weather.

It was a fun bicycle ride and a great opportunity to get to know where I'm living.  I'm very grateful for Saturdays and weekends! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

How's the weather?

I had kind of forgotten about typhoon season.  Last year we had a couple, the first coming on our Back to School day in September.  This year, I didn't think about them much.  I listen to Canadian and US news, but do not listen to Japanese news very often, until it becomes a topic of conversation in the staff lounge or at staff meetings.
This past week, Typhoon Phanfone (Typhoon #18) was headed our way.  I began looking at weather maps to see which direction the typhoon was heading.  It looks like it's coming directly for Tokyo.  I believe according to the predictions, the eye should be over Tokyo during Monday morning's commute.  A wise decision was made to close school tomorrow.  It has been raining all day today, sometimes quite heavy.  There have also been some gusts of wind.
This morning I attended the 8:30 a.m. service rather than the 11:00 a.m. service, because I volunteered to usher.  I took some video as I was walking back to the station after church.  I apologize unsteady video, but you can hear the rain.
School cancellation is a little more complicated than just no classes.  This is our School WithOut Walls (SWOW) week.  Decisions still need to be made about the grade 11 and 12 classes.  The grade 12 class is scheduled to travel up to Tohoku tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.  The grade 11 class is supposed to pack up tomorrow afternoon so they can begin traveling to their points of departure for their Wilderness Camp on Tuesday morning.  The grade 10 class does not depart until Wednesday, and the grade 9 class remains on campus, for the most part, all week.    
Rie and I have decided that we will not go to get my Japanese driver's license tomorrow.  With the large amounts of rain and the possible windy conditions, it is probably a wiser choice to not try and drive on the roads (Rie was going to drive to the licensing place.  I do not need to take a driver's test, just hearing and vision tests and bring some other documents to get my license.)  We will do that another day, hopefully when the weather is nicer.
I pray that people may be kept safe with the rains and winds the next 24 hours or so.