Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

This Easter may have snuck up on me (and probably passed by unnoticed) if it hadn't been for the two wonderful care packages I received. Thank you, Mom and Kim! 

My mom sent a box full of these delicious homemade chocolates:
 I have been sharing them with a lot of people, and I still have plenty left for myself. :) 

My friend, Kim, sent me a GREAT care package
 filled with Easter goodies including:
some plastic eggs, 

these adorable hamster stickers...

 and tie-dye/glitter egg coloring sets!! 

 I shared all of these fun things with the little kids in my life: the children from 
Ishimine Baptist Church, and the girls in my little adopted Okinawan family. :) 

 They had a blast! 

Cute, huh? 

I completed the Easter weekend with a trip back to my first church in Okinawa: Central Baptist. It was nice to be in an English-speaking service and to see all the wonderful people I'd been missing there. It was also great to join in on the potluck afterwards and feast myself on some traditional Easter food! 

I'm glad I found a little slice of Easter all the way over in Asia.

 And even though it isn't really a holiday here, the fish wind socks hanging up for Children's Day seemed festive on Easter, as well. :) 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wil Visits Okinawa!

I love it when friends come to visit me! It's such a great reminder of why I love being here and of all the fun places right outside my door.

Recently, I was lucky enough to have a friend from waaaaaay back in the day come to my lovely island. Wil and I met way back in Elementary School when we both attended the same church in Harlem, Montana.  Since then, we've kept in touch fairly often. First by writing letters (THAT long ago?!?), then email, MySpace, and now Facebook.

During his trip I got to revisit a lot of the places I love on the island, and also find a few new good ones!

First Adventure: Toyosaki Beach! 
I've only visited this beach twice before because it is not as close to my house as some 
other beaches and it is a little too manicured for my taste (only one small roped-in
swimming area?! Puh-lease)....

But they have extensive sidewalks and side roads.  Perfect for rollerblading! 
So I broke out my sweet blades, loaned Wil my bike, 
and enjoyed the perfect weather. 

 Doesn't he look pleased?

I love how clear and perfect the water is in Okinawa! 

Second Adventure: Blue Party! 
 Wil's trip coincided with the Blue Party I had planned as An Yang's going away and I was SO glad! He helped me soooo much with set up and tear down and got the opportunity to meet all the wonderful people I love in Okinawa.
Wil getting a drink...

from an amazing bartender. :) 

Making new friends!

And jamming with Max.
Third Adventure: Okinawa World, Mozuku Soba, 
Mibaru Beach
It took us a little extra time to get around the next morning, but we filled the rest of the day with adventure! First stop: Okinawa World and Cave Park! 

 Wil seemed to enjoy the caves and taking photos of all the different stalagmites. 
He's a bat!

Next stop: Mozuku Soba!
 This is one of the BEST places to eat... in the world. Mozuku is a type of delicious seaweed harvested in the water near the restaurant. This restaurant is extremely dedicated to the healthy, stringy stuff and include it in the soba noodles, the broth, the rice, the tempura, the salad, and even the desert. It's... amazing. 

Last Stop: Mibaru Beach
 We caught the last few rays of sunlight at the beach near my high school. 
Love the look on Wil's face. 

Frolicking happily. :) 

Fourth Adventure: The Great North

 First, we hit up the Pineapple Park. It is a great place to have some silly fun, 
learn all about pineapples, and stuff yourself on free pineapple samples: 
wine, cake, cookies... heaven. 
 Second, we went to the must-see Churaumi Aquarium. It is my favorite place to 
take guests, and so I've been there about ...Oh, a million times. <3 it.

I <3 Garden Eels. Kawaiiiii! 

Fifth (and last) Adventure: Naha! 
Unfortunately, I had to work most of the days Wil was here, but I was able to take a couple half days! One of those was spent in the Prefectural capital: Naha. 

Who doesn't want to pose with a decapitated pig in sunglasses?



Naminoe Beach is kind of a joke. Just look at that view!
But it's worth visiting, if only for comparison purposes. ;) 

Naminoe Shrine was pretty sweet, though. 
And Wil got to experience the temple cleansing. We don't have a lot of actual shrines in Okinawa. 

We also stopped by Shuri Castle to take in the view and walk around the grounds for awhile.

 Our last stop was to a Kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi place. Wil is a very adventurous eater. He has some delicious Octopus in this photo.

Matcha (Green Tea) Ice Cream Sushi

Wil's giant pile of sushi plates, and his awesome face. 
Overall, it was incredibly fun to have my ole buddy here. 
I hope more and more of my friends come to visit. 
I want to be a tour guide more often!! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011


My heart grows heavier with every moment. Doom is approaching. Soon my workdays will be significantly less enjoyable, my weekends significantly less joyous, my lunch hours significantly less entertaining.

is leaving

How did it come to this? How could time be so cruel as to bring this to pass? Why? Why?!

On Friday night I organized a huge going away party for Miss Yang. About thirty people showed up at my apartment, dressed in blue, and bearing blue food and drinks for a "Blue Without You" themed party. We even had Blues music and a little Blues dancing. Not to mention the decor. :) I hope Yang-chan knows now how many people care about her!

In about an hour I am going to wake her up (she's staying in the other room) and drive her to the airport. I have a feeling that there will be a ton of people there to see her off, too. That girl is well loved, that's for sure!

The "Blue Wall" with pictures of everyone expressing their blueness.

I sincerely hope you come back and visit Okinawa, Yang-chang. You will have a place to stay as long as I am here (which should be awhile yet). You've been a great friend, and I feel so lucky to have met you. Please stay in touch.
{Photos from the camera of the talented Miss Sarra}

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

March in Photos

I have been failing at my Project 365 lately. I blame the sudden, untimely death of my little point-and-shoot camera and my D80s steady progression toward the electronics graveyard. It's time I start putting money aside for a new DSLR. Ugh.

Despite my petty excuses, I did manage to capture most of the days in March, and want to share them with you now. :)

Unfortunately my Spring "Break" is over and classes start tomorrow so I don't have time to re-arrange or caption them. Also, I have another blog that I want to post. So, you can view all of my 365 photos and their captions HERE on Flickr.
Happy Thursday!