This week has been overwhelming and wonderful and trying and fun and nerve-wracking all at the same time. It’s interesting how it’s so easy to forget about the world I came from. Everything is so simple here and because I don’t get much news, it’s really only from emails where I’ve heard about the tragedies occurring all around the world recently, as well as the support, help, empathy and aggression that has occurred in retaliation. There is a lot of terrible things out there, but I’m comforted to know there’s a lot of good too. Hoping and praying for everyone involved.
Here in my little corner of the world I’ve been focused on training my new bean-chan, the Argentinian Sanchez Shimai. She’s pretty adorable, and very eager to learn, though I feel like a teen mom from time to time. Sometimes when we talk to people she nods as if she understands, then turns to me, and in her Argentinian accent says “what??” It’s fairly amusing. She’s learning Japanese very quickly though.
I can’t even imagine what it would be like to go to a new country where you barely know the language at all and be expected to teach people already. It’s also incredibly bizarre to be living with your previous Douryou while you’re training a new one. Eyring Shimai, my previous Douryou, is of course ruling our apartment with an iron fist (just kidding—mostly).
We’ve been teaching a LOT of Latinas lately because we finally have someone who can speak to them fluently. It’s definitely been an adventure every day with her. Everyone in the district is working really hard and we’ve seen a lot of progress with the area and people in it in just the past week alone. We had more people attend Latina seisankai (congregation) than ever before on Sunday.
On Saturday it was pouring rain and we had an indoor picnic activity. The food afterwards provided was pickled food and chicken, and because I don’t eat chicken I was snacking on the pickled peppers, and the man who made them, thinking I was obsessed with them, just gave me the whole vat. So now I have pickles for days.
Also I found this disgusting spider. Apparently in Japan it’s bad luck to kill spiders, especially at night, because they believe you go to “heaven”, nirvana, nebulous-good-place after death…on spider webs. So…that’s that.
It rained a lot this week. We biked in the rain, and by some miracle didn’t get sick even though we were soaked to the bone.
We taught two young boys and one of them, the 10-year-old, sat me down and showed me his very extensive sketchbooks of Japanese monsters he copied from library books, such as the one who cleans your bath tub if you don’t do it on time, the one who pretends to be a wall, the one who eats your soul, the one who is only a torso. Suffice to say, they’re all fairly grotesque and I don’t know why they let children see these. But I’m pretty sure they’re all just good motivators to clean the house better and listen to parental counsel. Maybe.
That’s basically the extent of anything I can think of to say. Everything happened and nothing happened. I’m really really tired.
Luckily today was P-Day so now you get to see the results of a Douryou who loves photography