This blog documents my experiences in preparing for and traveling in Japan.
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on December 6, 2011 at 2:15 AM||comments (1)|
A couple days ago I felt my second earthquake at 6am. (There have been earthquakes just about every night, but I've not felt them because for the past two weeks I've been so jet-lagged I'd have slept through just about anything!) The first one I experienced felt like a large drop as if I were in an elevator as I reach the last floor. The most recent one felt like I was being shaken around like a speck of gold in a miner's sieve. This one was a 5.4 sized earthquake (7.0 being the largest possible). The reason it was so big was because its souce was a mere thirty miles away. O.o Yep, that is pretty big.
In Japan earthquakes are like our tornadoes but more frequient. A friend of mine explained that a store, which used to have a flat floor, now has steps going three feet down into the entrance way. This is a mundane result of an earthquake which caused the ground to plummit three feet! The school childrens' mandatory house slipper code is a hard-soled shoe to protect against broken glass and debris if an earthquake were to hit. Every now and then the school does an earthquake drill. The siren shrieks and everyone dives under their desk and waits until the siren stops. If the siren sounds longer than thirty seconds, it's time to EVACUATE!
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on November 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
This coming Saturday will mark my third week here in Japan. Wow how the time has passed! My first day here we go to church which is called 'Oyumino Alive'; it's a bilingual church. I meet virtually everyone I now know, although at the time I was so jet lagged that I don't remember meeting hardly anybody that day! Anyway, here's a summary of the month of this past November....
Monday is our day off (eventhough there's still lots of things to do during this holiday season). Tuesday is the first day of the school week. The Iversons (my official host family), Mary Beth (my house mate) and I get up early and head off to school at around 7-7:30 every morning to prep for the day. We have a teacher's devotional/meeting at 8:30 and classes begin at 9:00. I teach English to ages 6-18 from 10:00 til' 2:00. School cleaning is held each day at 3:15. There are no such things as janitors. All the children mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, sweep the Genkan (entry way), clean off the shoe shelves, vacuum every carpeted area and empty trash cans, etc. On Wednesday I follow said schedule with the addition of a Japanese class which teaches Kanji as well! I love it so much! It is so much fun to be in a formal classroom learning Japanese with a teacher who can bearly speak English! Speaking of fun....
Here's what we do for recreation around here. We have a blast at the local Karaoke bar; you buy a room and order a drink then go up the stairs to your group's room which is pretty dark and has a big screen t.v., two couches and a table in the middle. This I did a few days after coming here. It was a ton of fun! We also play tennis down at the nearby tennis court every now and then. I more recently went to a 'Lord of the Rings' fan party where we watched the entire movie trilogy. This may be considered the country side but it's no small town!
There are many convenient stores and several malls as well as restaurants within walking and biking distance. There's a very nice Starbucks right across the street from my neighborhood! A couple of days ago I went to McDonald's which is annexed to an arcade. The employees were very friendly and all wore little 50's caps and aprons. KFC --yes that's right, Kentucky Fried Chicken-- is an extremely popular restaurant here. The Iversons tell me it's because of all the publicity it put forth around Christmas time way back when, and now it sells the ideal Japanese Christmas dinner! People have to pre-order their KFC Christmas dinner at least two months in advance to make sure they get theirs. The Iversons get their American groceries from Costco. Yes, there's a Costco here, too! You'd be suprised at the numerous differences and simularities there are between Nashville and Chiba. It's like walking through a parallel universe!
I'm currently organizing a knitting/crocheting circle here at the school with a few new friends of mine. I'm so excited about this! The first things I will make are gloves, a hat, a scarf, and socks. Yes, Japan has a Winter season, too. The weather right now is about like it is back in Nashville --cool and crisp. Right? Well, it wouldn't be so bad except that the Japanese don't have central heating because energy costs three times as much here. There are heaters and air conditioners in most every room, which must be turned on each day. The problem with that is that the halls in the school are freezing especially with the constant draft from the door opening and closing all the time. Now I see why the Japanese like to wear sweaters and tights all the time. (That's what I'm wearing right now!) The Iverson's home isn't exactly toasty either since they prefer to keep their energy bill down as low as possible. I sleep with four big furry blankets plus my robe every night. Soon we'll be traveling up to Tohoku where it will be snowing!
Tohoku is the area that was hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami. The Iversons, Mary Beth and I will be riding up there on Christmas Eve to host a living nativity play for the people there. (It may turn out that I'll play Mary, lol) I can't wait to see how God will use this! Please pray for the people of Tohoku and for all the families traveling up there!
It is now the first day of December. November has gone by too quickly!
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on November 4, 2011 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
Hey all! I finally know when I will be leaving for Japan -- on the 12th next Saturday!!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! On my eighteenth Birthday, I wished that I would be in Japan by my next Birthday. My wish came true! I will have landed in Japan on my nineteenth Birthday! Praise God! I have now raised over $6,000. I still have to raise $1,500 so I can stay for the full six months. But I am not worried about it in the least because I know that God will supply all my needs because I am in His will.
I have gotten to know so many people through fundraising for this missions trip and have received so much support from all of my family and friends. It sometimes makes me feel dizzy the way you've all made me feel so loved!
I can't wait to start posting pictures and videos of my experiences and adventures in JAPAN. NIPPON. The Land of the Rising 'SON'.
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 23, 2011 at 10:10 PM||comments (0)|
Hey everyone! I have FINALLY reached the goal of $5,000 that I need to go to Japan. This amount will sustain me for three and a half months stay there. During that time I will have to raise $2,500 to stay for another three months. Celebrating this momentous occasion, my sister and I spent the afternoon eating Publix chocolate glaze donuts (which are the very best in the world may I add) and enjoyed them at Starbucks for atmosphere. During this time the fact started to sink in that I was really going to Japan. My life-long dream is coming true! God definitely had His hand in this process.
Can you believe how quickly all of this came about? It was a mere two months ago that I found out about Dan Iverson's work in Japan. After that first phone conversation, everything just fell into place. And here I am two months later purchasing a round-trip ticket to Japan. Wow.
I should be gone in a couple of weeks and need your prayers now more than ever since I will actually be traversing on non-American (non-Christianized) ground. Thanks for all of your support! This could not have happened with out your help!
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 18, 2011 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
As of today I only need $617.00 to go to Japan! I'm having a carwash this Saturday in hopes of finally reaching my goal! Please pray that the weather will be nice and warm and that God would bless it!
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 14, 2011 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
I'm selling these sylicone wrist bands for $2 each. If you are intrested in getting one of these fun bands to support and promote my missions trip, I will be bringing them to the Merridees Sunday School class this Sunday. I keep a few on my person at all times so just ask! Also, for those of you who live out of state, please make a request in the 'contact' section and leave your name and address.
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 10, 2011 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
Tori Grant is also donating the sales from note cards she made using her picture "Autumn Rain" This is a great all purpose picture card for any occasion. Follow this link to check it out!
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 10, 2011 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Left to raise: $1,243
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
My belated graduation/early birthday/going away party was a blast! The night was filled with engaging conversations, laughter, and pure energy (graciously provided by the young and the young-at-heart). We all had such a great time making Pot Stickers under the guide of Master Chef Midge Kawamoto. They turned out so wonderfully and were so delicious that we ended up having to save a plate for the other guests who hadn't yet arrived! :9
Tori Grant brought her exquisite picture titled, "Autumn Rain" which she graciously donated toward fundraising for my trip. Of couse paintings as gorgeous as hers don't stand a chance of being passed over in public. So, of course, it was immediately snatched up!
Right now I'm enjoying some of the Jiosa's Poke Sticks and "Angry Mushrooms". I've sampled all the flavors. They're all delicious! Mom commented after trying one, "I can see how Japan doesn't have a yeast problem". Yes, these candies have half the sugar and fat of a Snickers or Twix mini bar, but they are [almost] just as delicious!
I am so blessed to be surrounded by such loving wonderful people!
|Posted by Kathryn Marshall on October 4, 2011 at 1:10 PM||comments (0)|
Yay! I just bought a camera! I can't wait to take pictures at all the fundraisers. I will upload them ASAP! Also, have you noticed how those number is the post "what's left to raise" keep dropping???