I figured that it was time for a better update on what I have actually been doing, so here it goes.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I go to the school (Christian Academy Japan, grades K-12) with Mrs. Epley to work with her in the School Support Services office. I have been doing lots of odd jobs that are time consuming for the very busy workers there to do, so in that way I hope I can take a bit a small load off of their shoulders.
On Tuesday I helped Mrs. Epley tutor some young boys in English. I worked with the ten year old, while she worked with the twelve year old. In that way we were able to maximize the time that the kids were here. I enjoyed working with them very, very much. They reminded me of my own younger siblings, and I always enjoy helping people to learn when I am able to.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are much slower here, but today I did help with some cleaning around the house. I was able to visit a bit with a friend of Mrs. Epley's who was a very sweet Japanese lady. It has been a rainy, chilly day which I find to be quite enjoyable and a welcome change from Texas weather.
I think that my favorite little event of this trip so far happened this afternoon. I was on a walk alone in the rain getting really wet. I hadn't realized the rain was that hard, even though I don't mind the wetness too much. I was walking down a very narrow street when a car stopped beside me, and an older lady held out an umbrella to me through the window.
"For you," she said.
I was stunned for a moment, but took the umbrella and thanked her politely in Japanese. She drove away saying, "Take care."
That act of kindness struck me as so beautiful in its simplicity. I used that umbrella proudly all the way home, and I will always truly treasure it.
Even though it has not been very long since I got here, I have already felt the slight difficulty of being a stranger in a foreign land. People sometimes look at me funny for my obviously American appearance/manners, and I feel kind of awkward and intimidated. But that lady who gave me the umbrella made me suddenly feel a lot more welcome here, and it really warmed my heart, as cliche as it is to say so. I am going to bring that umbrella home and cherish the memories attached to it.
Well, there is not a whole lot to say besides that I ate a delicious meal of yakisoba tonight--with chopsticks and everything. I am taking plenty of pictures and hoping to post some of them soon.
Thank you all for your kindness and support toward me and this trip! It is all much appreciated.