Otamatea Eco-Village

My first stop in New Zealand was the Otamatea Eco-Village, just two hours north of Auckland. They define themselves as “a community using organic principles to meet our needs and care for the native eco-system.” It’s a group of 15 families living on a river peninsula leading out to the Tasman Sea. Each family is…

Guangzhou: Reshaping my Perspective on China (1 of 2)

On January 2nd, 2017, I flew from Osaka to Auckland with China Southern Airlines. It was my first flight with a Chinese airline. The flight attendants traveled the aisles in bright fuchsia uniforms speaking Chinese, English, and Japanese. They were polite and helpful, but not as smiley as I had seen on other airlines. I…

Guangzhou: Reshaping my Perspective on China (1 of 2)

Many countries have a general disposition toward other countries. For example, how does your country feel about Canada? Or Mexico? Russia? Rwanda? France? Whether or not you agree with your countrymen’s general opinions on each of these, it’s easy to see how history and culture influence the way we think about people from other places….

Cooking in Someone Else’s Kitchen

Everyone has a different approach to their kitchen. There are so many variables, such as what’s kept in there, where it’s kept, and what the space is used for. You can get a very good sense of a person’s eating habits by poking around the kitchen. What condiments are in easy reach? What kind of…

Cursed? Story of a Japanese Doll

Imagine being a girl fresh out of college and moving to a new country. You got your dream job as an English teacher! You get an apartment in Japan! It’s already furnished, so half the hassle of moving is already done. You arrive at your new school and start meeting the teachers. They seem really…

More Experiences in Tokushima

I could go on for a very long time about Tokushima and the people I’ve met there. But, for the sake of chronicling the rest of my adventures, I will sum up some of the highlights in this post. Naruto Whirlpools Some friends from church took me out for the day to Naruto. This is…

Christmas in Japan

I didn’t get to spend the 2016 Christmas with my nuclear family, but I was surrounded by my spiritual family. It was a busy time! The festivities kicked off with an annual Christmas play put on by Hachiman Church. They’ve been doing it faithfully year after year to present the Christmas story to the community…

More Than a Building

A church is defined by the people, not the building. But that doesn’t mean a church building can’t be useful. Hachiman Church moved in 2013 from a rented business space to a house in a neighborhood. The living room holds the congregation on Sundays, and the kitchen is perfect for preparing Sunday lunches. During the…

Simple Joys

  You know you have a good friend when the thought of them makes you smile. I have many reasons to smile. One of them is N, a spunky math teacher I met in my first days in Japan. She took it upon herself to teach this foreigner outdated Japanese jokes and nursery songs. I…

Why Blog?

The real reason I’m blogging is to undertake a personal challenge. I want to improve my writing. I loved writing even before I could write.

Kitako – My Old School

On my last day in Tokushima in 2014, M surprised me by showing up at the bus stop at 7am to give me a hat, CD, and a hug. It only seemed fitting that she would be the first person I met at Tokushima Station on my return. We drove back to her place and…

Second Home, Tokushima

Tokushima is my second home. It’s where I spent the first 3 years of my post-school life, and therefore the birthplace of my adulthood. I had my first “real job” there, working as an English teacher at a high school. I had my first apartment, living on my own, making budgets, and figuring out local…