Goya Champuru & Hiraya-chi

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Goya Champuru & Hiraya-chi

Narumi arrives at 11:00 A.M. for Art’s kanji lesson. She carries a bag of groceries and has her 7 year old son with her. We’re delighted that she has brought her son and in spite of the age difference the two boys have a good time together. John shows off his beetle “Frack” and they play “Mario Brothers” on a Nintendo D.S. game console that he has brought along. Narumi shows John how to play their version of solitaire and the two boys play cards. After the kanji lesson I get a cooking lesson.
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Oiwai Celebration

Monday, April 02, 2007
Oiwai Celebration

We are invited to attend an oiwai (a celebration) for the birth of Rinta, Tadashi’s and Shoko’s new baby boy. This particular “oiwai” is to welcome a new baby and takes place when the baby is 100 days old. Shigeru and Mika pick us up and drive us to their parent’s home where preparations of a feast are underway. Tadashi’s mother, sister and both daughters in law are in the small kitchen, busily arranging platters of food. Three large plates of various tempuras, pork, and fried tofu are laid on the long low table in the back room. We sit on the tatami floor around a table that accommodates about 14 people. Bottles of sanpin ice tea, orange soda and beer are self serve in the center of the table.
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Friday Night in Shintoshin

Friday, March 30, 2007
Friday Night in Shintoshin

It is Island weather tonight; nearly 80 degrees and my skin, comfortably damp from the humidity, feels hydrated and smooth. The evening is timeless and full of possibilities as we stroll towards Shintoshin to take in the bright lights and its youthful, fashionable energy. The three of us are in high spirits, tonight being the close of a successful work week for all. John chatters endlessly, asking us questions about energy sources and medical “impossibilities”ranging from head transplants to “do it yourself liposuction kits.” We laugh over the do it yourself liposuction kit and stroll through the Naha Main Place Mall to weigh ourselves on the precisions scales in the electronic department.
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Onigiri Rice Balls and Other Tidbits

Thursday, March 29, 2007
Onigiri Rice Balls and Other Tidbits

Art has two Japanese lessons this week and on Wednesday after his second lesson, our new friend and tutor, Narumi offers to take us to a special Onigiri shop. Onigiri is a rice ball that can be filled with any number of things. Earlier on this trip, I discover a triangular onigiri filled with cooked salmon available at many supermarkets. The chunk of protein embedded deep within the rice and wrapped in seaweed has kept my blood sugar even on numerous occasions.
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Sayonara Kumejima

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Sayonara Kumejima

We wake slightly stiff from a night spent sleeping upon futons in a tatami room. There is no buffet breakfast this morning and John asks for change to buy a drink from the ever present vending machines virtually everywhere. He returns with an ice tea for himself and hands me a hot canned coffee. Okinawan drink machines offer both hot and cold selections. I have become accustom to drinking my morning coffee from a heated can when necessary.
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Part Two – Getting Wet in Kumejima

Monday, March 26, 2007
Part Two - Getting Wet in Kumejima

Breakfast is included at our resort hotel, so at 9:00 A.M. we enter the dining room. The elaborate buffet is an array of many types of pork and bacon, French fries, cold spaghetti, cold tamago, an assortment of seaweeds, pickled vegetables, a salad bar with grated vegetables, miso soup, rice, cereal and rolls. John is not thrilled with his options, but chooses the one cereal offered and eats a few pieces of bacon. Self serve, hot coffee, tea and juice are also available. After breakfast, we head out to the beach immediately, and at high the beach looks much more inviting. I have hopes of taking a boat out to the Hateno Sand Bar, but we have a late start.
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The Bones of Kumejima- Part One

Sunday, March 25, 2007
The Bones of Kumejima- Part One

I am writing this on our return ferry trip after spending nearly three days on Kumejima.

Two hours ago, by sheer magic, we stumble into a jungle grotto. Sunlight streams in from above turning the elephant ears and ferns a backbit emerald green. Roots and vines entwine with the stalactite formations and large terracotta vessels lay cracked and broken, many filled with human bones.
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Kumejima Get Away

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Kumejima Get Away

The weather is supposed to be perfect this weekend and just this afternoon, I booked a trip to Kumejima Isalnd without Art’s help. We leave on the ferry tomorrow morning at 8:30 A.M. I am feeling empowered and excited tonight but I will not be able to write a “blog” until we return.

Sayonara,

Marty .