Monday, September 24, 2007

School Festival!

Every year, Okisho has an "open campus" event in order to attract new students to the school for the upcoming school year. It reminds me in some ways of the OCSI Carnival, but it's a little more Japanese in its nature. Each class gets a chance to do some sort of fundraiser... not for the school's sake but for the class to have a little party afterwards. Some classes sold various "festival foods" (snow cones, yakisoba, etc.), others performed dances, and many of them converted their classrooms into haunted houses. Also, various clubs put up booths, sold "specialty foods", and displayed pictures/videos of their club's activities. Two days before the actual open house, we had something called 前夜祭 (zenyasai - pre-event festival). It's sort of a pep-rally kind of event where different students put on performances ranging from dance to stand-up comedy to mini-musicals. It was so much fun! The school headmaster came out and played the harmonica, while his son, the assistant headmaster, played drums in a jazz quartet. They only practiced twice (so they said) but they sounded amazing! All in all, it was an incredible weekend! Below is a picture of me and one of my faves, Arisa.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Computer Crashes - hp owner panics

Ginowan City, Okinawa (AP) - Hewlett Packard is hiding something from its consumers: hp is in fact an abbreviation of "hibernates periodically"! Ginowan resident Trevor Raichura is the most recent computer owner to discover this. On Sunday night, Raichura returned from Calvary Chapel Ginowan's W2 service to find his battery completely drained.

"I thought this to be a little strange, but not out of the realm of possibility," Raichura said via conference call. "I did leave the computer on 'Standby' without having it plugged in. After 15 hours, anything can happen."

Upon his discovery, Raichura plugged the computer into the wall, and went to sleep. When he woke up, the "charging" light was no longer illuminated, which would indicate that the battery has been fully charged. Anxious to listen to some morning music, Raichura pressed the power button. But to his shock, the computer remained still. No humming, no lights flashing, no screen coming to life.

Word has it that he is covered by his warranty, but has yet to take action.

"I actually am trying to take a few days off from the world of computers," he sighed. "Perhaps my life was revolving a little too much around the ol' screen and board."

The latest reports indicate that Raichura may not update his blog with frequency for the next few weeks. We'll keep you posted as this story develops.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

You call that a storm?

So yesterday, I was getting ready to have my afternoon triple-pack of classes. I actually don't mind those classes, though often the kids are at their most tired at this point. But about a minute before I was going to leave the staff room, the loudspeaker announces: "We have entered storm watch. School is canceled for the afternoon. Typhoonize the school and go home immediately!" SWEET! So exciting, any time we can get time off on account of heavy rain and high winds. And the thing is, the storm wasn't even that strong. It rained some, it was windy, but we still had youth group at night and I carried on as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

But here I am, back at school on a Saturday morning. Fortunately I only have one class, and it is probably one I consider the easiest and most fun of my entire schedule: the international studies students. They all speak good English and are excited about learning more. Then this afternoon it's off to the Shuri area for another season of TEFL. I'm not sure I will continue it all the way through (it's a sacrifice of 13 straight Saturday afternoons). I value my free time too much. What do you guys think I should do?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another typhoon

Well it looks like we'll have to brace ourselves for Typhoon Something-or-other. (But what's it called? I can't fear it if I don't know its name, right?) That's not right. Although typhoons are really nothing to fear. This one isn't expected to be major, though it might cause a few plans (and hopefully school tomorrow, too!) to be canceled. Here's the latest graphic showing its approach on the tiny island of Okinawa. (The first pink dot, under which you see the word "Naha", is pretty much covering Okinawa, in case you were wondering.) Please do pray for us, though, as there are always a few people who put themselves in dangerous situations as the strong winds swirl around us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Great weekend!

This past weekend, Pastor Tim and Intern Aaron helped lead a fun adventure up to the northern part of Okinawa. We went to the Genga River, which is just north of Nago. The water was cool and fresh, and the little "falls" were fun to jump from. We also got to play a fun "game" called スイカ割り (suika wari): split the watermelon. It's almost like an Okinawan equivalent of the Mexican pinata. But instead of being in the air, the watermelon is on the ground. Here I got a shot of Yoshua in the split second before he connected with the watermelon. I also have a video of Jesse's adventure. Finally, Yoshua taught some of us white boys how to do old-school face-painting. Basically the guys rubbed two rocks together until it formed a "paste" and then smeared it on each other's faces. Below are a few shots of Pastor Tim. They got a lot of great colors out of those rocks!

Praise God for beautiful weather (it's been raining since we got back Saturday afternoon, and is supposed to keep raining through Wednesday) and a great chance to bond as guys while enjoying His creation!