Monday, December 31, 2007


In Japan, the end of the year is a time to do major cleaning in the house. It's called "大掃除" or "big cleaning." So I decided to get caught up in the spirit, at least partially make my house clean again. I took apart my living room, literally. All the furniture, save the TV stand (too many wires) moved into the kitchen, and all the tatami mats made their way onto the balcony. Then I sprayed them down clean, wiped all the walls, fixtures, beams, and laid everything down again. The layout is different from what it once was, but most of you don't even know what it looked like, so it makes no difference!

Anyways, it feels good to have a clean living room, smelling fresh and looking different. Next up: the bedroom and kitchen. Last: the dreaded bathroom! (I'll spare you the details by not posting updates on this one!)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Settlers Withdrawal Satisfied!

So yesterday I was doing a little shopping down by the Convention Center. My first pleasant surprise came when I stepped into a shoe store. The unpleasant surprise was the lack of shoes that they had in my size. Then I saw an employee and asked him if they might have more stuff in my size that I just wasn't noticing. He answered me, "トレバー?" (if you can't read Japanese, that's my name as it would be written in katakana) I was stupefied by his response, so I asked him who he was. Turns out he was my student way back in the day on Iejima. Isn't that cool that he recognized me? So we chatted for a bit but then he had to get back to work.

Then as I was driving home, it was already about 6pm, and I was thinking to myself, "What should I do about dinner? I don't want to cook, but I don't want to eat out." A few minutes later my phone rang. ♪あーなーたーは髪の毛ありますか?ありますか?ありますか♪ I know based on the ring that it's my buddy Glenn. We were slated to get together the following Thursday for a game of Settlers. But he tells me that he and his wife made a bunch of food for a get-together, and their guests canceled on them, and would I mind coming over and helping them eat? Hahaha, the Lord is GOOD! Of course Farah is an awesome cook, so I stuffed myself with chicken, rice, and cookies. And of course when I go to the Phipps', apple tea is my drink of choice! But perhaps the best part of the evening came when...
I WON! Yep, I beat Glenn at his own game, in his own house! Thanks for a fun evening guys, and for letting me win!

Friday, December 28, 2007

沖縄尚学学園-ザ 忘年会

Last night Okisho had its year-end party (忘年会)at the Royal Orion Hotel down on Kokusai Street (国際どおり). The event included a wonderful musical performance by our fearless leader, Mr. Masajiro Nashiro, a speech about us fighting the good fight and doing our part to help build a society that does not tolerate the crime that has been occurring lately in Japan. Then there was a raffle... the prizes were quite spectacular! A 20" plasma TV, a DVD player, a Nintendo DS, an iPod, and many other things. I was not a winner, unfortunately, but I did get to have my picture taken with "the leader" (shameless Simpsons reference).

It's funny how we tend to hang out with the same people at parties (or other social gatherings for that matter) as we would at work, or in our day-to-day life. This was a perfect chance for me to get to know other people who work within the company, and yet for some reason I kind of kept to myself, talking mostly to Kenney and Yukiko (seen below with Mr. Enoki, my department head, and Mr. Nashiro, the vice-chairman of the school, whose idea it was to pose in this way).

The night came to a rather early conclusion, at least compared to what I am used to with Japanese year-end parties, but I was sort of glad in a sense - things did not get out of control and I believe a good time was had by all. This is a pic of me and a friend of mine - Michael Fad - who was hired at the same time as I was, but has a considerably more difficult position that I do!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Night

Last night, a bunch of us guys gathered at Starbucks for some coffee and guys' talk. It was all in Japanese, so maybe this blog should be, too!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

This morning we gathered at Pastor Tom's place (he and his family are in the States but he opened his home to us anyways), and had a delicious breakfast potluck and gift exchange. It was PACKED. I think the total, including baby, was 38 people! After a lot of people left (sorry guys) I pulled out my chocolate fondue set and we ate fruits the fattening way!

I'm glad Jesus has a birthday once a year just like the rest of us... not just because we can gather and fellowship, but because it reminds us of the miracle of His birth, and of course the subsequent perfect life, sacrifice, and resurrection! Thanks, Lord! Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas with the Mexicans

No, Sosimo didn't come back to Oki for Christmas... I was invited over to my friends' place for dinner and good times. The Barrios family have been in Oki for over a year now, and they are a lot of fun to spend time with and be chased by their kids. Julia, Alondra, and especially Nico are so much FUN! Here's a pic of Nico wearing my Santa hat. Also included are pics of Yoshi beating Dave (Barrios) down at chess, a pic of Ayu and Tim appearing from behind a cake, and one of a bunch of people sitting around while Tim laughs.
Christmas is a great time of year, isn't it?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Service - W2

Last night we gathered as always at the Koinonia Cafe. Instead of continuing through (and finishing) the book of Job, we had a special Christmas service. Andrew and Dan led us in worship and Christmas songs, and some guy named Trevor gave the message in Japanese. Pastor Tim translated into English for the non-Japanese folks. Afterwards we had a dessert potluck. To the best of my knowledge there were no confessions of faith, but I know there were some non-believers who came, heard about the miracle of Jesus' birth, and experienced God's love and Word in a powerful way. It was an amazing night!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HP Acquitted - Computer Owner Blushes

Ginowan, Okinawa (AP) - It turns out HP doesn't stand for (Mis)Handles Parcels. In an earlier story, a shadow of doubt was once again cast upon HP's competence. After a rigorous investigation, the truth has come out. It turns out the problem was a clerical error by the merchant combined with a hasty assumption made by the new computer owner.

"When I got the computer back from F-S [name omitted for store-anonymity] there was a CD attached," new HP owner Raj Raichura explains. "I just assumed it had my son's data on it."

Raichura further revealed that he quickly made a back-up copy of the disc before sending it off to his son. Turns out the CD was filled with pictures of a stranger, and songs no longer in the possession of Raichura's son. At his request, we are not authorized to divulge his identity.

The Raichuras have agreed to try anew to get the data from the HP to the new Acer, somehow. Our coverage will continue as the story develops.

Has HP struck again?

My saga with my old computer continues. For those of you who don't know what happened, I posted a short article found in the Ginowan Times a few months ago. In any case, after a major run-around with HP, I finally understood that my only option was to ship my computer back to Canada for repairs - at my own expense! Well, after them wasting a month to diagnose the problem and fix it (the computer's under warranty), I decided the best thing would be to sell it to my father and buy something new, something local.

I wound up buying something online, as most computers in Japan are about twice the cost of the computers in the West. So anyhow, I asked my dad to burn all the data from my old computer (pictures, videos, music, work files, etc.) onto DVDs and mail them to me, so that at least I wouldn't have to start all over from scratch. After a long wait, I finally got an envelope in the mail last night. I ripped it open excitedly, and pulled the CD out of its sleeve. To my surprise, it said "Camile Backup" on it. "Hmmmm..." I thought to myself, "My name isn't Camile!"

I put the DVD into my computer, and found a folder for iTunes, and another for My Pictures, so I thought maybe everything was OK. But the pictures are not mine, and the music isn't either! (Although there was a lot of stuff that I used to listen to as a teenager!) So I'm left thinking...

HP must have sent the WRONG computer to my Dad! If this is the case, then first of all, someone else has MY old computer with my old data! And that kind of frightens me! (Not that I have anything to hide... but I don't want some stranger somewhere in Canada to be looking through the past year of my life!) It also means that the problems my Dad says he's been having with the computer (and that it has some kind of virus and that HP didn't fix that problem while working on my computer) are not actually problems with MY computer, but with some stranger's computer. Man, HP is definitely on my black list!

So anyways, I'm left puzzled and wondering if the data I had on my old computer will ever find its way back to me. *SIGH*

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hula Classes

Our fellowship was blessed with a visitor from Ishigaki Island. Her name is Teresa, and she is originally from Hawai'i, though she has lived in Japan for some 21 years now! So she came to our li'l church and offered to teach us "gospel hula." Being a mix of white and brown, and having gotten the dancing skills of both my parents (I'm just guessing here as I've never seen them dance), I decided to skip the actual lesson in favor of taking pictures. However, my camera ran out of battery half-way through, so all I got was a bit of the action! Anyways...

Teresa gave a short testimony at the start, while the people sat down and listened to all she said. It was cool because she translated for herself, and her Japanese is incredible! If her Japanese ranks 10/10, mine's about a 5! Anyways, it was awesome to hear how God is blessing her as she reaches out to the people of Ishigaki via hula and other things.

While this was going on, the kids (Julia, Alondra and Nico) were in the back room watching a movie and snacking. I actually took part in their stuff, and it was so fun! Nico sat in my lap and chilled... made me wish I had my own kids! Check out Nic eating a sandwich in the video below. He's so CUTE! All in all, a night well spent!


Well since I did take a few pictures while I had no computer, I do have some stuff I can update on my blog. And since they allow bloggers to change the date of each post, I will do so and it will look as though I didn't miss a beat! Hahahaha! Enjoy the "old news"...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Look who's back?

Well folks it's been awhile. HP basically welcomed me to the harsh realities of their customer service (I use the term loosely). Fortunately for me, I was able to get the computer fixed under warranty (unfortunately it cost me $100 to ship back to Canada), sold it to my dad, and now have bought a new computer. So now I can get schoolwork done with greater ease, update people on my life more regularly (as in, actually updating the blog at all), and even prepare for sermons better! Life is somewhat back to normal... and I welcome you to come back frequently to see what's going on. Hallelujah!!!