Friday, February 29, 2008

School - 学校

I'm not sure just what I want to say here... just that I really love my job. The students are über-friendly, the staff that I work with are awesome, and there are only two things I don't like about my current job situation: the meetings (no matter what job I hold, I won't like the meetings), and the commute (which isn't all that bad... the alternative, living nearer to the school, would put me far away from my friends and church). My students are awesome, have I said that yet? I don't know that I could ask for a better way of releasing the joy of Jesus than interacting with my students. Here are a few pics of me and them. These were all taken on my webcam over the past couple of months.


Monday, February 25, 2008




On Saturday night I had a great time... I invited over some of my friends (Miki, Aika and Yoshua)... we ate taco rice, and then enjoyed a chocolate fondue while watching a movie: Hitch, starring Will Smith. It was pretty cool. More important, though, was the company... I really enjoyed hosting these 3, and of course invite them to come over any time!

On a short side note, I also rented "The Pursuit of Happyness" (also starring Will Smith)... it's an amazing movie, and perhaps one I will soon add to my personal collection. If you haven't seen it, RENT IT!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grad video

It's a little rough around the edges, but check it out... it's good times!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Cherry Blossoms of Okinawa

On Tuesday, I had the joy of hanging out with three people from different walks of life and different places. Grace is from Minnesota and is working with me at Okisho for the next 6 months or so. Narumi is from Ishigaki and is my student now at Okisho. And Keisuke, well what can I say about Keisuke that hasn't already been said? He was my student at OCSI, and we have done a lot of Bible studies together. Now he's studying in Shanghai. It was an awesome day, and even though Keisuke was meeting Grace and Narumi for the first time, we all got along so well!
When it came time for lunch, we were met by a double-disappointment: first, the legendary "Pizza-in-the-sky" was closed. THEN, another place (Yaezen) was also closed. So we settled for Kishimoto Soba, which was delish. After checking out the cherry blossoms, which were alright (a lot of them had fallen off the trees), we went to the Churaumi Aquarium. Good times! Thanks guys, for a fun day!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Peace in the Park

On Monday, it was a national holiday in Japan - Constitution Day, I think. Anyways, after dropping Aaron off at the airport, I went to the Outlet Mall in Tomigusuku and checked out a bunch of overpriced goods, and then it was off to enjoy a peaceful afternoon at the Peace Prayer Park. The Bible college students were all there too, taking in the exhibits. Since I had seen the museum several times last year, I decided to check out the kids' thing... they had information about a bunch of different countries and how kids live there, and also there was a library with a TON (probably even more, literally) of books about the war. I spent some time reading about the horrors of the war on Ie-jima, and once again my stomach started turning as I tried to imagine just how terrifying it must have been for the locals. Not that the Americans enjoyed it, mind you. Anyways, here's a picture of the Bible college crew in front of a bunch of (bomb) shells.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life after Graduation... the PARTY!

Man I tell ya, these kids looked SMOKIN' on Sunday night! Hair like never seen before, suits, dresses, kimonos, and even a Santa's helper skirt on a boy! The "sotsupa" (graduation party) was a blast, and I am sure I have never taken so many pictures in one day. I think I totaled about 200 including graduation, post-grad poses, and the party!日曜日の卒パーは最高だった。みんなすごいキレイだった!写真をたくさん撮ったけど、その中のベストはここに載せたいと思います!

Congratulations!!! 祝!

Sunday was a day of ambivalence for me. I was so excited an blessed to see 378 students graduate from Okinawa Shogaku High School. I probably taught about 200 of them at one point or another this year, and of course wish them all the best. I grew quite fond of them, and will be sad to see them leave, though. Being a school teacher is just like that, though. You pour your life into students for as long as you have them, but eventually you have to let them go, and they become part of this mad machine we call "the real world."

But I ramble. The graduation ceremony itself was awesome! Clocking in at around 2 hours 15 minutes, it certainly wasn't short on words... but I believe the students got their due respect and honor. If you're reading this, Okisho students, congratulations and I will miss you SO much, so you better come and visit me!

先日、沖縄尚学高等学校第23回の卒業式が行われました。これが僕にとって、初めての日本の高校卒業式だった。しかし、先生として日本での9つ目の卒業式だった。本当に複雑な気持ちでいっぱいです。生徒の努力や達成は誇らしく思っている。本当に沖尚の生徒は勉強で忙しいです。また、部活動、ボランティア活動、学校の行事で暇が無いぐらい忙しいです。一方、日曜日に卒業した378人の生徒がいなくなってさびしく思います。いなくなるだけのではなく、彼らの子供時代が終わって、社会人になってしまいます。本当にこれからいろんな試練を通さなければならないし、成長もすると思いますが、彼らの純粋さに引かれた僕は、子供・生徒として見るのではなく、大人として見なさなければなりません。なんか、僕の気持ちを日本語でうまく表現できないけど、沖尚の卒業生の皆さん!STAY GOLD! そして、たまには遊びにおいでよ!

The Return of The Man, alternate version

Last July, we said goodbye to a dear friend when my buddy Aaron left for Tokyo to work as a liaison guy at a university. Well because of our school's high school graduation, he came down to Okinawa for a short visit. It was so awesome to see him again! Unfortunately his stay was too short and he even got sick one day. But he enjoyed his time, and so did I. Aaron, come back any time!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Return of the Professor!

While this may not be news to many people anymore (particularly those who check out e3missions), our dear friend, brother, and professor, Hallelujah is back on island! Hallelujah has been attending youth group since its inception, and is a real joy to be around. (His name truly suits him!) Well, a few months ago, doctors found a cancerous growth in his throat, and he went up to mainland for radiation treatments. So far so good, though there is one more round to go. Keep praying for our li'l Professor.

A short note about the nickname. He has this shirt (actually he's wearing it in the pics) that says Professor across the front. Well one day I called him "Professor" because of the shirt AND because he's really smart. He used to always wear it... but then he started to grow and it was too small for him to wear. So the shirt disappeared, and the nickname started to go the way of the shirt. But because of all the treatments and recovery, the Professor has lost a lot of weight, and with the weight loss came the resurgence of the shirt! But to make a long story short, he'll be in Okinawa for a couple of weeks, then he's heading back up to mainland for chemotherapy treatments. We believe God will do a miracle and restore him completely... let's keep him lifted up in our prayers!昨日は久しぶりにプロフェッサーに会いました!晴矢(ハレルヤ)君は本当に名前どおりです。彼と一緒にいると主をほめたたえたくてしょうがない!内地から戻って翌日に学校に来て、そして昨夜はカルバリー宜野湾のユースグループに参加しました。これから神様が彼を完全に癒して、早めに回復ができるように祈りましょう。

Thursday, February 7, 2008

No life, no update

This is just an update to say I am still alive but haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary, nothing worthy of an update. Not only that, but work has been busier than usual, and I'm unable to post things before work begins or even during my lunch break! But I'm here... look for some cool updates after this coming weekend: a friend from Tokyo arrives, a graduation ceremony and after-party, and two days off during which I will hopefully get out and do fun stuff!Just for kicks... an old-school blast from the past picture of me in April '07.