On Friday we had our first meeting for the Christian Club.  Even though Stephanie and I were the only ones there, it was an encouraging time.  After the meeting we started talking about finding an apartment for next semester.  Someone from her church knows of several real estate agencies that cater to foreigners.  Though I’m going to miss my family, I found out that even if I didn’t get an apartment I can’t stay with them next semester because of school policy.  And finding an apartment would mean less money and a shorter commute to the school.  Yesterday (Monday) we went to one of the agencies somewhat near the school.  (Of course we got lost on the way and asked for directions two times.  We wondered through Roppongi which is where all the foreigners are since there are a lot of bars in the area.  While we were walking a man stopped us and asked if we’d like to go drink with him.  Uh, no thanks.)  It turns out that particular agency didn’t help students, only business men, but the woman gave us an extensive list of agencies that were cheaper.  We picked the ones that looked the most promising and Stephanie called them today.  Tomorrow we’re going to meet and discuss the next step.

Last week I received an e-mail from Nicole, my admissions counselor.  She wrote that TUJ has been in contact with the community college I transferred from and they want to write an article about me and the school.  I guess I’m supposed to get an e-mail from them with the questions they have for me.  It’s quite exciting, but also nerve racking.

Sunday my family went on a day trip to a smaller, more traditional Japanese city about 4 hours car ride from here.  Since it was the bilingual service and my friend Tad was preaching I decided to go to church instead.  Ayumi had explained to me that the front door to the house (and the key) came from England so the reason they haven’t given me a key is because if I lost it, I wouldn’t be able to replace it.  They would have to get a whole new door and they don’t want me to have to be responsible for that.  But after talking with her husband, they decided I was responsible enough to use the key.  I was very honored (and relieved) by their decision.  If they hadn’t given me the key I would have had to figure out what to do for about 5 hours before they got home.

The service went well and even though Tad was nervous he did a good job.  After the service was over, Candice and I went to a meeting for the new building.  The current building we meet in is very old and if an earthquake were to hit, the building would collapse.  Obviously they want a safer place and they’ve had a lot of newcomers so they need a bigger building as well.  The meeting was to get the whole church up-to-date on the planning of the new church.  There’s a lot of politics that I don’t understand involved in the process.  One man didn’t agree with the plans and his opinions made a lot of people angry (me included).  There ended up being a lot of tension and conflicting views about the plans (though nothing has been signed yet, so there are no permanent plans yet) and when Candice and I left, they were still arguing.  It was discouraging but I’m praying that everything gets resolved.

It’s finally started to cool down, the air is cooler and the rain plentiful (it’s been raining for the last 2 hours in fact).  I’m still a little sweaty when I get to school but nothing like the beginning of the semester.  Apparently the Japanese are really afraid of the cold so when it cools down more they turn the heat way up (and as my friend said, I can sweat in my jacket, yay).  But for now I’m enjoying the “normal” temperature.

School has become crazier which you can probably guess since I’m updating less frequently.  This Friday is supposed to be our second Photography critique.  But yesterday I was talking with a classmate and we thought it was a little crazy to have another one so soon.  We haven’t had any classes between now and our last critique (our teacher was in Singapore) and we have no idea what our grades are yet.  So tomorrow we’re going to talk with him and hopefully he’ll see reason.  The other classes are going well though I’m stressed about a paper due next week for Gender (our teacher said she grades “mercilessly” *gulp*).

I also found out that I will be participating in the high school English camp at the end of October (mentioned in update 2.1).  I’m excited about that opportunity.  Ayumi and the girls were in a dance in a summer festival and on Thursday we’re going to a dinner for all who participated in the dance.  Ayumi wasn’t sure if I would want to go since I might not sit near anyone who speaks English besides her.  It’s a two hour dinner at a traditional sushi bar and should be a good experience even if I won’t be able to talk to anyone.


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