Monday the 4th was my final final. I feel very good about that one as well. The next day I met with Steph and Matt at their station. We took our stuff to Steph’s church so that on the 7th, when our apartment was available we wouldn’t have to go very far with all of our stuff. Afterward we went to the world’s busiest Starbucks (again) and sat and talked for a good while.
The next morning the three of us headed to the happiest place on earth. It was a bit chilly but not too bad when the sun came out. I’m really glad we went during the Christmas holiday because the decorations were beautiful. Unfortunately Space Mountain was closed but we rode everything else we wanted to. Since it was the middle of the week and most people were either at school or work, most of the lines were really short and the whole park wasn’t too crowded. It was a lot of fun and I’m so glad the three of us could enjoy more time together.
On the 7th Matt’s plane was leaving at 5 pm and Steph and I had to pick up our keys to the apartment. We said goodbye to Matt and headed back to Machida. We picked up our key with Shigeko’s help and she drove us to the apartment. We went inside, checked it out and then Shigeko dropped us off at the 100 yen shop (equivalent to the dollar store). We picked up some essentials and headed to the church to pick up our stuff. We also picked out free cups, bowls, plates and utensils that people were getting rid of. Jeremiah drove us and our stuff back to the apartment and we settled in. (While we were in the apartment, we heard a cat outside our door. Even though we’re not supposed to have pets inside the apartment, neither of us could resist letting her inside. We decided to name her George because of her curious nature. So a cat has officially adopted us.) After settling in we picked up some dinner and brought it back to the apartment. Steph walked with me to the station and we said goodbye because her plane was leaving the next day at 5 pm.
On my last day Mai’s school was having a show and tell. Her class did a short play and a song. She played the Queen of Spades and performed her part wonderfully. I sat with all the other parents on the floor and watched as the children strutted across the stage, performing their often complicated dance moves with amazing talent. Most of the children remembered their parts and I noticed that no adult stood in front to directed them.
I was very sad that it was my last night at the Fukuoka’s house. Ayumi made spaghetti at my request and I stayed up really late finishing their Christmas present, a photo album. The next morning Mai’s English school was also having a show and tell. She was the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz and sang “We’re Off to See the Wizard” with three other girls. I was so proud. And Ayumi invited me to their house for Christmas which means I only have to wait two weeks until I see them again.
Then we drove to my apartment which took a good two hours with all the traffic we encountered. They liked the apartment and Ayumi said it’s a lot easier to say goodbye knowing that I’ll still be in Japan. We also decided on the dates for my visit, I’m going the 24th and 25th. On the 24th we’re going to have a traditional Japanese Christmas dinner at KFC. Apparently they think KFC has a “Christmas taste.” I’m really looking forward to being with them again. The first night was a little lonely once they left. I headed out to get a few more things for the apartment and some food. I also discovered that I couldn’t access the internet (one reason these updates took so long).
Sunday morning I went to Jeremiah and Geigy’s house hoping that someone would be home. Geigy and the kids were and I hitched a ride with them to church. I sat through the Japanese service, had lunch at the church, and explored the area until the English service began at 3. It was the perfect message, just what I needed to hear. After the service I went downstairs where they served coffee and snacks. I talked to a few people and it was really nice to get connected to more people here. On Friday night I’m going to a Christmas dinner for the women of the church. It’s called “Ladies Elegant Christmas” and the men of the church will be serving us and taking care of any children there. I’m looking forward to Friday night.
Last night (Monday) I went with Geigy and two Japanese women to an Italian restaurant for a Bible study. It was a good time of encouragement. I’m very thankful that I’ve been able to get involved with the church, and that it is so close by.
I’ve enjoyed the apartment and being able to have a place but I also miss Steph and Matt a lot. I’m hoping to be able to get a commuter pass for the train and a bike from the church so that I can explore the area more.