Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whoosh!

That was summer flying by!

It feels like just yesterday I was counting down the days until I left Japan for a summer in the states and now I'm counting down the days until I return to Japan. I leave Tuesday, August 31 at 7:30am and arrive September 1, 4pm in Osaka. So as I type I have 6 days until departure.

Connecting with computers
I'm sitting at a local library enjoying some free wifi and decided I better let my faithful blog readers out there know what is going on in my life. I've taken a step back from the blog this summer. I have taken photos and had experiences that led to the thought "I should blog about that." However, my access to Internet has been limited and this month since I'm making the transition from a PC to a MAC - my computer time has been focused on transferring files and learning new ways of using the computer. Photos have yet to be downloaded to the new computer.

Stepping away from the computer has been a blessing and a challenge. I've enjoyed more face-to-face interaction with friends and family in the states but it is challenging to stay in contact with people from around the country and back in my "other home". Ahhh, the joys of being part of a global community.

Big THANK YOU - to my sister Lisa, who allowed me to check email on her computer! Thank you to the many who let me connect with their wireless! and THANK YOU to my readers for putting up with this gap in blogging.

I don't know how much time I'll get online before departure so I thought I'd just let you know what life looks like for me right now.

Checklists -
I'm working on crossing off my checklist of things to buy to prepare to pack like School supplies, medications, kitchen spices and books (too many books!).

Visits
I'm also working on the last week of visits with friends, family, and churches. I anticipate it to be an emotionally intense time as I say "see you later" to people I may not see for 2 years.

I am so thankful for the time I've had to spend with people stateside. From Moorhead, MN to Biloxi, Mississippi, I've done enough traveling for a while. Many thanks to those of you who have given me a bed in your guest rooms, reunited me with some favorite restaurants and listened to me tell stories from Japan. I have not been able to visit all of my ministry partners (a challenge of having 27 church partners). I apologize to those of you I wasn't able to see. I plan to be back summer of 2012 so pencil me in your calendars.

Church visits-
I'm traveling (3 1/2 hour drive) to Mauston, Wisconsin, on Friday (27). To spend time with my friends at Bible Baptist Church, and then enjoy a community movie outside - sponsored by the church.

Sunday morning (29) I'll be at Wooddale, Eden Prairie, Eating breakfast with the 30 Something Group and then speaking at the 10:15 Sunday School hour about my ministry in Japan.

On the other side of the ocean
When I return to Japan (Wednesday), I'll be returning to the same mission owned home I lived in when I left. I'm looking forward to unpacking my suitcases and seeing how well my flower garden survived in the summer heat of Nara, and greeting my neighbors.

School responsibilities will start up with Teacher Orientation on Friday Sept. 3, School clean-up on Sept. 4, and the first day of school Sept. 6. As you may have already guessed, I'll be teaching 1 & 2 grade. I'm excited to be reunited with the "dream team" of a teaching staff at school and catching up on all of their summer adventures around the globe. I'm also anxious to get a glimpse of the students again - I've missed them tons over the summer and look forward to meeting the new students!

For now:
I'm off to sort through the piles of things at my house, see how much of it can squeeze in to my suitcase allotment and how much I need to mail or leave.

Tomorrow - is a family day with my parents, my sister and nieces and nephew at the Minnesota State Fair - where you can eat almost anything on a stick!