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Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 17 : May 27 - June 2, 2013 Japan Fukuoka Mission

Monday was preparation day and in addition to cleaning etc. we took a fun bike ride, the longest in Japan to date to the Kumamoto Port.  This port is where we get aboard the ferry for our ride across Shimabara Bay to Shimabara on our way to Nagasaki.
Here are some photos on the way.  This is a sculpture of a germinating seed in front of a huge building that is very tall, and looked like a basketball stadium, but ...

I learned later it was an indoor swimming pool.


We got to the Port and crossed the bridge, it was low tide and the mud flats were exposed.  I wonder if you can clam in them?

Here comes Luetta across the bridge.

We were unable to get onto the port island and take a good picture of Shimabara bay but here is a poor picture of the building on the port island and Mt. Unzen volcano across the bay, note the flat top with new forming central cone.

On the way back we saw these two birds in a freshly flooded field (rice maybe or something else) feeding.

We passed a florest shop and saw this beautiful lilly.

Here I am with Mt. Unzen in the distance.

On Tuesday, we had to teach one of our English students at the International Center since she was working on Wednesday.  To do this we had move our Skype Japanese class to their also, at 8 a.m.  We were lucky it was open this early, due to a special opening of a korean exhibit on the first floor.  Our student rewarded us by a wonderful gift of chocolate.  As we left that day we took this picture of the ceremony.

We returned on Wednesday for our English and Japanese classes and took these pictures of some of the displays.

Thursday and Friday was our second trip to the Eastern side of Kyushu island and the city of Oita for apartment inspections. 

We saw the Oita city sign way before we expected it way out in the country side.  It seemed odd.

Inspection went well and we treated all four elders (the two zone leaders had come with us for exchanges) to dinner at a very common resturant called Joyful.  The food was good.

On Friday we decided to take a different way home and went by way of Beppu, which is well known for its Monkeys.  Here we are crossing the bridge over the freeway to the Mt. Takasaki.

This is called the Takasakiyama Natural Zoo.  The 'natural' indicates the monkeys roam free and you walk among them.  They do feed them which keeps them in the area and not raiding the farmers crops round about.

And here are the monkeys:

On the way out before crossing the bridge again I caught a bullet train as it was passing, from behind.  Since both the front and back are identically aerodynamic it looks the same on a still picture.

We too a new way back to Kumamoto with beautiful mountain scenery.  We entered the ancient Oso caldera wall at a different location.  Here is a picture from a scenic overlook into the town of Oso, which is entirely in the old caldera.

This is from the eastern wall of the caldera looking to the west.  The western wall has long since eroded away by the rivers that leave this area.  However by turning the camera just a little you can see the old calderal rim clearly, as shown in this picture.

Saturday was filled with more Japanese classes and English class at 2:00 p.m. and a ward mission coordination meeting in the evening.  Sunday was full of two wards worth of meetings and Japanese immersion, immersion, immersion, immersion.

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I have worked 30 years at Del Monte Foods in Walnut Creek CA, 5 years at Ralston Purina in San Diego CA, 7 years at Carnation in Oconomowoc WI