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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Week 26: July 29 - August 4, 2013 - Japan Fukuoka Mission

We have now officially completed 6 months of our 23 month mission.  It is hard to believe, time flies when you are on a mission.

On preparation day, Monday July 29th we had a great day Skype'ing our children/grandchildren and hosting 8 missionaries for emailing home/friends and for one making application essays for BYU admission.  We so enjoyed following the Pioneer day, July 24th, Marathon run's of Louis and Weston.  It was great fun as we were able to follow mile by mile on Endomundo, and to send audio cheers to them, staying up till 12:30 a.m. our time for their finish.  Louis even called to share in the achievement.  We also enjoyed seeing so many wonderful pictures of Cierra in Nauvoo, wow such great fun and excitement.

Here is the marathon link:

Tuesday, we had an English class to help a young lady who will be going to BYU Hawaii this fall  for ESL for 9 months before entering the University as regular Student.  She also invited two friends (on a nonmember who goes to English Class at the Tsuboi church).  They learned English associated with making peanut butter cookies and playing Yatzee.  Did you know name from Yatzee is from the favorite play to play this game of it's inventor, on a Yacht.

Wednesday is our normal classes at the International Center,  Here is a picture of me teaching English class there, with the Students not shown for privacy reasons.

While walking along the long castle wall we noticed this:

It is a lantern display that is being set up in preparation for a festival the coming Saturday, called the "Hi no Kuni" or Country of Fire, using the ancient name for Kumamoto area of "Higo".

We also helped a missionary who had to visit a hospital to recast his broken hand from a car/bicycle accident.  Here is the parking garage.  It is another one of the elevator type, this one had the door open so you could seen the cars rotate on a huge ferris wheel type of arrangement.  It is very interesting.  Our Toyota is shown coming into place.  We had to go on to another hospital as the doctor here was not in.  The other hospital we were referred to was a specialty hospital for orthopedics, which turned out to be better anyway.

Thursday for our third visit to Nagasaki.  We inpected the Elders and Sisters apartment there.  This Sisters needed a new stove as only one burner was working on the old one.

As both apartments got "Celestial" rating we treated them to lunch at a place of their choice.  They choose, a Sushi restaurant.  Here are some photos of the restaurant and food.

As our normal hotel was full, we stayed at a new one way up on the mountain side.  Here are some photos of the fantastic view of Nagasaki.

The next day we continued on to Isahaya, apartment inspection then returned home for the third time by Ferry, always a pleasant break from driving.

On Saturday we did attend the Festival mentioned earlier.  Here are some photos.

They had these buckets of water all over the streets, which we wondered what they were for.

We found out they were used to douse the streets with water before the parade/dance began.  It must have been to cool the pavement, it certainly could not have increased the humidity in the air any more.  Luetta and I rode our bikes to the Tsuboi church and walked over to the festival route.  When we finally got home it takes a while to dry out from the humidity and light sprinkles we received.

I found this information on this festival:

火の国まつり Hi-no-kuni-matsuri Hinokuni Festival     

Hinokuni (Land of Fire) Festival is held in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture from August 11 to 13 every year. Being nicknamed “Land of Fire,” Kumamoto Prefecture has a lot of history and folklore pertaining to “fire” including the Shiranui (Unknown Fire) legend concerning Emperor Keiko, the legendary hero Hinokimi (King of Fire Country) in the Kofun period (3rd to 6th centuries) and the fire mountain Mt, Aso. Hinokuni Festival was first held in 1978 as an event to cerebrate this land of fire.

On the first day of the festival, the fire ignition ceremony is held at Kinpo-zan Youth Outdoor Learning Center. The fire is then brought to the torch at the symbol tower placed in the Kumamoto Castle ruins site. It is called “Fire of Hope” and keeps on burning during the festival.

The main event is the colorful rhythmic Otemoyan Grand Dance, in which as many as 6,000 citizens wind through the streets of the downtown area, dancing to a famous and happy folksong “Otemoyan (Did you get married?)” and the lilt music of “Samba Otemoyan.”
It WAS fun!!!

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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