Monday, September 28, 2009

1,323

1,323. That is the final photo count from my Japan trip. I'm half way done, so I will post the highlights from the first half soon. It's been semi difficult to get back into the swing of things. From 2-5pm jetlag hits me really hard and I have to get a good dose of caffeine or give in a take a little nap. At night I can't go to sleep. The first night I got back, I drank some wine. That put me out. The next night I stayed up 'til 5:30am reading some blog by some mom from the midwest and her story of how she fell in love with her cowboy husband. Last night, I lay awake in bed and asked God what my purpose in life was. When I didn't get an answer, I tried to name all the guys I had ever liked in my 27.5 years of existence. I fell asleep when the names started to blur. Tonight, I am actually tired.

I hope my dreams are filled with tan tan men tonight.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

children of the night

I finally got around to cashing in recyclables for August! PEOPLE. We raised $30.75 for Children of the Night!

I first heard about this organization through my friend, Win who has a friend named Maddie that works (worked?) for this organization. Basically it's a shelter in Los Angeles for children ages 11 to 17 that are victims of child prostitution, rape, abuse, drugs, and are trying to escape the streets. They have a 24-hour hotline and a program that provides a Primary Caseworker to each individual who coordinates medical care, psychological care, academic assessments and other social services as needed. Residents follow a highly structured program that includes attending an on-site school where they study a curriculum individually tailored to their specific needs so they can reach age- appropriate grade levels in all subjects before leaving. They formulate “life plans” and attend independent living classes, as well as participate in sports, recreational activities and health education.

Thanks to:

Jennifer J. K.
Gus S.
Tinz L.
Mom
Auntie Joy
Grandma
Eric L.
Sam Y.
Wade C.
Crystal I.

...for your generous contributions. 30 bucks might not seem like a lot, but every little bit makes a difference. If you're interested in donating or getting involved with the organization, visit their website! Next month is IJM! Send your cans and bottles my way!

P.S. I've decided to donate 100% of proceeds to each non-prof. Taking a cut from such a small amount is silly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

good bye, japan!

What an amazing 2 weeks! I think what I enjoyed most was experiencing daily life in another ethnic culture. The Japanese put so much emphasis on quality, excellent customer service and attention to detail. I can be so America-centric and was reminded that there are other ways of doing life. Props to my mom and her intensive planning and my dad's generosity for allowing my sisters and I to enjoy such a wonderful vacation!! Today (which is Thursday in Japan), my parents and I are catching a flight to arrive in LAX, Thursday afternoon PST.


Sayonara, Japan. It's been real, but it's time to go home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

happy belated birthday, lauren!


Happy 26th birthday, Sis! I'm so proud of you and all you have accomplished so far. May you know the Lord's abundant blessings upon you this coming year!

Wish I could have posted this yesterday, but I was exhausted from a long day wandering around the streets and department stores of Osaka. I think Osaka is my favorite city so far. The people seem more laid back and the food is great! Here's Megan in our hotel, Granvia Osaka.


I couldn't help but feel like we were walking through the corridors of a Star Trek spacecraft every day. Anyhow, today Megan and Lauren left to go back to California...so now it's just me and my parents and grandparents. We spent the day in Gunma in a city called Kiryu (which sounds just like "kill you") which is north of Tokyo. We went there specifically for my dad to meet with a flower breeder there. While they talked business, I ran around with the breeder's grandson, Yuki.


Tomorrow we are off to Nikko to the national park. Should be beautiful!

Live long and prosper.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

hospitality & hometown glory

Wow. This week has flown by so fast! We arrived in Osaka last night and had dinner with one of my grandma's best friends. I think it was a 5 course meal. Or maybe more. All I know is the dishes kept coming and coming. All of our relatives and friends have given a new meaning to hospitality. Dinner, dessert, tea, fruit, gifts, taxi rides, tours, more tea and snacks for the road. Amazing.

Today we went to Gojo which is near Osaka, where my grandma lived at the end of high school. On the way there, it was wonderful to watch her eyes light up as she told us stories about her childhood and family. Yesterday when we got to the Osaka train station she exclaimed, I feel like a fish in water! She had such joy from returning to her hometown.


My grandma's cousin's family took us around Gojo and although it was lovely, one of the highlights was playing with their dogs Goma, Tokoto (sp?) and Tim Tam (after the Australian cookie).



SO CUTE. I just want to hold them again! Anyway. Tomorrow we are headed to the church my mom went to when she taught English in Osaka...34 years ago. And then Sunday is my sister, Lauren's birthday!! We'll have to celebrate it Japanese style.

Peace!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

tweets i wish i could say

In the beginning of the trip, there were so many times when I wanted to pull out my phone and send tweets. But I couldn't. Not at 50 cents a text!! So, I started to compile a list on my iTouch called: Tweets I Wish I Could Say. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 13

Shania Twain playing in a convenience store. Bizarre.

Now Taylor Swift. Ok.

Lots of high hair buns, black tights and boots in Shibuya.

Donut Plant NYC in Tokyo!

Monday, September 14

Just squatted on a Japanese style toilet on the train. As soon as I stepped out I realized there was a western toilet next door. fml.

It was faulty to assume I would enjoy heavy theology lectures by nt wright while traveling. Time for some Sophie Kinsella.

Tuesday, September 15

Cocos in Hiroshima!

Hmm. They use the Honda product logo different in Japan...

The Hiroshima Peace Volunteers are wearing jackets that say HPV in huge letters. That's unfortunate.

My dad just said being in this underground subway tunnel was like a whole other world...about 10 times.

-------------------------------------------

The fam is currently resting after visiting our relatives' graves all day. Whenever I saw the Higaki name on a grave stone, I felt a sense of pride.


Now I must muster up the strength to go through the 600+ pictures I have taken so far. What a beast.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

hi from kochi!

Hello, everyone!! Interneting from the Best Western, Kochi! Just zipped through Tokyo and Hiroshima. Both amazing cities! Here are 2 of the many highlights from the trip so far.



Natto for breakfast? Freshly made ramen noodles with fish broth for lunch? I could get used to this. More highlights to come!

Friday, September 11, 2009

gone to the motherland


Well. My bags are packed. My flight leaves at 1pm today. Tokyo > Hiroshima > Kochi > Osaka > Nara > Kyoto > Gunma > Nikko. We'll see what Japan holds for me. See you in 2 weeks! Peace out.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

fam time

Took a quick trip up to the Bay this past weekend to visit my family. My dad has been asking me more often when I am going to move back home. So, I thought it would be good to have some quality time with the fam. Had fun taking glamor shots of my cats and my sisters. It was also my grandpa's 89th birthday, so I was delighted to spend time with him. Man. 89. That is a milestone!


















I tried out the 50mm lens this weekend. It was nice, and could tell the difference between the quality of my pics with using it vs. my kit lens. BUT, I had a sinking feeling that I wouldn't use it a lot since it shoots so close in, so I sent it back. Borrowing a 35mm lens now, so we'll see how that works out. 8 days 'til I leave for Japan, people!! Can't wait!