Okie JET


Halloween is the most fun time of the year

These are the 6th graders on Halloween. We made masks the week before and had our halloween party. It was great. And they learned some English.

These are the 5th graders. There are not as many of them. But that also allows us to do some more things. The teacher, who chose the English name of Patrick, actually really got into the Halloween spirit.

These are the 4th graders. They have the largest class. And they are extremely good at English. I like the girl on the far right of the picture. I think she didn't get the idea of masks.

This was the 6th grade teacher, who chose his name to be Walter, and I after the class mummified us as part of the lesson.

This is Patrick, the 5th grade teacher, and I. The students rolled dice. The number correlated to a body part. They would then wrap the body part with toilet paper. Of course there was plenty of speaking practice and reading.

This is the 4th grade teacher and I after the great mummification. She was a great sport in the game.



This is a quick blog. But please read.

Make plans now. Go to the movie store today. Rent this movie: Hotel Rwanda.

This movie is, above all, the most important movie that everyone needs to see. We all heard of the atrocity of Rwanda...or should have. But what did we hear? Internal conflict? Can't get involved? We need time to determine if we are looking at a possible genocide?

How many of us know where Rwanda is in Africa? How many of us heard the report and did nothing? In America we suffer so little, and we have so much. As the hegemon of the world, how can we stand by? They weren't just numbers on a report. Each of the 800,000 or more was a person, a life.

But if you can watch this movie, and your soul doesn't bleed, question if you are really human anymore.


Bike Trip of the Inland Sea

Well, it's been a while. So get ready for an update.

Every year, almost every Japanese employee gets some time off during August. They have this holiday time called Obon. It's a time to go to with family to the graves to honor their dead relatives. Therefore, I also get those days. However, those days must be taken during August. Long story short...I took a two-day bike trip around the inland sea. It was nice, but I was a bit tired afterwards.

Let me set the scene. I left at 6 am on a cool morning. The sky was overcast with just a bit of sprinkles. The road was flat for 90% of the trip. Traffic was really low. There was a cool breeze. Couldn't have been better.

I rode all the way over to Imabari in Ehime-ken. Then I took a train to Matsuyama for the night. In the evening I went to the most famous onsen, hot bath, in Japan, Dogo Onsen.

That evening I stayed at a capsule hotel. That was an experience in itself. I did it because it was cheap and because it's kind of a novelty in Japan. They just have a huge room with all of these oversized plastic boxes that seem a bit like dog cages. They are stacked two up and each comes with a locker. And strangely enough it comes completely setup.

There's a TV, light, alarm clock, pillows, etc and a nice locking curtain. But the one thing they don't have is the one thing that I really needed, a fan. It was a bit stuffy. As a rule, this capsule hotel was smoke-free. But I found out that once again, Japan loves to make rules that they have no intention of holding.

I left Imabari at 6:30 am. Once again, it was beautiful weather. I circled up the on ramp for bicycles and headed out across the bridge to the other side of the inland sea. The first run was gorgeous. I couldn't have asked for a better stretch. If I could choose the pathway to heaven, that would have been it. I can't explain how amazing it was. But then I got to the other side. That's when I found out that the bike path wasn't such a great deal. The highway across the inland sea was less than 20 kilometers. However the bike path was 62 kilometers. That's because after each bridge, where you can bike alongside the highway, bikers must get off the highway and go around each of the six islands. Needless to say, it got very tedious going down off the bridge, circling all the way around each island, and then riding back up to cross to the next island.

But I was really happy and felt a great sense of accomplishment after it. After that, I headed up to Fukayama. There I stopped for lunch at McDonald's. I had a Mega-Mac (twice the meat of a Big Mac) Bacon and Tomato Cheese Burger. Its name is shorter in Japanese. Delicious. Then I hopped on the ferry that went straight to Tadotsu. It was a great trip. But nothing was better than being in my own bed that night.

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Hiatus Over

Back and running again.

I've been just lazy. After my last post, my old laptop crashed. I got my new one in late January. Then I've been lazy. I went home for Easter, which was great. However, I took my cellphone to the States because I wanted pictures of everything. Well...I did something with it that I forgot. So it remains in the States, completely unusable to anyone anywhere now. Since then I've been working on a new cellphone. Now I have it, and vicariously a new camera to put more pictures up. So be looking for pictures within the week, because I'm now in the middle of Golden Week. Golden Week is the biggest time of the year for travel in Japan. It consists of four days of holiday with a week. So there will be a new sting of posts coming soon. Check back in.

Thanks for the patience and tolerance of my extreme laziness.