Somebody out there must have been praying for me today, because I could definitely feel it. After writing that last little bit at lunch, the clouds of the world seem to have lifted, but literally and figuratively. Let me explain.
First of all, the weather here hasn't been exactly optimal since I arrived, thanks mostly to the big typhoon that hit the south of Japan the day I arrived. So since then, the weather has been off and on scorching hot and unbearably humid. I wasn't sure I'd seen a blue sky since I'd been here. So today as I walked back to work after lunch I decided to pray for a clear blue sky with cool weather. And guess what... the Lord provides. After I got off of work the sky was clear and there was a cool breeze blowing through. Blue skies have always had a semi-symbolic meaning to me... I think they represent God in a sense. The blue skies are always there. We may have a hard time seeing it sometimes because of our point of view... there may be rainclouds or what not blocking our view... but the blue skies are always there. And they will show themselves to us in due time. Now I hope you all have "Blue Skies" by Point of Grace stuck in your head. :) Good song!
Anyway, on a second note, after I got back to work I got online and decided to look up webpages that would help me quiz myself on hiragana. I not only found those, but I found an awesome site that takes a step by step approach at learning and understanding Japanese. It made a thousand time more sense to me than this silly, "Japanese for Busy People" book did. That book basically gives you phrases to memorize without bothering to really explain the grammatical construction (which we all know is what I really love... isn't that sick? :) ). This website was awesome. I understand so much more now. It actually seems manageable!!!!!!! Thank you www.thejapanesepage.com !!! (I have to give a shoutout).
Thirdly, I now have air conditioning!!! Let me tell you the story. Apparently the air-conditioning units in our building only work with remote control. Well, a couple of ALTs back, the girl who moved in here didn't know what the remote was, so she threw it away. Oops. That means poor Denver suffered without it. Back on Tuesday, which you will remember was the mother of all hot days I spoke of, heard about it, Ishi-san asked me if I had a remote and when I told her no, she became very concerned. Ishi-san is a 24 year old woman who works in our office with us. She is the only woman working in the board of education office, and boy is she sweet and helpful. She ordered the remote for me, and it came in today! She even translated all the buttons on it for me and came back to my apartment with me to make sure it worked. I wanted to hug her so much, but the Japanese don't do hugs. :) All I could do was say "domo arigato gozaimasu" over and over, which means thank you very much. She speaks very good English, but they like it when you speak what Japanese you know. :) BTW- she also copied of charts of hiragana and katakana for me today when she saw that I was studying Japanese all day. Yay for Ishi-san! Some of the people in my office are incredibly nice to me. There is one girl who looks to be about my age, I don't remember her name, but she works for an office other than ours that happens to be in the same room. Everyday she comes up to me and talks to me in English. It means so much that she makes that effort at conversation everyday. Today she even asked me if I'd eat lunch with her the next time I was in the office. Isn't that sweet??? Then there a man that I think of as Bob. I actually know his name, it is Kaminaga-san, but he reminds me of a certain Bob I know. He is so nice to me all the time. Like the other girl, everyday he comes and tries to speak to me in English. He brought me a pile of information about Hitachi yesterday, including a map and a tour guide and the English bulletin and such. He's a sweet man.
Good day. This morning Suzuki-san and I went to Namekawa, which is the school where I'll be working. I got to meet the principal, vice-principal, and all of the English teachers. Denver had left me a letter giving me the low-down on how things go around the school, which was awesome and I am so grateful for. Denver did a lot of helpful stuff for me before he left. I hope I can do the same for my replacement in a couple of years. Wait-- it's too early to think about that! :)
So now I'm sitting here in my cool apartment listening to Chris Rice, and all is right in the world. In a couple of hours Judith is going to come pick me up so we can hang out tonight, which I'm sure will be very good for me. As a general statement, I hope I can be a blessing to as many people as who are being blessings to me right now. In the past year I have received an insane amount of help... through my illness, through my attempts to go back to school despite my illness, through the several discouragements about my future that I went through, and now here... It is unfathomable to think back on all I've been given. I know it is impossible to pay back, so I have the grand goal in life to just pay forward all the kindnesses shown to me.
I know this may be a temporary high, but I'm going to soak it up while I can. God is so good and faithful to us; can I get an amen?