Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Japan 1

It is with great pleasure that I write a blog that is current and does not need back dated!

Today was our last time in Korea. We were bid farewell by many of the pastors of Bupyeong Church and were accompanied to the airport by Peter and James. None of us want to leave the two of them, but we were comforted by the hope of their visit to the U.S. Now we just have to make it happen.

As we got nearer to going through security, one of the women on our trip decided that a minor condition she had been experiencing was bad enough to visit the urgent care in the airport. The visit was only $12, and she got the medication that she needed, but she was warned that if the condition does not improve, she will not be permitted to re-enter the United States. That is a bit scary.

We all spent the last of our won on candy and waited at the gate for flight. Though the flight itself was turbulent, I got upgraded along with four others from our group to economy plus (not very exciting in the grand scheme of things, but since I was the only one who didn't get bumped up to first class on that same flight into Korea, I felt justified). We knew when we got on the plane that the health questionaire would happen, but the Japanese government means business with this H1N1 thing. They pulled a few members of our group for random extra paperwork. We all made it through the quarantine and customs, and after a long wait, the purchase of bus and rail tickets, the exchange of money (won and dollars to yen), we set out for Tokyo via bus. It was good to see coastline that was not lined with barbed wire. It is strange to think that we are only a two hour flight from Korea and the political tension is so much less.

A 1.5 hour bus ride and a CRAZY taxi trip took us to our home for the next few days, the Methodist Missionary Center in Tokyo. All of the women (8) are sleeping in one room, mostly on traditional Japanese mat-type beds. We'll see if I can walk in the morning! We grabbed a quick bit, spent some time de-briefing from Korea, and relaxed.

It is off to bed. I am tired, but excited to be in Japan. Garrett asked me if I was ready to come home. Earlier in the day I would have said yes, but now I am not so sure. I miss him and my Loler, but I am refreshed by the change of scenery.

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