Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Now that the year is over half way over, let me tell you about some of the things I have done in Okinawa, Japan during 2012 while I still have time.  You know, because the world ends in December.  Believe it or not, I have been making it around the island; I just haven’t had the energy to blog about it.  At the beginning of this year, we got to meet some wonderful new people and Mark and I also took a little time to see some of the island…before everything made me sick.  Though being pregnant did slow me down, it hasn’t stopped me completely.  I did very well for a puking, picky stomach having pregnant lady.
Tired, hungry, and pregnant in Fussa, Japan.

Mark came home on Christmas night, what a gift!  We opened gifts, I believe he talked to a few family members to say he was home, and since every overseas flight comes in late, we crashed soon after.  Since this wasn’t Mark’s 1st rodeo, he quickly and happily got back in to his old routine.  Hercules (our late cat) also, didn’t skip a beat.  The boys were reunited and back to being best friends.  Mark had some time off to spend at home and so we did a bit of traveling around Okinawa together.  We went to Okinawa world which houses the Gyukosendo cave.  It’s a pretty fun day trip, but the main attractions for us were the cave and the Habu Park.  The cave is pretty big, and takes a bit of time to work through.  We were rushing to see the habu show and the cave walk took 15-20 minutes at a brisk walk.  The habu and snake show is pretty interesting, mostly because you see women abusing the poor, poisonous animals.  “Beat a cobra in the head” was my favorite.  By favorite, I mean, not my favorite.  Like I always say, “imagine what others would do to us if we couldn’t talk,” I shudder to think.  They have a snake museum and I was able to get in the bed with a reticulated python last time I was there. (The 2nd time was with the Fast Girl University Crew) I must have been putting off extreme heat because the python was very aware I was there in the “bed” and turned straight toward me.  His mouth was taped, so no harm done.  I was about 11-12 weeks pregnant at that time.  You can also get up close to a bat and a mongoose.  At Okinawa world, you will find your “Okinawan classics”, bingata (a form of fabric painting), Ryukyu blown glass, pottery, goya, Okinawan soba, tshirts, have your picture taken in an Okinawan kimono, the usual all in one place experience here on island.  You may be able to find items cheaper elsewhere, but Okinawa World has it all in one spot, and you can buy the coupon ticket option if you know you will be shopping.  They have fresh fruit, beer made on Okinawa, and ice cream for those who need a break and would like something refreshing.  It’s a good place for visitors I believe, I am sure most of the places like that are. (Murasaki Mura, Ryukyu Mura)  They have a lot more, and one should plan to spend the day there if you want to take your time and experience everything they have to offer without being rushed.  I also made it down to Kokusai Street to walk around with friends.  It's been nice to get out and about when I could handle it.  I was SO SICK during my 1st trimester.  Surprisingly, going to the fish market on Kokusai Street had no effect on my stomach!  Go figure, garlic, BAD, fish, not so bad.
 Hello Kitty make up brush holder for Christmas and a husband, win/win!
Welcome home and Merry Christmas!
 In the Gyukosendo Cave in Okinawa World.
"I got a snake, mane!"

 Will and Steph with the same snake.
 Mark climbing the walls.
Wile E. and what was left of the fish, all the fish.

New Years was spent with friends and me trying Indian food for the 1st time.  I enjoyed it.  I am sure I did so because my dish was creamy, sweet, and laced with butter.  We saw fireworks at American Village and did a bit of karaoke that night.
Happy New Year!!

Will, Steph, Giles, and Amy singing at American Village....well, not Will.
Had to say mata ne to Anth and Hector.  I was not very happy, especially after finding out my good friend is expecting at the same time as me.

In February, our fur baby Hercules died.  We still don’t know the cause of the hole in his lungs but he is no longer with us, and this still hurts.  Mark and I were both home when he collapsed and called out before he died.  It is still very tough for me and I don’t like talking about it.  Much like with my mother.  Mind you, talking about my mother is much harder and I actually refuse to go in to much detail. It’s amazing how pets can make you feel that way, and with me being home, it made it 10 times worse.  Since the baby was already known to be on his or her way, we decided not to get another pet.  We would have no place to put the pet’s things and if I don’t have to put myself throw heartbreak, I won’t.  Melodramatic?   Maybe, but that is how I truly feel.  Then, after our 2nd trip to Tokyo together, we decided to get another pet.  We wanted something small and easy, and since they had no small dogs, we opted for another cat, her name is Sweet Pea, we call her Pea-Chan, and she is 4. 

As many of you know, coming to Japan has been a blessing, but it’s been hard.  God has helped us with every up and down though.  I pray, about everything.  Whether it’s a simple thank you or asking for something small.  I believe it helps.

Mura – village
Murasaki – purple
Ryukyu – The current name of the collection of islands that make up the Ryukyu islands.  Okinawa is the biggest.  Uchina is/was the name of Okinawa in the Okinawan language. 
Hanabi – Japanese word for fireworks.  There is not a plural form in Japanese.  Example, saying, “kuro tamago,” could mean 1 black egg or more.  When ordering you get more specific.